Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Myth Country by Jenny Walters
This country is my island of myth,
Where I root my feet to the earth,
Wriggle my toes under the grass
to anchor myself.
I throw back my head,
Stretch out my arms
Now I am tall I can cover miles in one stride,
Feel the soft Sussex meadow under my bare feet
and the spikes of the coppiced woods
that snap like charcoal.
Heading north to London and the heat
of the summer concrete rises up and warms the backs
of my thighs.
I scatter cars with my fingers
and wink at cheeky office workers
in skyscrapers with my sky blue eye.
I catch a passing plane in both hands
and abseil off the salty coast.
I crush handfuls of native oysters
in my massive teeth. Shells and all.
I plunge through the waves like a whale
and wave at chalky cliffs.
I haul myself onto the beach at Cornwall
and plop into the sand.
For a moment still.
The sun fills my insides
and rises up to my mountainous breasts.
Some beach-goers are frightened.
Some have been crushed.
I laugh and shake the sand from my hair.
Running fast now, east.
Slowing my pace I start to shrink
with each step.
And here in this country lane
I lie down on the warm tarmac
Jenny's poem was inspired by Doris Lessing's claim that 'Every writer has a myth-country' (African Laughter). Jenny, Rebecca and I have each written about our myth countries, and this piece first appeared last month on Rebecca's site. More to follow....