Annie's work is often shaped by text and language. Words are sculpted into various spoken and written forms, including instructions, information giving, story telling, conversation, or the processing of ideas. The selection of writing below gives a flavour of some of the work.
Link here to a blog concerning momentary micro observations on life unfolding in writing.
Responses to the death of my father in 2010
Friday 29th October
You stopped breathing at 7 minutes past seven,
the birds continued singing,
the trees rearranged themselves in the breeze,
the next shift had just begun
and the world went on living
meanwhile underground with you in rest
checking you were comfortable
I shifted the cloth just a little over your open mouth
stroked your head and waited.
I am the watcher
I watch out for you
Stroke your hair
Gaze at the pulse in your neck rising and falling
Bathe in your rasping breath
Listen for any hesitation and hold my breath
Perhaps in unison for one moment
I am a watcher
I straighten the cloth around your body
Make you feel comfortable
I remove the weeds and till the soil
Carding Mill Valley work
(a series of works made on location in Shropshire 2017)
Your teaming foaming consistency overwhelms
the earth the stones obey you
they succumb to your cold fingers
you step down in a circle of ribbons
and white light
forever in a cycle of trepidation
elevation and meditation
you sound like nothing else
you are constant but never the same
you move under, over, through and down
taking sediment with you to the outer light
to the lime scale to the granite
to the wood to the blocks and stacks
tipping turning constantly roaming
If I lived under a water fall I would get through a lot of umbrellas
I would sit in my plastic rain mac huddled under my protective veil
looking at a cathedral of light before me
If I lived under a waterfall I would get used to the rain,
I would marvel in the colours of the rainbow
and every now and then I would come out from under my umbrella and have a swim
Underneath my umbrella under the waterfall
there are a myriad of small animals who share my space,
they live on tiny little invisible beings who pop out every now and then
and they munch on them in-between their cups of water
Meanwhile I live on watery soup
I live on cold soup cool soup flowing soup
and sometimes when it’s really dry I have dry soup
If I was a mermaid and I got grounded - beached in a stream my scales would scratch and become wounded and I wouldn’t be able to swim very well. I would try and pull myself across the rocks and instinctively try and find a way back home. Every now and then, I would get caught in a little puddle and would splash delightedly. If I was a mermaid and I got beached in a stream I would wait for someone to rescue me and perhaps they would pick me up in a net and kindly take me back to the source, and I would swim away delighted to find my way home.
If tree grew from the clouds and their roots twisted and turned and embedded themselves, apples would fall on my head and everything would be abundant. I wouldn’t need to pick anything the wind would just take them and sometimes I would walk along the road and a pear would hit me on my head. If pumpkins grew from the sky it might be quite dangerous and I would always have to watch myself when I went out, looking up and banging into things as I walked. But what a delight to see an orange ball falling, tumbling down from the sky and embedding itself in the pavement
Beach combing along the hard shoulder
I am scavenger
Patrolling the border
For illegal immigrants
That scale the fence
I clear up the litter
the corpses of small mistakes
Combing the edges
And they look down to see if a morsal might come their way,
A rubber innard
A bird stapled to the tarmac
Showing off all its got for all to see
you might find
a plastic bag
clinging to the hedges
I am beach combing for scraps
tossed from a window
The sound of 90 miles an hour
Essentials fork a roof rack
After pile ups
I cruise the corridor
Finding my flight path
Intoxicate us with your sweet smelling petrol
Bask in the delights of your citreon shimmy
Honour them in plastic bags that hang from the trees
Pray for those forgotten by the roadside with made to measure flowers
Love those who walk the unmapped dead lands
Adorn their images in dandelion clocks
Praise those who skirt the perimeter fences and come back for more
Tempt me with tar sulphate and ammonia
Stroke us with the quadraphonic sound of rubber
Bathe in the saccharine smell of redevelopment
Devote yourselves to the corridors cuttings and embankments
Dig deep into her heart and excavate the dumped soil
Softly touch the immigrants who transport biodiversity
Sing out loud for pollution tolerant colonisers
Inhale the sweetness of top soil on her skin
Festoon him in things that germinate from fly tipping
Dedicate your life to the highways and byways
In the movies
you sit behind me
in any other situation
I would call the police and have you arrested
breathing down my neck chewing
violently on popcorn
how do I know what you might do to me from behind
How many miles to Absolan?
Three score and ten.
Can I get there by candle-light?
Yes, and back again.
Harriet is unlike any other child; Harriet is a child drawn to the light; in fact Harriet’s life is ruled by the light.
Her parents try and distract the poor child – they buy her two kittens and name them Benson and Hedges, but Harriet is a child possessed.
She sits in her room for hours gazing through an open window. Meanwhile her mother continually calls her, “Harriet your tea is ready child”, but Harriet does not answer. She has questions of a more important nature, like how tall is the sky, how can I navigate a journey to the moon, can I look at he sun without blinking, what country has the most daylight hours.
Harriet traces the spaces between shadows; she draws round them and lies prostrate sucking up the light through her small body. She walks with her head held up towards the sky.
Neighbour’s wonder if Harriet is endowed with special powers - perhaps she is an angel; perhaps she is Lucifer
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile.
While you've a Lucifer to light your fag Smile, boys that's the style ....
Harriet lies in bed unable to sleep; the night is not for her. She reads about the making of the light bulb by torch beneath the bed clothes
She shines her torch towards the ceiling creating a beam of white light – “Oh beloved light” if only I could capture you and put you in my pocket”.
Harriet lays awake, eyes wide open, she watches the light through the crack in the door waiting in anticipation for the sun to waken, she watches the light dancing on the ceiling as morning rises
Harriet observes the street lights every evening. She keeps a diary of the time they emerge from sleep, she likes their reliability.
She keeps a scrapbook of newspaper articles – man jumps to his death from a burning hotel, severely burnt Glasgow bombing suspect dies, a discussion on the diminishing population of the glow-worm.
Harriet stretches her body out over the windows ledge a candle in her hand – she watches moths circling around the flame their fragile dusty wings fizzing as they look into the light. She plots their movements and feels herself drawn towards the dog star Sirius
During the winter months poor Harriet’s eyes are red and swollen, the child visits her doctor. The doctor suggests taking her to a foreign country where she will have more light
Harriet finds a box of matches and oh her mother and father have warned her not to play with matches.
“Harriet you are not to play with matches, the sandman will come and get you if you do that.” But Harriet is not deterred, so fascinated is she by the bright clear flames of light.
Then one night Harriet is visited by the Sandman, who comes to little children when they won't go to bed and throws handfuls of sand in their eyes, so that they jump out of their heads all bloody. He threatens that he will return one day and put Harriet in a bag and take her to the half-moon as food for his little ones; who sit in their nest and have hooked beaks like owls, and pick naughty little boys' and girls' eyes out"
But Harriet is not deterred, she is willing to take her chances, what will happen to her, who knows, such is the story of Harriet, a child drawn to the light. So ladies and gentlemen let this be a warning to all those who read at night beneath the bed clothes, who gaze through open windows and look at the sun for too long.