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.

A man who melts

Awake in the night again, before dawn. My lover comes, the man of butter, the man who is golden, whose fluids run over my body, who settles in all the creases of my skin, who anoints me before the morning. He tells me of his time in the mountains, of the golden cow who made him. She spends her days with her calf and golden ponies on mountain pastures, in the fields of summer grasses and wildflowers. I went there to meet them, I stroked their brows, we told each other stories. He watches over them. He watches over me. Wolves, boar and bears still roam. The air is clean. I see gentians, those flowers who recall the sky and your eyes. I think of my pictures, of the creamy milky colour of the spirit horse who stopped for a moment on her journey yesterday. She’s a foal and she’s old. She covers the child with her body; a spirit line hovers between her ears, dancing in sound.

The golden cow with her calf stands quietly beside the refuge, on the side of the toothy mountain. Some of her milk is drawn off into a jug. It is churned into butter by the men who tend the enormous ceramic stove, and who cook dumplings; the rooms are warm, and panelled in wood. Outside, amongst the rocks, the golden herdsman sits in the gateway; it’s where I met him in my dream. My mother brought spirit cakes. I took off my skin. He likes me; he likes the cakes. Butter runs in his veins, seeps from his pores. I meet him in the gateway each morning.

In his hands there’s a swarm of bees. He holds the swarm gently, it is a cloud, a black song. A man of honey too, the hives in the chestnut forests below the tree line were built by him. Great jars of honey and oil are kept by the bridge where the swifts scream. I stayed there when I was young, my body still asleep. A nun kissed me on arrival. I watched her care for bright geraniums through a window screen of linen. The airy rooms were roofed in prayer.

Packing the wound; a garden I’ve been in love with; the colour yellow; and a love letter to painting

…you pack me away into the hollow of a tree, the hull of a rudderless boat, and cast me adrift; you thread me into a blade of grass with your needle; I sew.

My breasts became two little animals before I slept. They were longing to be touched, to be stroked, and also to suckle. They were brown and furry, quite small, rounded noses, gentle; they kept me company when I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to find you,have you stroke my animals. I was wondering before sleep which animal would consume me tonight, would take me inside for safety.

I’m awake again at 5 am thinking of you.
Then I sleep, and in a dream I’m a little dog, you’re painting the top of my head with a large, pointed-tipped soft brush. You’re painting my crown with generous sweeps of the brush; you’re gathering up all my dryness, catching all the dust with the brush; you make my crown glisten and shine. My head is a flower, you’re pollinating it, the fruit will swell, become a sun.
I lie here and I can feel you shape the contours with the brush, you’re enjoying the marriage of paint and oil, the way the paint comes to your rescue, the form you thought lost arrives. You’re shown something beyond thinking.

The tall dusky stems of the belladonna gather twilight. I’m in a garden, far away. I’m young again. The air is scented with datura, vast cups of moonlight hanging down pendulously, nipples sucked by pale stems. I brush past them, and their haloes of moths. The cups of scent are miraculous, and poisonous.
When you arrive at Clos du Peyronnet the first thing you notice is the smell – of generations of pine, cypress, ash, smoke, and tree resins.
I sit beneath the pergola and tree rats rustle the leaves above.
You bring bread, cheese and cool red wine. In the pool lotus flowers sway on their tall stems. Their seed heads showing green still, the heart of the flowers. Their curious shape, like some magician’s rattle, fascinate me. Their holes must surely be for the sprinkling of love dust….
Terrapins and kingfishers keep me company. I am fascinated beyond words by this paradise, this garden made by sad people to heal themselves.
Inside the house it is cool. Stone floors and heavy wooden doors. Old undulating dusty mirrors, shutters, huge fireplaces full of ash from olive trees. The tiny dark kitchen is scented with oil and garlic. The cool green tiles of the windowless bathroom. Outside the countless terracotta pots filled with bulbs. Lemon trees and avocados. Great boughs hanging with round orange kaki – so many summer suns! – we gather into baskets; I learn to eat the luscious fleshy fruit soft, with a spoon…the evening with the fireflies, years later…the walks into the mountains with the dogs and seeing eagles; drinking beer and water from streams. I heard the call of the eagle for the first time.
One evening you take me into the garden. We go to an arching cuypressus avenue. Nearby stands of pink flowers sway on stems of livid purple, which look wet and dusty at the same time. With the knife you carefully cut the stems of the belladonna, warning me not to touch the stems, or I will mark them. You take them to the terrace and place them into a glass jug on the table where we’ll sit.
I’m young. My legs are bare. There’s a photo of me sitting there, beside the huge stone pillars, with the sun behind me. I was in love with the garden, with the scented air, the pools tumbling into the sea, the lotus plants, the dusty paths, and above all the scent of the union of trees. I’m always arriving there, with the crunch of the dry stones, and the jumping onto me of little dogs.

