23 Dec 2022
After the Studio Morison installation
MOTHER ... at Wicken Fen (2020)
I am coming back inside / you the hayrick oikos I’ve been looking for / I know there are some changes I should make / need stilts now to lift these hems off the hostile earth / my basal body temperature dropped as my skin puckered up / I felt my skin ripple to a sheen in its tansy beetle phase / I made for the haywalls but the light fell on my oil-spill flanks / I knew myself reflected in the eye of a bird / braced and pushed files of keratin / like needles along my back and sides / grew down and feather fold over fold / I flew up to a rafter near your apse mother / but all I could taste in my throat was beetles / beetles / in my hunger I could feel my leg muscles extending / my claws contracting into nubby pads / I didn’t know what I was any more / but my lips wrenched back so my face was just teeth / at least part of me is shadow and needs to be dragged / when the next person comes through the opening I will be ready
Behind the poem...
I wrote this poem after spending time inside Studio Morison's architectural installation MOTHER ... at Wicken Fen at the start of the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. I’d spent many years searching for a home in the East Anglian fens: a place I loved, but was about to leave to move back to my birthplace in County Down.