New writing on desire, longing, acceptance.

4th April. Easter Day

In the night, in the dark, the back of my hand passes over the hard cold glass. I’m feeling for – reaching for – water.

I suddenly remember my father saying to me countless times, “if you’re not careful you’re going to feel the back of my hand, my girl.” The feeling is a spinning, a numbing, a stiffness in my legs. A spaciousness in my head not unlike meditation, but not good or productive. It leads to loss. Loss of time, of self, of heart, of will, of life.

In the morning I practice the gesture (to understand the ‘back of the hand’ part): the sweeping of the arm out and forwards in an ugly arc: the batting away (of something unwanted, inconsequential, loathsome – his word) the rejection, the force, the dismissal. The poisoned patriarchy in action through the graze of an arm, the sweep of a cuffing fist, a vicious lunge into a permanent future of dismissal and disregard. I focus on the trajectory of the arm, I can feel the pain in my heart like a sore tooth. I stay with the pain, I don’t leave it.

I turn on the great beam, my dazzling searchlight. It’s wide and strong. It shines from a rocky outcrop black and sheer, in the middle of a churning ocean. It’s surrounded by seabirds and whales and clouds of spirit dwell above.

*Dream: Of a bridegroom with thick, padded, white sole/soul: soft, flexible, repaired….

I think of my painting , it’s a child giving birth to the world through her mouth/voice. It’s the act of speaking, of bearing witness (to herself). Her mouth is closed, her skin transparent, her eyes are closed, turned inwards.

In another on wood a figure with closed eyes holds an infant on her crown. Her hands are gold, delineated with the blue of night. The infant might have a bird’s bill piercing her crown. Or maybe the bird is extracting her bill. Maybe the bill has always been there, and will return there at death?
Maybe it comes out to allow the child to live here on earth, for her allotted time?
Maybe the bill pierces her, follows the line of her spine, activates her when she isn’t in skin-form. We don’t know if the bird is inserting his bill or removing it.
We don’t know what messages are carried in the bill, or in the act of piercing or withdrawal. Might there be a bird coming into her from the other end, into her sexual channel?

What coolness I’d feel, being pierced by a bird’s bill. The fat dagger of a Solan, a Shetland gannet carrying all the wild beauty of that place (and he’d close his eyes as he dived into me: a deep and black ocean); or perhaps the tiny carmine needle of a tern, a bird of light, a clitoris-tickler, a sun-bird; or a gaggle of sparrows descending with a shout of their tawny wings, little brown bills no threat, no penetration; or an eagle, who’d hook his great beak into my navel, spread his wings wide along the length of my open legs.

I think again of the messages tattoo-ed on the long yellow dagger of the Solan. They’re written by the airs of the rocky ledges where he was born. They’re incised by the guardians of that place; the eyes inside of my body can decipher them.

Fledgling mother with wing stumps, wing stems like unfurling leaves, foetal roundness, softness, so as not to pierce the amniotic sac, my tender growing-ness pushing against the pregnant air. The rounding air, the skin of the paper smoothed around me, I stretch out my growing limbs beneath your hand, your fat oily crayon, your sea-green, your petal-pink, chalky-white marks. Your eyes closed in bliss or weariness, your sense of finding your way with your hands. Of trusting the music today, the fire, the small fire growing from my nipple, the flame you inhale, you welcome me with your lips.

Then I’m walking across ancient commons of moor and marsh, lighting a candle beside a well; you gaze into the darkening pool, the noonday shade made by slabs of granite; I danced nearby once, full of hope; I learn at last to yield, to give up desire.

Courses I’ll be teaching in 2021…

The School of Art and Wellbeing, near Honiton, Devon.


The School of Art and Wellbeing is found on a hill overlooking Honiton and Dartmoor to the west. It is a profoundly beautiful place, with polytunnels for painting, a Mongolian yurt for shamanic journeying, shepherd’s huts for sleeping in, and extensive beautiful and productive gardens. This is a place of great natural harmony, light and power; it is perfect for my creative shamanic courses!

August 1 @ 11:00 am – August 3 @ 5:00 pm
Working with the inner Fire of Nature as our inspiration

Painting and drawing – with writing/notes where prescient/if wished – inspired by time spent outside with the natural world. We’ll consider the cycles of life in nature, and pay attention to the symbolism of plants, flowers, animals, birds and elements of the natural world. This course will involve a step-by-step introduction to shamanic processes, including gazing deeply into the patterns/matrix of nature.

This three-day course will take you back to basics and guide you through various techniques developed to improve your sensitivity and expressive range with your drawing and/or writing. We’ll work with music, the breath, the body, poetry; – responding to rhythm, timbre, emotional colour; you’ll have access to a range of mediums and exciting starting points to open up ways of responding. We’ll consider how other artists employ a love for nature in their practice. This will be a reflective, immersive course where you will learn about many techniques for respectfully approaching and learning from nature. The price of the course is £350.

August 30 @ 11:00 am – September 2 @ 5:00 pm
Connecting with the Ancestors

Ancestors can be our blood relatives, or they may be soul-kin. We might also feel we have connections with/are held by animal, plant or place spirits.
In this workshop we will work with reverence, love and care to approach those who came before us. We will think about the nature of time, of cycles, of a returning from exile for the soul. We’ll think about the nature of connection, and how it comes to show itself to us.
We’ll work with dreams, shamanic journeying, drawing, writing, responding to music. Many ways into the numinous will be explored in this 4-day course, gently, step by step.
This path can lead to profound inner change, acceptance, joy, and peace.
The price for 4 days is £475
No previous experience is necessary. This course is now fully booked. I can take bookings for next year…

October 25 @ 11:00 am – October 27 @ 5:00 pm
Making your Mark: drawing on, and being inspired by, inner impulses of your body.

Painting, writing and drawing on bodily impulses, including memory, fantasy and longing.
This course will involve working with breath, music, sound, colour, mark-making, and poetry as some of our starting points.
Most humans draw as their first, primary means to record their experiences, ideas and feelings about being in the world. Artists use many forms of drawing/note-making to explore, set down and refine sensations, observations, and ideas about their work and their surroundings. Having confidence in one’s ability to draw/work with words is invaluable.
This three-day course will take you back to basics and guide you through various techniques developed to improve your sensitivity and expressive range with your drawing and/or writing.
We’ll work with music, the breath, the body, poetry; – responding to rhythm, timbre, emotional colour; you’ll have access to a range of mediums, surfaces, and exciting starting points to show you what can be possible with drawing/writing. This will be a reflective, immersive course where you will learn about many techniques as well as a wide range of thinking about practice – from Eastern traditions to Sufi, Aboriginal, first Nations’ people’s thoughts and European perspectives.
The price of the course is £350.

