Wednesday, 3 February 2010

A Totem Animal Speaks II

got to know Jenny Walters and Rebecca Hurst a few years ago when we decided to form a small writing group, meeting in one of our local pubs every few weeks. They have become two of my dearest friends. Together, we share ideas, images (I have stolen snails shells from Rebecca, sea spray from Jenny) books and dreams. The evenings we spend together feel somehow alchemical, as though there is something essentially, magically potent about our meetings; and whether we are whooping with laughter or sobbing and throwing our sceptres at the injurious gods, they are always powerful and precious occasions.

A few months ago, zig-zagging our way home from Jenny's house, Rebecca and I rescued a hedgehog from the side of the road. It inspired me to write a short prose poem.

Last week, Rebecca wrote a rookish response.

And now Jenny has replied with her own animal:

Jenny Wren

(for Sian and Rebecca)

I am russet brown on top and pale below. I am soft and round with long thin legs.

In the daytime I am alone but I am busy, busy, busy. I fly here and there and perch and peck and twist. Watching through my eyes both dark and light.

You glimpse me in the hedges. I will only give a little.

I am strong and brave, bold and clever.

But I am tiny.

Underneath my feathers I am brittle. You could break me with your hand if you wanted. But I can fill my lungs and stretch apart my mouth and shout until I am heard.

I have an incredibly loud voice for such a small bird.

At night, in the house that my husband has built and I have feather lined where I have laid my eggs, I will close my eyes and be calmed by familiar wings.

You can read Rebecca's introduction to our Jenny here.

Finally, the decorated initial seems completely wrong for a post on the warmth of friendship. However, it's what happened when I started drawing the I; so I've decided to use it. Perhaps it means I need to meet up with J and R again soon and defrost in their company.

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