Navigating Sentient Performativities Symposium Part Four: A Poem

Navigating Sentient Performativities Part Four: A Poem

Anticipating Connection and Negotiating Community

I arrived at the spot after my earlier recce at 9.40.

I arrived after ‘crawling’ and ‘slow walking’ on the TV in studios six and one respectively.

I arrived at 11.20

Or thereabouts.


I sat on the steps.

I waited.


Kristina gave me a ‘past its summer’ leaf

inviting my choosing from her basket of wares.

I chose a blade of grass.

She said, “They come as a pair”.

And gave me another.


I took the three moving offerings weaving them lightly together.

Then perched them on the wall near the steps.


Leaving the encounter, I walked along the edge of the former tennis courts.


Sandra was troubling a log.

Sandra was making a noise.

I had spied Sandra earlier during the recce.

Sandra is everywhere.


I squatted on the edge of the court.

I framed her space downstage.


In micro-scale and  minor key

I formed the small men of the apocalypse on horseback.

Their fragmented dismembered bodies were lying in the succulents;

the cactus-like green stuff we have in the front garden bed at home;

the green stuff that Mairin brought me in a pot,

the green stuff that has now exploded in the centre of that garden bed

and I still don’t know its name.


Finishing my grounded fresco

I turned away from the working space,

left the scene,

and went my own way

through a gap

in the undergrowth,

through a secret doorway.


Behind the doorway

two Beeches were colluding,

whispering, rasping.

Further in and deeper still,

a small abandoned wood store covered in blue plastic

made its presence known to me

and I thought of Richard and Pino.


Exploring on and coming out into the sunshine:

to my left

a steep rise of steps leading to a circular drive and a house rising up.


Andrew was there,

sporting a glamorous dressing gown,

prancing about like the man of the house

but in ultra slow motion.



I want to be Queen of the Castle so I play a circular ritual of fast-paced zig-zags

around the drive.

Round and round and round

earning my place on the podium.


I stand tall like the house,

Not bowing or hiding like the Beeches.

I stand out in hot full sunlight.


The bell rings.

Time up.

Now the slow ending begins.


I feel awkward in the final thankyou circle.

My place in the group had been but a fantasy.

I have only been here a short while.

They have been here for weeks.


Nevertheless, I join them.

Nevertheless, I am in community.


Carran Waterfield (Written after Moving)

Animate in Animate Durational Event 29 June 2022

Sentient Performativities Symposium: Living Alongside the Human 26-29 June 2022 Dartington, UK and online.

For more of my poems written after moving please see

Forget-Me-Not and other Moving Poems (The Poetic Body chapter) in Body and Awareness edited by Sandra Reeve.

Triarchy Press biog Waterfield



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