Here is some recent feedback:
Having Kate as a mentor has allowed a fundamental shift in my wellbeing as an artist and how I view both myself and my creative path. Whether on a workshop in Iona or on a one to one in person or by Zoom, I always feel held, always feel listened to and have always been guided gently to the point I am meant to be at. Its always about the art… but yet its not. Thats what I love and appreciate.

Rachel Redfern

Kate’s Solstice workshops have become an integral part of my year. They reach straight to the deepest levels where art can emerge. She is a brilliant artist and teacher, warm and intuitive.

Professor Penny Florence.
Professor Emerita, The Slade.

For more of Penny’s writing and reflections please see this page:

Essay and Reviews by Professor Penny Florence


Today I pay tribute to the mesmerising work and soul of artist Kate Walters. I met Kate a few years ago when she led a painting workshop I attended at the Newlyn School of Art and I fell in love with her work and her fascinating approach to her art. For me, Kate epitomises the fearlessness of a warrior goddess, she is bold and brave, warm and generous hearted. This, and much more, is represented in her work, which calls you to step you into a deeper relationship with yourself and the world around you. In some ways she may well be ahead of her time, but I think she is one of the most exciting artist to be creating out of Cornwall right now. Kate is a true inspiration and it is an honour to be featuring her work on my new website. Thank you dear Kate.

Dr Alice Laskey
Clinical Psychologist

If you are looking for authentic ways to consider and develop your art practice, I highly recommend anyone who is thinking about taking up the opportunity to work alongside Kate. Her workshops will enable you to tap in unknown energies , if you allow yourself , and your work will take on a different life and a new journey will begin. Kate is kind, respectful and her workshops are well planned and considered. Kate provides you with access to a wide range of relevant reading and resources that can support you in th development of your thoughts and ideas. Kate is generous of self and always willing to offer you extra space and time to consider you work … I would recommend any workshop she facilities , she welcomes all levels of practice and mediums, the experience will be life changing.

I cannot wait to attend her new workshops in Devon and meeting likeminded artists , as Kate is excited to begin her new journey, I am also excited to be part of her new experience and will be attending with and an open heart and high energy curiosity.

Sally Tripptree

‘Kate is the most grounded and challenging mentor I’ve had in my life, her powerful reflections always bear some heavy fruit.’

Richard Gregory
Artist and Director of Studio Kind

‘Kate has been the most influential tutor on my work and development as an artist; and though I can count the time we spent together in hours, her guidance, ideas and sensibility continue to guide me today. That this is happening two years on from when we reviewed my work I think is remarkable, and a testament to the quality of her teaching.

She does not instruct you, although she can (her knowledge of art history and thought, materials, processes and techniques is hugely impressive and she is more than happy to share it to resolve technical problems). Rather I found her to be the best kind of tutor : I think the Japanese word is sensei – a master practitioner who encourages through insight and example, and who, from an authentic connection with what she does and the limitless natural and spiritual world around her, helps you understand and find your own voice.’

Simon Bird
Abstract Intuitive Artist

If you want to access those spiritual places, thought processes and energies that are so vital to setting free the creative process then sign up for a course with Kate Walters .
Over the last two years I have been privileged to have her as mentor and experience with her shamanic guidance the unique island of Iona , which was thrilling .
She is gifted with steely resilience to plough her own artistic furrow and inspires you to free yourself of the inhibitions that hold you back . I am very lucky to have found her.

Jeni Calvert

Kate creates the most inspiring and magical space in her workshops. Her approach is holistic and goes far beyond simply teaching a well-rehearsed technique. She is attentive to everyone’s particular circumstances and is incredibly perceptive and gentle. I’ve attended many of her workshops and each time I leave with a renewed sense of wonder and creative enrichment.

Tanya Krzywinska
Professor, Digital Games
Editor, Games and Culture

June 2021 Summer Solstice workshops, outdoors…

I’ll be running two Summer Solstice workshops in June. One on Sunday 20th from 3 – 8 pm (the exact time of the solstice is 04:31 on the 21st), and the other on the Monday 21st from 10 – 3 pm. They will be held outside on a beautiful wild and open Common not far from St. Just. There’s a strong and rocky Carn, a stone circle, a meadow, old tracks, and a group of 5000 year old holed stones. It will involve walking quietly and steadily for around 2-3 km, with frequent stops for rest, prayer and tuning-in. We will draw, make notes, and take time to tune in to wild and impeccable place…the coming of summer, and of course the Sun! You will need walking boots, a sketchbook/s, water bottle, a snack and something to sit on (a sitting mat or plastic bag). We will walk meditatively for some of the time and think about the energies which animate and bless this place. There will also be time to release some of what the past 15 months have brought us.
Both sessions will be run according to Covid safe guidelines.
The price is £50 per person per session. You may attend both if you wish for the discounted price of £85.
Please email me here: for further information and to book.

I’ll also be teaching at Newlyn School of Art, Monotype and Landscape Course, September 3rd -6th, details here:

New writing in response to painting; the energy of longing and nostalgia; how my paintings think about me…

In a dream we’re going through a field of tall crops, hovering, we go through the middle, hovering, we’re propelled with some force, we go to a house, we’re looking for a key, we’re searching, we go into a place beneath the stairs, we find it, I tell you where it is, I give you one of my painted books.

There is a room of water, I bathe in it. I’m helping a woman with fire.

This work, in progress, explores my current theme ‘Lovers Not Lovers’ and Baptism; also different kinds of love.

I’m feeling anxious today, worried. I have pain in my right shoulder blade, close to the spine, the place where a wing would grow from. I’m full of longing.

In the painting the lovers seem to be changing into small birds, songbirds, finches or tits. I raise my spirits by thinking about the spirit of things in their beautiful abundance.

I see the man pouring salt into all my holes:making towers of them, tall, swaying, balancing columns of salt. I want to do this work but I don’t want it to hurt so much.

In the painting the two Angels are about to pass through one another/each other. Or an Angel about to pass through (me). The Man she meets on the path.

There is another man (or is he an Angel?) in the painting; he appeared last, beside the woman, on her right. He is pointing upwards, reminding her of her path perhaps. He is roughly indicated, as though not quite materialised, only just beginning to take on physical form; or perhaps about to leave again, just wearing enough flesh for me to grasp a slight sense of him, this Thursday afternoon, when I am also perhaps only just here.

Later I watch Ch 4 news about the women who are raped and have their children shot in front of them. It cannot be borne. I lose my appetite. I count my blessings.