The belladonna are flowering in my garden here. Like evening primrose, rosemary, arum lilies and Florentine tomatoes they accompany me through my life. Like sisters they arrive each year with their gifts. And the others whose names I can’t remember. Those little dry bundles of root I planted in the cold spring, into cool damp compost. Here they are, tall and triumphant, with their crowns of white or deep pink starry flowers. I’d stood alone by the compost bins with my pots, seeds and bulbs arrayed around me. I was planting summer.

I’m calling back my heart, she is pulling her head out of the lion’s gape, his mane is not the sun rays, she is not the centre of the sun hurtling towards you. In you I became something unwanted, like a stone thrown into soft flesh. A peach perhaps. You hold me in your hand. My skin is furry, pink, fragrant. You peel away my skin, we’re on a balcony in France, with shiny silver knives; my hair is cut short, we eat the hearts of trees. I swim in a pool of frogs, my hand is cut, there’s a storm; I make a friend of a young goat in the wood of yellow mushrooms.

I go to sleep with a warm stone in my hand. I found it in Shetland. It is like a heart, it glitters and feels good, filling my palm. I sleep with it to help me dream. In my painting yesterday I held the leather in my mouth, the stirrup around my foot. The sun spins above my head, unwrapping my crown.

Yellow, inner gold

I realised that I’d been taking buckets of liquid gold, scooping it out of myself, and tipping it all over your head. I’ve poured it all over you.

I gather gold from all the yellow things I see around me : from countless eggs, the clear white dribbled off into bowls made of skulls; the yolk I store, wrapping it around pebbles I heap into cairns; or glueing it to animals’ scent I’ve gathered from trails. The sun yellow I take from my outstretched palm, roll it into my mouth, curling my tongue around it, feeling it between my lips hard and shiny, hot.
The yellow from the corner of the fledgling bird’s beak, who gave it to me in the garden, after I called to him, when he’d learned to fly alone; the yellow remembered from early spring, the narcissus, the jonquil, the reflexive petals peeling back in a yellow smile from their waists. The leaf who finished early, full of regret, but happy nevertheless; the yellow pony, the one from the high northern moor, the colour of winter sun, the dun, with the black stripe I rode as a girl….the yellow light of winter dusk: foggy, thick as cream;
There’s the Indian yellow paint I smooth down limbs in my paintings, transparent, shining; and the pale yellow butter I melt when I cook eggs and tomatoes. The yellow light of this lamp beside me, the Italian lamp from my grandmother, with its faded, torn shade. And the legs of alpine choughs which flew around me in the Dolomiti, yellow shanks and bright sunshine feet on white snow, black rock. The bright golden halo around the head of Madonna della Salute, on the print which I look at each morning, shining over my bed. The pale yellow pillowcase beneath my head or between my legs; looking at my books now, rarely are they yellow, except for the old french ones I remember, with their pale yellow paper covers – volumes of poetry?

In my late summer garden a few faded lilies recall yellow, their golden shining centres and deep yellow pollen, almost brown; the sunflowers drooping, their morning petals shining with promise, already curled in August; and of course the evening primrose, stately chaotic moth-bearing flowers, the genus I’ve carried from home to home, the gift from Dorset and a country woman who taught me about plants. Pregnant then, I’d gone into the darkening evening to stand near the budding flowers, and listen to the not-quite-silent unfurling of the petals, the crisp, sudden revelation of lemon against dusk, the hand opening, the smile pinned like a moth on a violet parchment; the petalled dance embraced by arms of night. The point would hold erect in the night, a lemon pen or tapered bud, and then in seconds, the form would be released, twirling into a wide open ecstasy, shivering with delight, dancing with herself. Each night a few flowers would greet the night, be initiated.
Very young I’d loved the story of the tiger who ran around a tree until he melted into butter…

There are yellow threads sewn into darns over worn-out skin: mine, and my horses’.

There was a dream of meeting my animus who is golden yellow in the alpine meadows with the holy cows, my mother, and the spirit cakes.

I lie awake curled in your large hands which I saw today for the first time. With blunt rounded ends, they’re like beaver paddles or belladonna stems emerging from their sleep: a ruddy brown, comforting. I see them wrap themselves around my fruiting parts; you hold them all so gently, you hold my fruits as they ripen, and softly open. You carry my fruits to your mouth and breathe deeply, enjoying their perfume. (I know you are a sensuous man, I can just glimpse him). You caress the silky skin of the fruits with your lips, then using your tongue and your teeth you gently nibble away the top layer of pink skin and scoop out the soft yielding flesh.
Your tongue is a petal
Your navel has a petal planted,
It’s the showing tip of the garden within you.

In another picture I sit on your broad palm: you have just hatched me. I ask: Are you the big father bird, the deep dark feathered one of story, of my bones, my spirit-blood family? Are you both father and lover? Did you sit over me in some starry nest, lined with deep sea-dark, iron-scented leaves gathered from the deepest sea? Did you wait for me to hatch, as you incubated me so patiently?

