Tuesday, 3 August 2021

A walk in the country side


This weeks we took inspiration from the natural world and some writing of one of the artists at Artsenta who had written a detailed account of his walk in the country. So our writers were tasked with remembering a time they did the same and writing a short story based on that experience and trying to bring the sounds, sights and smells that went with it. We then were tasked with turning that prose into a poem that captured the experience in a more fleeting way.

Walk in the countryside

The cowpat is glooping over my shoe - yes, I am using gloop as a verb, no other verb seems to capture the visceral, unsettling sensation while the brown turns to green as it spreads over my previously cleanish shoes.  And here I was, more concerned by the ripped trousers and the bleeding thigh that I had just given myself trying to scramble over the barbed wire fence.  Why is there even barbed wire?  At least the next fence coming is one of those orange ribbons of modern temporary electric wiring, no barbs on that.

The smell from my shoe is so very 'rural'.  A smell I had tricked myself into thinking I had escaped.  A smell I had hoped was trapped in my childhood.  I smear it ineffectually across the grass, failing entirely to get my shoe remotely clean.  There is no escaping this smell.  Last week's grass.  Even the nearby brush of tussock is proving no help.

The big dumb eye of a cow dispassionately watches my awkward flailing.  I anthropomorphise it, tell myself it is enjoying my suffering, the unpleasantness it has caused.  But I can't fool myself, that eye is too stupid to know malice, too stupid to know anything.

I should have stayed in town.






Confidence is Power, Misplaced


The orange ribbon sparkles

          with interwoven metal


Manufactured glory

Sparkling across the verdant earth

Held in place

         by plastic posts

            stabbed into the dirt


A reminder that man has conquered nature

          with this flimsy




Stepping over it

          man is quickly reminded that he


          is nature


The pulse hits

          somehow both sharp and dull


          but with panic inducing confusion

Tightening the muscles against escape


Why did we do this to ourselves?


          We too are nature.



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