19th March

It comes down through a halo. The funnel mouth is a halo – I’ve only just seen it. The halo also resembles a spent seed case.

Notes about meeting and passing through the Angel, (and the Angel passing through me): both beings altered (nothing lost or taken)

Notes from all the World an Icon P 120

“The feminine images are not the Eros itself, but objects of its longing….we fall in and out of love or are carried and redeemed, or cursed, through its working, but that which love works upon is not love but soul.”
P126 “the most familiar creature a thing unknown.”

I make a tiny drawing in my notebook about Spirit descending through the crown of the holy horse, to emerge from its mouth (or penis/udders/pores/birth canal?) as breath or semen or sweat or milk or creamy white saliva.

18th March

I have a dream about my body being inhabited by a man, we can swap places with each other, we blend energetically. There are doors opening and closing. He is there. I ask: Is this how the phallus comes to inhabit me? I’m painting inwardly as I sit across the room, I move across the room, or around the room. You are still, you my pole in the south for these minutes. I’m a star revolving, breathing, expanding and shrinking. I feed myself by absorbing the atoms I sense around you. They come to me easily. They are agitated, fiery, they show me how not still you are, how you are as intense as me in your stillness.

And I think about how to express the feeling which comes upon me when I sense you are thinking of me (little painting). It’s like my flesh is a grating mesh, full of holes, and you slot into all those holes. You arrive, suddenly. Even if I’m absorbed in another’s conversation, or perhaps a film, my awareness becomes filled by you. There is a sense of catching, or of being caught; of the tiny teeth or barbs nature uses to spread herself about; of being a seeded head in a meadow, and of being carried away dry and free in an animal’s coat, taken off somewhere by your hairy scented pelt to a den, a nest, a lair. I ride your extremities. Your rough tongue rolls around me. Sometimes you know, and sometimes you don’t know if I’m there.

Stelle (stars) and birds and birth. Notes from the new year.

I see you. I watch the orange glow in the stove, listen to the trees outside. It’s peaceful, and taut as well. The air between us is tight, it hums. I want to look at you. You look dark. I don’t look at you. I speak of when we won’t see each other anymore. I speak of the dragon, the winged serpent. I’m carried by him/her, I didn’t tell you about the pores down his sides and all the eggs which stream out, they float in the air like pollen.

Pollen that day on a balcony at the foot of a hill beneath a steep green wood, thick pollen, a yellow fur on the balcony, I stepped into it, leaving my footprint in flower. A deer at the top of the hill, above the wood. An empty dining room, animal heads, a mountain in the morning, a sewing by frost of leaves into a coverlet, and crocus candles in purple; Daphne scent gathered in goblets where the trees cleared. Pits of mud for boar beneath the silence of tall chestnut trees, early morning wolf cries across the valley. I walk there with you.

Your hands become great paws of bear when I draw them, thick black claws and a white fire streaming from their centre. It joins the fire behind your back, becomes one with orange flames. I touch the coolness of your heart with my fingertips. Gently. We kiss. My legs are rooted in that place behind the roebuck’s eyes. A great white bird flies out from my breast and dives into the blue sea of your throat. You are singing me awake, it’s early in the morning. The sun flames behind you. You don’t turn around.

I place it inside my body. It’s a phallus full of stars. It’s charged by my violet light.

Horse with a big body for me to climb into. Horse with a big body, an unmistakable love I can’t miss. Horse with a big body holding and carrying love. Horse who bends over me, who brings his immense broad neck close to mine, who bends over me with all his flesh, all his fibres strong and heavy; quick and vital, coming towards me. Such a love have I known.

And then he was a broken horse, wounded horse, close to dying, brain injury, body walking without power, gently now feeling his way with his pointed dancer’s toes across the straw. Following me with his blind eyes, his ears falling from his head. He knows me and pushes his nose against me, into the bucket. He teaches himself to drink again, bubbles surface from his nose.

The last time I saw him.

The current between us a mute umbilicus. A swan’s neck between water and sky, surface and soil, water and flesh. The tapered bill my lips. Where the neck slides into breadth, your groin. Rocks and tide. An invisible cord, pale and wound about with a kind of spirit saliva. I’m reminded of my dream of the double ended vessel with the connecting tube or membrane, or energetic throat. It is between us: rigid, coiled, silent, tiny, slack, stiff : Penetrated, both.

My antler legs growing up behind the deer’s eyes. Where the antlers end, at the tops of my thighs, eternity begins. There’s a Spirit river there, lapping at the edges.

In the new painting my right arm outstretched, it comes to rest, the palm opens on your rounded chest. Beneath the slant of your immense rib cage three penises lie coiled. Your face in golds and greens. A horse breathes you out from the immense vermilion of his heart, wrapped by leaf-shaped lungs. His lungs which carried me and propelled me, whose movement once caused my legs to open and close rhythmically as he breathed.

My survival house all aflame, the red rim open, gaping, burning.
Awareness simultaneously here and far away.
Between your brows, against your cheek, on your shoulder, in the soft air.

My vision like an exhalation, another form of breath, of breathing from the eyes, as the flocks fly this way and that, before my windows, in this dusky light. I put a match to the fire. I lie down, I stretch my body. I think of Freya riding to the Heavens on her great horses.

I dream of travelling south along the coast(on the train from Venice to Puglia) and I see many, many Orca diving and playing in the sea. There are derelict buildings, and a sense of my father.

Yesterday I sat waiting to see you. I was full of hope. A buzzard, cousin to my eagle – of great body and broad wings – sat with me as I waited. As I stirred, and began walking up your lane, so he stirred and rose on his great wings, circled me, and flew towards the east.

When I lay down the fire greeted me and became strong. I am your partner on this journey towards what can never be fulfilled. The erotic component of spirit wrapped around us like my cashmere cloth, the goat hair from the high eastern mountains.

I’m quiet as I lie curled upon the floor; my voice changes. I’m blue, you tell me about drowning and fighting for air, immobile, stiff, frozen. The air was knocked out of me.

I think of painting a silver horse amidst the blackened branches of my childhood. The one near the river, where ponies roamed and swans nested. The damp sticks beneath my feet and the falling limbs caught by their rough-skinned kin.

I wanted to touch your ankle, to imagine it and feel it a bony fetlock, my red horse’s leg standing near me. His breath heavy, perfumed with hay, drifting down over me, a loving mist. His neck strong, protecting.

I think of a painting of a tree suckling me, and a horse, and a man. How would a man suckle me? Would his answer come?

