text & language


Annie's work is often shaped by text and language. Words are 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.


Watcher

I am the watcher

I watch out for you

Stoke 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 

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

(a series of works made on a voice recorder during walking 2017)




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

Forgotten moments

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

the dark 

In the movies

you sit behind me

a stranger

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






thoughts on my love...... 


your eyes
see through me
like pins

your eyelashes
incline
like
cotton wool
feathers

our lips touch
like sandpaper

you move
towards me
as if
walking on
glass

you look
at me
and our eyes
touch like a
heated quarrel

your voice
strokes me
like a company of
clocks

your breath
envelopes me
like folded paper

you write your name
on my heart
with your finger nails





The Story of Harriet, a gentle child, loved by her family


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

(sing) 

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.