Home > Mutating the Signature > Entente Cordiale: An Ekphrastic Exchange (Part 1)

Entente Cordiale: An Ekphrastic Exchange (Part 1)

February 6, 2009

After Silence

I dream of waking where neon
blooms, and nightsong is a siren
blare or the rattle of a tram.

I fear a life spent in a gloomy
house, surrounded by a broody
wood, tending a fickle orchard

and shady gardens without end.
I know forest paths like these,
and how well women come

to tread them. I don’t know
what bound me to you.
Lost in the dark I stood still,

said nothing. So forgive me,
as I set you free — of me.

(Click on image to view at larger size.)

Poem by Anna Dickie, photographs by Lucy Kempton, mutated by Anna

Download the MP3 (reading by Anna)


Goatskin, goatsong

Hung from a nail in the parching sun, a passion flower
clings and climbs around the post.  Forget scripture,
though my sides and seams, once sealed with pitch,
crack and craze, take me, fill me with new wine.

Carry me over the hills and groves, to the summer pastures,
the uplands where once I sprang on rocks and grazed,
to remember, once more, nibbling twigs of myrtle and olive,
bitter and fragrant.

Drink from me there, and I’ll show you, from out of the wine,
dark joy, and bright sorrow, pride and falling from grace,
and pity, and the final emptying; a small kind of tragedy,
a sad drunk goat song.

Poem by Lucy, photograph by Anna, mutated by Lucy, with help from Anna

Download the MP3 (reading by Lucy)

Process notes will appear in Part 2.

  1. Michelle
    February 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Beautiful work, Lucy and Anna!

    Great poems – and wonderful to hear you reading them.

  2. February 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Yes, beautifully read. The two poems seem to have echoes of each other in each other. The Goatskin, goatsong is haunting relationships which we hang on nails, save for a rainy day, think we have taken care of. When all they need is to be filled with new wine:-) Thanks.

  3. February 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Beautiful words. Beautiful voices. A good start to my day.

  4. February 6, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Marvelous! I am anxious for the process notes. I’m especially curious about what “mutated by” means here. . .

  5. February 7, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Lucy, Anna, I loved the images and the way the words dance.
    Thanks very much. I couldn’t resist this:

    Drinking New Wine

    I would take and drink new wine
    even from the farthest goatskin bag,
    to raise it above me and let the stream
    of life spout out into free air, to mix
    and mist a bit, flash in the sun
    of my hope, the heat of my wild
    and mutated life.

  6. February 7, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Thank you all – I had the tail end of a cold, so apologies for sounding snuffly.
    Lucy is wonderful to work with, so imaginative, patient and resourceful.
    It is lovely to get such kind and appreciative feedback. And I’m grateful to have had the opportunity of having something published here on Q.

  7. February 7, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Oh my. So lovely, very lovely, the words, the voices, the images.

  8. February 7, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Photographs and words are not always easy to match. But these qualify one another with integrity and imagination. It’s a project with which you can both be pleased.

  9. February 8, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Hi Anna & Lucy,
    What a fine job you’ve made of this submission, beautiful images and words that amalgamate as a greater sum of the parts, even though the parts are really very good. And how good to hear both voices too, so it’s a voice/word/picture combination, adding even more depth to our understanding. You must both be very chuffed with the intriguing results. :)

  10. February 9, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Superb! Amazing, the care you both took to re-create the images, and to write such gorgeous, seamless poems. I’m doubly impressed. Lovely readings, too.

  11. February 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    How wonderful to hear you both, reading those poems, as you intended them to sound. The rhythms of your voices…

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