I’m going to begin a painting about baptism tomorrow. The water will stand up, the water will be changed in her nature. I’m thinking about jouissance, the flowing I feel, the ebb, the flow, being with the movement completely, and nowhere else.

In the new painting yesterday, on the fine smooth linen, the little baby might be feeling lost. She’s crawling from your phallus, or she might be on your leg. I am sad, and smaller, I look away, out of the picture. My legs are open, my stomach flat.

Did I tell you that my stomach became flat immediately after giving birth? They induced me because I was losing so much weight before my baby was born. I was thin, and pregnant. I’d been receiving blows and I was afraid. They put a wire with a hook on the end in me and tore open the amniotic sac. It hurt a lot. My body wasn’t ready to expel my baby. They put chemicals and drugs in my blood. I felt as if I was being thrown against a wall over and over again. My unborn baby wore a heart monitor. I was afraid.

A man came and pushed a fat needle into my back. He told me I had to stay very still, even though the contractions kept coming. Another man came and cut open the birth canal, I saw his big gloved hands waving in the air, and his declaration that my baby was about to be born. I remember breathing loudly, and turning my face to one side to a nurse, who held my hand. I squeezed it very hard.

Afterwards my then-husband spent the afternoon in another ward seeing a friend of his. I wanted my baby with me but he was put in somewhere else.

There’s something to understand, but I can’t see it yet. You are my birth partner. I’m sorry I didn’t ask you first.

I’m thinking of fonts that fill with river water. I’m a font filling with river water. The birds fly down in ribbony loops from the sky, they gather where the water pools, they come to drink from me.

I smooth the oil of frankincense over my eyes, over and over again. I try to wipe you away from my sight.

Nichiren Daishonin:

“When a caged bird sings, birds who are flying around in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage strives to get out. When with our mouths we chant the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge.”

(How Those Initially Aspiring to the Way” the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin vol1 p 881).

Flower petals pressed into my book, seeds on threads – ribbons from a dancer’s shoes.

P37. Alchemical Psychology

Act in. “Hold the heat inside the head by warming the mind’s reveries. Imagine, project, fantasise, think.” Cook in the vessel.

P 43 “the pelican is thus a wounding, a repetitive ritual, a sacrifice, and a humiliation all at once. And, a necessary instrument for feeling the opus from within itself. What arises during the work belongs to the work, not to the world. Before the vessel may be opened, its contents must be thoroughly psychologised, refined, sophisticated, its concretisation vapourized. Maintain the heat, stopper the vessel; find pleasure in repetition. The soul is being nourished by its wound.”

P 44 “The inside shapes around itself the outer invisible form.”

Painting with the red veil. I’m crowned by jouissance. No filter/mesh/screen. No protection.
If I didn’t belong to myself, who did I belong to?

And now I’m remembering that I was often told to GO AWAY by both my parents, but particularly my father. I was told this at all ages, but often when I was small. Maybe from as soon as I could walk, get about by myself, I was told to go away. I think my mother must have been told to go away too – but she had her cousins to go to – I had no one. So where did I go to? Who was I with?

Thinking of painting as orgasm – he draws the orgasm out of me like a baby; he takes it into his open palms. It’s almost formless, or has the potential of all forms. I’m a woman giving birth to orgasming birds, eggs, spirit, babies, form.

Babe rests on your leg, turning, with one wing outstretched.

The ecological aspect of jouissance – the feeling of oneness with the fluids of nature.

I’m woken by a dream of an electric cord tying up a gate.

It’s a cord (accord?) borrowed from the sky, it’s lightning, it’s electricity, it’s pink and silver and alive. It’s about safety, about keeping the wrought metal gate tied shut. Even though there are holes in it. And the cord has a life of its own. It could electrocute me. I’m not afraid of it. It’s part of my nature.

And then I can’t sleep, and I think of the electric cord lacing me up. And it’s a silvery snake then, a spirit snake shining.

Yesterday the paintings of the little girl as a root, a fulcrum, a stem, a trunk. She was hard to reach, I was stuck. She came beautifully at first, curled, pink and blue, rounded; with a swan stem piercing her and forming a telescope – a means of seeing – as she lay curled and wakeful, not asleep. But it wasn’t right and nothing else could work around it. The man and woman were incidental, without use or agency. Paint came, it covered the swan and turned the girl over, and eventually all her body went except for the soft part where her organs would grow; and her left arm, which acted as a balancing limb. All the picture depended on this. Her little fingers curled. Her mother balances in the air above her, and her father to the left, sitting. Both regard her with some love, but they do not help her. Their lives depend on her.

Then in the second picture with the golden flowers or stars she is also the pale root, the tooth, the stem, the finger protruding. She’s the beak, the pole, the tongue; the phallus, the proboscis, the abdomen of bee; the animal nose pushing into your hand; a rounded ear, an elderly breast; a toe, a thumb, a piece of fruit; she bends at her narrow shoulders.

Above her the mother dances in space, her navel connected to stars. Father to the left twisted in a pose, regarding them lightly.

In the third picture – on deep pink and a man with golden hands and an infant standing on his erect penis all gone, painted away, left as a ground (?) – the mother holds herself in air, her neck a creature’s umbilicus, who himself balances in the air around her fingertips. Her consciousness inhabited by animal body. The man, with creaturely knowing, sits quietly to the left, he’s wrapped around himself, yet present. Holding himself in a bundle. The infant’s golden face pressed against the ground by the weight she’s supporting.

Thinking about finding a meeting place where I greet myself: between Corbin and Kristeva, the archaic and the post-modern, new materialist world of artists and thinkers; between prophecy and science, data and dream. A site of cross-cultural interpretation and fertilisation, for the finding of lost speech, the retrieval of images, the surfacing of ancient and future.

Paintings as spiritual children.

The parents of this girl.

The testimony of a body thrown down. Dropped into a deep dark cylinder, a well without water or source or function. Dark and endless. I don’t stop falling, dropping.

I lie on your floor. Little Kate begins to come back. She’s quiet, peaceful, sleepy. She’s curled, she’s a returning child asleep in your arms.

*Dream of meeting two young people I love on a high road in the wild lands. I was fiddling with my bra as I did with you yesterday, and I looked into my bra to see there are many tiny little perfectly formed breasts there too, like doll’s breasts, all rounded and perfect, attached by tiny threads to my right breast. Like baby breasts. And of being with a large group of people in a house, which had spacious rooms and large heavy wooden furniture such as you’d find in a refuge in mountains in northern Italy. I didn’t know the Pope Leo (people). I went to the back door and I found a small narrow pen there containing the most beautiful, tall, golden horse with incredible presence and poise. I let him out, but told the people not to let him out of the house (my consciousness).

