socks, digital video, 2 min., 29 sec., 2020



socks (2019)

“To my left is my hand and to the right, my other.”

socks was Shortlisted for the 2019 Bridport Poetry Prize.


I’ve returned to the haha
and sit with my back to the building.
The cattle are far off but will approach, I hope.
I build a plan for when they do.
To my left is my hand and to the right, my other.
My feet are socks filled with rice
they knock heavy on the stones and sometimes
swing together, swing away.
Can you see me from the long window?
Hand by hand I lift grass and stones to pour into the ditch. It takes years.
Over that time I have lost my children
and all the people who were near.
Some days I dribble soil others I push
fingers into the wet ground and force
earth down to speed it up. I’m desperate.
I get tired and switch to flicking grit.
Can you bring the children soon I think.
But no one ever does. Some days I shout for them.
I scream and cleave.
Why won’t someone bring them to me? 
I build a tiny hill of daisy heads and push them in one day.
A small stone follows them down. ‘What’s your plan? I ask it.
Leaves blow and those I clasp I crush
with flat hands and cobbled rice. 
I have lost the knowledge for standing because I forgot to try.
My legs look up at me so sad, ‘how true is that’ they say.
‘I’m throwing grass today for pitys sake’, I say right back.
Eventually the cows approach. At last, I think.
I’m not ready — and puff-up air to make
a hasty cloud they’ll walk on. In dizzyness and
clumsy I roll down and form the bridge
I sought to build.
The cows cross
and ratio the landscape.
You are all angry I have spoiled the view.