I’m pale, feathery, round, and I gaze into your face with silent joy. You look at me with a fierce love; my wings are yet to fill with sap, they fold awkwardly into the blue. Your wings are deep brown, they merge with the trees of the forest where you are home. The bones of your wings are tree limbs, roots both water-net and a skein of shadow dropping from some celestial weaver. I see you as eagle-man, with your dark brown feathers and your knowing of the high places.
I wanted to say how good it was to see you, but I didn’t.

In the night after seeing you I woke with my right eye wet with tears. This involuntary weeping of my eye, usually the right one, happens quite often. My cheek is wet, and my eyes are swollen with tiny sacs of unshed tears, carried like ballast in my face. Three days ago a caterpillar squirted green sap into this eye; I’m reminded of the time I bit into a tomato and sent a jet of pink fluid into another’s eye, some cold time ago in Denmark. There were dancers; I liked the Spanish dance, it was erotic and we’d lain back in space, tipped into eternity for an hour or two.
In the garden as I gathered berries, my eyes went green from the caterpillar’s ejaculation. A bird inhabited my hand and its beak closed around the grub as it curled on the leaf. As I move about the garden you do not completely fill my thoughts. In the studio though: you and the act of painting seem almost to be one. As I paint your face moving closer to kiss my mouth, my pulse races and my belly churns. My hands become urgent as they seek to call you to be present, your lips to animate, to send your tongue to meet mine.

The wet black confined creature hatching from my dream, I see now is desire sleeping, curled up. It’s the thought of the dark wet phallus confined in me, the creature of desire resting between thrusts. Alive, life force strong, indestructible even, but not fully conscious. Waiting to be brought to temperature, to be cooked, made edible, palatable. ‘Eat’ he’d said in the piazza, in San Giovanni di Val d’Arno, as he held out the pomodoro di Fiorentino, all of which I’d forgotten until I saw you plunge your face into the brown bag full of tomatoes I’d grown. I fertilised each flower by hand, with a soft paint brush, almost painting each fruit into round, red being. Your face I glimpse in its response; I can hardly allow myself time to fully inhale the picture of you receiving what I’ve brought you. I skate away, I fizz into tiny bubbles which burst at my edges: I can’t contain myself.

I’ve stopped tipping my gold all over your head, now it washes all over the floor around us; it seeps from my pores, it drips from my words, it rises as an incoming tide from the sheepfold of my lap and the meadow between my legs. The perfume of your sweet chant brings the gold to the surface of me, like fish to the surface of the lagoon in Venice when the drummer comes. I cannot contain it.

Le Jardin Clos du Peyronnet – William Waterfield’s garden

Venus on horseback

Venus on horseback
It’s two o’clock in the morning. Awake again with the currents swirling in my belly, a dream called me to waken, a self portrait as Venus: oranges and yellows shining, strips of colour like light through trees, sunshine through water as I swim, my arms golden – young again – pulling me through the sea. Then I’m lying in the shallows, the water warm, sun dancing around my shoulders as I rise.

It’s night, and I look at the moon; tonight she’s full (4.8.20). She’s a light dancing over a golden mare’s dappled bottom, a celestial roundness, the Milky Way her tail. Your kisses brighten the dark stable she stands in, waiting for the morning.

The white horse of sacrifice has returned. This time I ride her as Venus, my mouth weeping with words. They make a veil which falls around me, pale as morning. I must speak even as I’m led towards the white trees, those smoking, deathly towers.
I’d come to want to know you, in all the tiny gardens of your heart. All the hidden places; I’ve longed for all the ungovernable kisses. I’ve felt the unswept arm not rising over my shoulders or across my breasts; I’ve sensed unswallowed scents of stomach sweat, all the laughter lost in the hills; the happy footstep not trodden, the call of arrival not uttered. The sleeping sigh, the conscious kiss, the undisguised gaze, all lost. I’ve followed my dream’s bidding, and I have come to leave your house.

For the first time I’ve put on the night light, I’ve sat up in bed, my mouth full of sadness. This time I’m catching the tails of all the running beasts which encircle your hut and my heart. I’ve taken my pen and drawn out the creatures of longing from my belly and my heart, and I’m setting them down alive. They’re moving under my hands as I write, I can feel their warm skin between my legs, their breath against my neck. They’re not worried over for hours as the sun rises; I’ve sat with them this night, I’ve stroked their paws, gently set down their hooves, allowed them expression. I’m not waiting for them to die. I’ll watch over them as they return to sleep.

Thoughts of you, minute by minute, hour by hour, they’re with me every day and night. They’re alive with so many creatures of so many worlds.
I’ve always thought of us as two luminous souls. You’re the fire standing in front of me, that blazing such brightness, I become ignition itself.

In the dream I leave your house. You follow me, we talk, and laugh together as we used to. You place your hands around the back of my head, your fingers massage the dreaming place, above my neck, and my hair springs up between your fingers as we fall together onto a yellow ground.

There are so many things I would tell you, and so many things I want to hear from you. I’m always in that first moment, when you stood in front of me and my eyes opened wide, opened fully for the first time. My vision took you in, but you had seen me first. I was in you before this time.