Then I was outside and all the trees and bushes were growing in the forms of deer and creatures all embracing, holding, other similar creatures – very beautifully. They were huge, full size trees. All their branches grew in this way, it wasn’t something external like topiary (made by humans).

Poetry, a poet, a painting

Early this week I heard from my publisher, Guillemot Press:the poet and writer David Harsent had been in touch with them about my painting. I was so honoured when David agreed to write a short passage about my work. Here it is:

Kate Walters’ startling images go straight from the eye to whatever emotional nexus it is that primes and enriches our inner lives. Their visionary quality is evident in both form and impulse; they are compelling for what seems a wholly instinctive fusion of the visceral with the lyrical. And they are confrontational, presenting as encounters from dream just as dream relates to those deep quotidian mysteries to which we are most often blind.

David Harsent


Here are some thoughts from my notebook about this week’s time in my studio:
She’s suddenly become very small – what does this mean? I want to ask you. Am I shrinking myself to fit my skin over the body of Little Kate?
I turn to you. I always turn to you.
Golden deer coiled like the morning sun pours himself over the lovers.

For long minutes I can sit and think of you. I want you to be happy. The nature of my love has changed. I think of how you touch the air around me in my paintings.

The Madonna carries/shelters the people under her arms, under her cape. In the painting the inner person – little me – is assimilated/absorbed/ and held within my body/heart cavity. I think of San Sepulchro, and a hot summer day. Of the painting of the Resurrection, how moved I was to behold it. And a roof terrace, and dust, and red ochre tiles. Of waiting for a bus beneath shady blue avenues of trees. Always Italy, my love.

Of the connection between nipples and stars. The little girl, her flat chest, her nipples open wide as eyes, in blue and gold.

I read about the personal belongings of gods furnishing our worlds, in Alchemical Psychology by James Hillman (p. 189).
I dream of being in Orkney, with a man, and a car which is pinky-orange, and it has no brake lights or reversing lights; the spaces where they would have been are smoothed over. I read Paradiso before I go to sleep.
I’ve been thinking about my survival house, how it’s open, and also tied to the earth by red cords. I’ve been dropped in slow motion, the cords are to keep me from bouncing up too high, to the land of no return.

Today as I drove to the studio I could feel your eyes in my belly.
There’s a curled baby; your phallus rests against her back; there’s an opening between my third eye and my crown, it drew itself, another birthing place.
You are midwife, lover, friend. What is the word for a male midwife? You hold my emerging crown so gently, I can feel your hands guiding my head, gently twisting my shoulders as I emerge.
My whole body smiles.
In another painting the flowers in your hands are also stars, they’re cold to the touch and soundless.
I listen to Sufi music, I read about The Unique Necklace and The Great Book of Songs.
Here is a painting made with closed eyes about the baby crawling towards her mother, from the father.

New writing, birds I travel with…and the holed stones of Tregeseal, a love letter fragment

The poet Karl O’Hanlon has written a Litany inspired by my recent paintings.
Here is an extract:

Madonna della Salute

Yellow legs of choughs streaking across the Dolomites or lemon groves exhaling in early evening, a field candled with buttercups and soft-breathing cows, gold on book spines and the ichor of a final sunshaft as clouds thicken over the canal: all of these running into the rare quality of how you paint her tears.

Yesterday as I walked past Newlyn harbour – quiet after Brexit – I saw the beautiful swan who frequents the slip. She often picks through the discarded heaps of ice; she also crosses the road, goes to the fishmonger to beg for fish. I watched her standing there near the open door of the white van, watching the men working. I watched for a while, then I walked back, and I asked the men if they feed her…’yes’ they declared, ‘she’s friendly, she takes the bread from our hands.’ And he came to the van, found some bread, and fed her. She wound her neck this way and that trying to pick up the dropped pieces from the ground.
I walked on, and to my utter joy saw a kingfisher perched on the rigging of an old black barque moored near the slip. I wanted to share my joy, so I rushed towards an old woman moving slowly behind me and I said ‘a kingfisher, look! a kingfisher! ‘ I think she must have been deaf as she showed no reaction, and I didn’t want to approach too closely because of the virus.
I crossed the road, walked up the hill to my studio, and lit my stove.

At the weekend I went for a walk near St Just, and by accident, after following my nose, I discovered myself beside the holed stones of Tregeseal. It was a beautiful sunny day. I spent some minutes near them, and sat beside one, thought of those I miss.

Here’s a short passage I wrote a day or two later:
15th Jan Dream of eating gold. I’m given gold to eat. It’s gold Turkish delight, my favourite, my mother’s gift to me each Christmas, now I buy it for myself. I have to take it into my mouth, leave it sitting on my tongue, let it dissolve into my body slowly. Not chew it or eat too fast. It’s spirit food, golden food of the gods. I learn to eat it slowly, there’s more for me.

18th Jan. Walking to Tregeseal holed stones. Putting hands through them. A tryst, lovers were here once in sunshine, I sit and think of you. Or not think of you. Nothing comes towards me from you, I let you go, with sadness. You could pass rabbits through the holes, or hands, yes, or snakes, or a phallus. A hare might squeeze through, a hare whose ears come up; watching me. My arm, your arm, they might pass through, plait together.
I sit in my studio and read about Kundalini. Of the current we’re in touch with, which lies gleaming fat, silvery and smooth between us. It’s not asleep.

I sit and look at myself in a large white metal bath. There’s a mirror between the taps. I’d like to paint my body. It’s the first time I’ve thought that.

I lie in bed and think of the smell of your cheek, how I want to put my face close to yours, to sniff your air.
I think of how I come into your room on my toes: I’m alert, I sniff the air, all my senses bright, bones and muscles taut. I’m ready for flight. I watch the door, my place of escape. It’s hard to bring myself to curl at your feet. I want to touch your ankle, and hide my face, at the same time. I know your face. Wild, I look around. It isn’t enough for you to sit quietly and wait. I need enticing. I need you to slowly put out your hand for me, to speak to me in soft voices, to soothe me, take away my fear, put it out of sight.
I want to tell you about being dropped, over and over again, in slow motion, how that feels. I want you not to do that to me.

New writing inspired by Venus, and the Sacred Prostitute.

Most nights I wake around 3 am, and I usually sit up, open my iPad, and write some Love Letters.
Here is an extract:
04:12 Wednesday 25th November
I wake, sit up, and I yawn, close my eyes, move my head from side to side, and I’m Horse. My horse. I can be in touch with my body. I can call down those others, they’ll come to be with me. They’ll live through my desires, take joy in my desires. He will come to me, the one I love. I take myself into my pictures, and the first thing I draw, with my dusky pink stick, is his face in profile. He emerges from leaves, the leaves of a wood, and the leaves of the books in my bed. He lies quietly, his face in sheets, his hair on my pillow. I wake him, he sits up, he calls the horse, the horse invites us to sit upon his back. The Man puts his arm around my leg, pulls me up, and I sit astride him. All the joys of all the worlds and all the beings are there when we first kiss. The wetness of his tongue in my mouth makes the plants glad, their fluids flow, their surging in bulb, seed or stem is remembered, and we are with them.
I draw my Crown. It’s the two headed-Horse of Spirit, the one who watches me always when I’m here, when I’m in love. When I’m in love all the colours flow and joy is mine, not taken away, not waiting out of reach. I can enter again my human form, I can take delight in being flesh, in the curves of my breasts, in the charged bloods of my various throats and the clear fluids of my eyes, my mouth and the muscular channel where you enter me. The sacred is here and now when you love me with your body, it reflects the order beloved by spirits. They take so much joy from our union, the way our bodies thrill at even a thought of the other, or when we’re across a room.
I can come out of the veils, out of the mists, the distant and near worlds of clear light and crystal; out of dream and myth and story. I can live with you whole, and enter your pictures, your poems, your songs renewed. In the hymn, the ploughing of your heart, and with the drum I’ll be there. All the ears of all your bodies will hear me. The membranes will grow tight, you’ll tune them with your desire, and they’ll hum with song. When you love and remember me with your bodies the world is made new.
I pick up yellows. Lemon, olive, the yellows of yolk and sunshine. Limbs glow with the hues I gave you, before you forgot me. You paint me and you dance, just as I dance when you call me by my name in love. You invoke me and you pray to me, and I thrill with joy when you remember me in your bodies. The horses’ heads I paint black with deep Turkish green umbers. The pigments dug from my body enrich the patterns on the skins you paint. I’m all your mothers. The horses watch you as you watch one another, with your powerful gaze. That way of looking, with its fiery love, is the fierceness of wolf and leopard knowing; it has the air of mountain path, rock, gully and scree; you come again to the old ways of skin, blood, bone and breath when you love in my name, when you remember me.

I want you to be inspired, to breathe afresh. I inhabit all your paintings of deer and lovers, and I rest between the notes of all your ballads. I wait, and I come when you call me. I rise in the smoke you send upwards with your prayers when you burn leaf or gum; I sit in the crook of an elbow, the bend of a knee as she waits for you to pick up all the dropped and broken threads, the hollowed out words of human brain and limit. I’m all the beautiful sewing repairing the fleshy skins of creatures waiting on the mountains which you find in dream. Her joy comes when you place your hands on my body, and know me again as your lover.
When you love me with care, with gentleness and attention, atoms will be brought into alignment, and they’ll reverberate through my body. All our brothers and sisters, all our relations, they will know. 05:16

Dartmoor: a few days’ retreat in a cabin: some images and reflections. October 2020.

Dartmoor. Teign valley.

I dream of eating the jellied milk from the spirit foal’s belly. It is set in the stomach to the form of the digesting vessel. I ask: Do my words set in my mouth? Do they find a form to congeal into? Are they jelly, a frogspawn of phrases, of eggs black and tiny and stuck together, stilling my tongue? Or are they caught in a jelly from a muscular cascade, are they spilling out from my lips, finding the edges of yours?

I wash fruit for my breakfast in the white enamel bucket outside, beneath the stately, sinuous birch.
There’s a firm green pear, and a soft ripe persimmon, so thin-skinned. I add syrupy sesame paste, and dates.

In a new painting I’ve begun, I’m thinking about a mother putting her head into her own pouch – does she find her own nipple inside?

I think about how nipples can be for receiving signals from the sky. And: the nipple in the pouch, the crackling of hot fire. Feeding oneself, like a pelican.

In another painting I’m thinking about – having brought their traces with me – the thunderbolt, ejaculation, or orange stream – going up through the top of her head, falling like rain, or a new leg; showing a new way to the feet of the Man.

It’s heart-opening to listen to a friend, to think this: to open like a flower when I become his hand touched by sacredness. I don’t need to turn away from the phallus, I don’t need to stop clothing myself in the creamy stalk. I can be my own tower, move around in my own world. I can make good it’s form around mine.

The man who brings me salt in my waking dream: A painting or a series of drawings of a man bringing me salt to fill my holes, to keep my wounds open. He’s bringing me earth, the earthing of myself, the ballast, the place for roots and rootedness.

Dartmoor. 27.10.20
I send out a wave to you – from my brow to yours – as I sit with wind, sun, cold air, hearing, a taste of blood, a torn finger, a fern cut; deer, squirrels, bees, flies, a blue tit from this morning, and a bee sleeping between the sheets of paper in my car.

Flies in my hair. Dizziness. Shafts of light. Tracks I follow. Peat, thin soil. Stones, ash, dark fire; wood, axe, I split wood into tiny shards. I dig holes. Have short sleeps. Think of you. Magical pull. Caressing the stone. The sculptures. A man’s chest, his back, the way he moves, decisively. My focus. The sinking sun. The coming dark. Lighting the fire. The blackening hill. Sun scooping out a hollow in the hillside and in me. I wait for you to come, to bring the salt and your briny kisses, your dry air, the smell of you. We watch each other move. We’d like it here together.
A raven calls. Black as boughs. I’m writing for you and for me, just as I paint. A songbird above me. A plane, a propeller, I think of you remarking on it, perhaps. It flew over you too. I’ll never know if you’ve been thinking of me, dreaming of me. You’ll never tell me. It’s why I write for the two of us. But of course I’d like to see the words you write with your night-writing, your dusky pattern, your black insistent stroke.

All the trees reaching upwards are my arms. The sun’s last rays kiss their tips. The sound of a breaking branch, a bird’s call of alarm. A buzz. Endless water, a river. Hiding. You’ll never find me. I’m near you.
Tiny green moss growing, showing tiny pointed tips. The sun is going down. Tomorrow I’ll watch it rise. I’ll hear the birds. I’ll think of you. Tonight I’ll listen for foxes and deer; I’ll ask for dreams.
The air cools. I smell smoke. Are you nearby? I must put this ache to work. I sit by open windows. I feel tired. The sun is sinking, the colours fade, there’s an owl calling. My flesh calls for you. I’m that animal calling. You won’t hear me.

The sunlight is like a net across the path. It’s gauze, a perfume, plant scent in my pages. It’s the sense of you crossing the room to put wood on the fire. You’re crossing the room, you’re near me. You hesitate, you feel my antennae.

There’s a draft under the door. I lay my coat across it. I light candles. They’re a joy.

The windows are dark now. No curtains. My view bisected by a pale wash of fading light and a tree’s bare branches. The owl persists. Candle light reflected in the panes. A room full of shadows and the sound of tiny feet in the fire, the endless subdued river below. Glass, metal and flame gleam. There’s a blanket on my legs. Soon I’ll climb the wooden ladder to my bed, and I’ll listen for a while to the sounds of the night. It’s early and I’ll wait for my words to wake me before the dawn. I know friends are thinking of me and sending me love. I’m comforted by that.

There’s a heavy pink-bodied moth flying into the candle flame, pink and white and the colour of sand, she brushes my hand and burns herself.
She sits in my lap, in the shadows. She keeps me company.

A creature chatters in the corner of the room. I don’t know what she is. I look in the corner with a torch. There are colossal spiders webs heavy with time and golden seeds, matrices.
It’s almost completely dark now, apart from the moon and stars. I’m going to sleep on a mattress suspended. I should get out my paper and my paints; I should draw for the evening.

28th October

On a table with wax and the crackling fire. Early morning. I slept up a ladder. I felt my body strong, felt all my muscles working to help me climb. Sleeping suspended then, a squirrel, a knot in the trees, my hands tight, I’m still. I hang like a chrysalis, wound in sleep or thoughts of you. High up I see stars and the night sky changing. Calls of animals close by, I’m in their home.
My hands smell of smoke and garlic and ginger. I peel the knob of ginger, see the juice at his heart as I squeeze then cut the flesh. My finger stings as his juice enters my bloodstream. I’ve cut my finger. I drink hot water and ginger and tea. I’m not hungry. I’ve forgotten my bread.
I go out across the yellowing grass among the silver trees shaking their skirts of gold. So many tails hang between me and the sky. A black-bodied deer skips stiffly away on the hill. She takes the night with her. I follow her path, it descends down rocky ribbony trails amongst oaks and pine. The bracken goldens, her russet hair.

Through my writing I stalk my feelings around you. They’re a creature hiding. They’re that toothy beast in the corner at night, chattering. Then she purrs, my body opens, you’re here. The door creaks as you lift the latch. I hear your voice first, I’m so glad its you.
I sit at the table strewn with wax and socks and candles. Through the window I see the yellowing palette.
My buttocks ache from holding my body in place in the night when I didn’t sleep. The wood speaks around me, creaking, groaning, settling, firing off sparks in the stove, crackling in tiny voices.
I listen for the sounds of bees waking up. The warmth from the stove seems to be waking them, one by one. Then they fly heavily, slowly, as if hovering, towards the window, looking immense and dark. I open the window, release them to the day.
I suddenly think of Venice. Of last year, of being there beside the water and the painted boats and the bells. The flat water, the pink street lamps. The open churches with their wide doors, great slabs of tree brought here across water. The greetings, the shouting, the singing, the warmth of people, families. I sit by the vaporetto stop in Murano, drinking hot chocolate. The big church there is closed, the mosaic floors flooded by aqua alta, the high water. I enter in by a side door. All the pews are piled high, chaotically, an umber mountain. Light streams through the windows, but the treasures, the paintings, the altar, are not to be seen. I walk around until I see two tall dark men wearing long black vestments. They tell me I have to leave.

I go for a walk. I’m looking for a way to cast away the garment of longing which I’m wearing about myself. It’s drawn together at the front, it’s a sumptuous robe of velvet, silk and leather. It’s long, it has a high collar which is drawn up. My hair falls over the edges of it. At the front my hair makes a golden web against the light. The robe does not let go of me. It’s many shades of red, pink, carmine, and black. It’s trimmed in white and yellow.
The trees have eyes. They’re mandorlas, or wounds, they open as the tree grows. You have to wait a while before you can see them, and before they see you.
The leaves fall, a shiver of yellow.
The trunk of a tree lying down like a sleeping horse.
Tree throat.
You find your way because you’ve noticed a golden tree amongst a thicket of green. The fire burns and I can’t get in. A raven calls from the sun. He’s come to tell me a story. I lie on the wet grass to listen. The sun is bright. I have to be with myself, and in the moment. The shadows soft blades, your shoulders. I roll a broken stem between my fingers. I’m sitting in the sun, in a crown of trees. I think of you.
There’s vitality in you even you’re still. In fact, especially when you’re still. It’s perching in you, haunches coiled; it’s ready to pounce, always.
I dream of a woman telling me my urine and my faeces are pure, clean, transparent.
I’m still sitting here with the silver birch and her outstretched, burly arm. I’m locked out, the latch has fallen and I can’t open the door. My buttocks are damp from the grass. Another raven calls. The leaves disintegrate into the air. Flies touch my arm for a moment, as if to reassure. The sun shines. I recline onto my right elbow, to dampen another part of my body. A red leaf falls in front of me. Clouds come. The wetness insists against my thighs. A blackbird.
The silver birch and her black mane. A single petal in my notebook. My garden, so soft, far away. There are diamond marks on the body of the birch, they’re tattoos on her legs, her belly and her trunk. They’re like the leaded-light windows of my childhood home, and the prints from swans feet, some celestial bird walking heaven-wards. They’re where the skin splits. They begin as mandorlas and grow wider, larger. They’re diamonds and triangles, drawings of tents on the ground.

To just stand in the sunshine watching the choruses of leaves taking one last flight. To see the up-turned tree ribs shine, full of another light. And the countless oranges, russets, purples; your high cloud.
I want the pain over with; to not keep picking at this same wound, and having you stand near me with your armfuls of salt. I’m hungry. Locked out.
The robe hangs around me.

4.31 pm
Growing dark. The owl has begun. I draw with oil pastels and watercolours. A man and a woman, they’re playing with each other in an erotic way. They’re lovers.
I eat rice cooked slowly on the stove with eggs and rose harissa. Then tahini and a persimmon. The room is full of candles and darkness. It becomes colder, I do not feed the fire. I hear animals outside the cabin. My ears are pricked.
The hillside is a drum, it bounces sounds around: barks, cries, hoots, moans.

29.10.20 Dartmoor
Lay awake before sleep sure of the sounds of buzzing in my left ear. Have the bees set up home in the roof, the wall, or even inside my head? Thoughts fixate on you, then sleep comes and I have a brief respite: apart from a dream in which I’m captured for some reason, have my papers searched, and a politically dangerous/combustible paper is found in my bag: I haven’t even read it; I just picked it up, and I have to try to explain this to the woman who is questioning me. I wonder if it is a reflection of anxiety I might have about my writing?

I woke at 5.03 to early, faint light through the trees and the sound of rain pattering, dripping and pouring. Below the sound of the rushing river coming off the moor. Above, the thin sound of a bird. I think of the mandorlas in the tree, I see faces within them, and the body of the tree is an aroused woman, she is all her many limbs curling in ecstacy. She’s showing her many openings; her head has disappeared. She’s delighting at your touch.

Owl’s been hooting all night long. I picture her whiteness in the trees above.

I am in anguish over the wave of desire which is carrying me, and not subsiding. With a flash of inspiration I turn to my spirit guide for help. Instantly the feeling in my groin is intensified: it glows with a white light, expands, becomes a clear fire, radiating outwards. And a bird began a sweet song. I accept the feeling: it’s mine and it belongs to all.

I climbed down the ladder. I washed my face in the rain falling from the porch of the cabin, cupping my hands beneath the fat drops as they fell from the wooden tiles. I stood there trying to guess where they’d fall from next. The air was delicious: soft, sweet, full of the breath of trees and the rising spirits of spent plants.
I decided not to light the fire this morning, hoping the bees will continue their sleep. I wear a hat to write, and several layers of clothes. I saw a bat fly around the roof, while the light was still dim; I wonder if the chattering I heard was from a bat?
I watched the light come: a blackish-green, grey, yellow – full of rain; washed my hands. I walk across the yellow grass to be out in the air. I think of you, are you walking across yellow grass, watching the leaves fall? 08.36.

The sounds of buzzing have returned. I’m not sure if its my imagination, a nest, or a musical sound set up by the response of the wood to the wind and the sound of the river.
I read Hillman and Alchemical Psychology. About blackness, and yesterday, salt. My passion is flattening, cooling. It will be good if I can manage it, find a way to be with the current, as you said.
Another night of little sleep. Stormy winds and rain, so many creatures tapping on the roof, all the fingers of the trees are dragging their nails over the cinders. I lie and think of the huge trees behind my head, I feel their leafy fountains above. I am full of longing, and sadness again. It’s reaching into an empty cave, a hollowed out place, dark, at the far end of the tunnel. People have crept up there before, it’s where they take lumps of burning fat on sticks, and they press their hands into plant and earthy stores of colour, they leave their mark. Your sign is deep inside me, its etched into my insides, little stuttering dashes and pulls of madder on flesh, almost invisible, one sinks into another, teeth into fruit. The cave is warm. It’s hard to get to, and no tears are shed there. I’m in there now, with my colours and my pictures. There’s a couple in bright magnesium white, they’re burning, they’re spirits, they’re pre-occupied, making love, and together.
I look at the pictures we’ve done by candle-light in this wild place. In one I see that you’re conjuring me from your hands. You’re rubbing them together, in front of my belly (I’m pale, a half-formed thing, bear-like), so I’m growing from that place, I’m growing sun-rise from the navel you see as you meditate. Your phallus grows full, changes colour; it sees me and turns towards me. It’s also focused on my coming into being, into my growing fully. My head was lost.
The dark creature carrying you is the cave, the animal body. It’s dancing, head lost in umber.

In another picture you’re wearing the red legs of the dancer. Your heart-arm, a rush of tears, arcs towards me. I’m the spirit baby, pink of face, flying above.
Your red hand supports the stream, it opens like a flower. We don’t know if the fluid comes from you, or goes to you. Both are nourished. You need many legs to keep your balance. I have no legs, I fly in the ether. You are afraid of me when I fly above you. But you love me too.

I might be learning to stand in a different place.

I go outside after sweeping the floor. My feet are bare. The grass is covered with fallen leaves and drops of moisture. The air is damp, you can see clouds of tiny rain coming up the valley from the moor. I can see the trees changing and they drop their leaves, each day it is different, they are changed. In a week they’ll be bare. The nightly winds are stripping them. They test their roots in the dampening ground.
They are full of song. Long-tailed tits with their shimmering songs – fluted, sharp – dart from tree to tree, nibbling the manna beneath curling leaves and lichened twigs. I think to myself: O lucky birds to be born in this place!
They circle the cabin, flitting from branch to branch. Overhead, a pair of ravens. I saw them yesterday on my walk through the woods: they circled me. I’ve seen them each day I’ve been here.
I feel deeply sad.
My tears won’t come. I feel a prolonged sense of shock. A shock like a bar of steel, which won’t give. It’s so thick. The heat can’t bend it or soften it.

going to the wild; a little more writing.

I recently posted a request for a few days in a hut in the wild for a bit of time away. My very good friends and connections have given me leads which I hope will lead to days away soon, on Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor, and more locally at Prussia cove.
I’ve three books on the go at the moment, and I feel some time to take a high view over them would be good.
Here is an excerpt from my writing entitled ‘Love Letters.’

At the ends of your rounded fingertips there are creases, or little seams (I might ask, if I were sunshine, may I sit beside you with tiny snippers , and open up the seams? Will you tell me your secrets?)

Your fingers grow daily in the garden, their blunt ends emerge brown and pink from the dark soil. I watch them morning and evening. I drop onto my knees, onto the grass, then onto my palms, spread on the damp green, so I can watch you emerge. Each day you grow a little more.
As you reach upwards towards the sky the seam along the end of your finger opens, revealing gatherings of further petal-y finger-buds which become pink as they open. I smell the grass, I smell the earth, I can smell the bones of creatures asleep, fading, some hand-spans down beneath me. Bees come. The stems of your fingers grow longer and thicker. The buds swell and the flowers emerge, one after another. You are broad, luscious, soft. The skin of your petals, some cloud seme – cloud seed – a breath of semen, a seed gathering, falling upwards into my lap. I see you swirling in the space between us, all the tiny hanging be-skirted seeds, looking for this palm – or that one – to land upon, to nestle into, to set up home. The seeds are all the words I say; they fill my mouth, they land here after floating for so many cold seasons; the currents of your breath dispel them over my body before they gather and spill softly around my belly.
The entrance point: my umbilicus – the golden cord goes through here, little hands follow each other through the door.

Your petals stroke my legs as I stand near you. I think to be an animal, and I stand over all of you, this forest of hands growing in my garden. Your petals stroke my belly, and my thighs. I can be the sky for a while, you will be my earth. You are the man in the garden with the broad chest of dark fronds I would lie on in joy, moving snake-like; or wriggling like an infant, sucking drops of moisture from the ends of all your stems.