The 3rd of the 23 Words I Hung In The Trees

Here is the third of the photos and poems I want to share, this time of the word, ‘entiwne’.


For Mhairi

Your gentle kiss on my cheek on meeting,

the weightlessness of your fingertips

upon my arm, the fine-spun notes of your voice

cradling the air between us – such gestures

grace my life.  The crispness of your attention,

the poised placement of your words

one in front of the other to reach your meaning

has moments arcing between us,

teasing out the patterns we have chanced

into something others can weave their own

narratives into. These sequences

mouthed, moved through  – a kaleidoscope

of truths – mapping out discoveries   

choreographing curiosity, stoked.

I wrote this poem for Mhairi Allan, a choreographer I collaborated with during the Flourish project. Together we created a series of three workshops entitled, Breathe which used the 23 words as a springboard for movement. From the moment I met Mhairi, I was struck by how gently she carries herself through life and as our friendship grew I came to treasure it more and more. For this reason I chose to use the sonnet form of poetry to express my love for the time we spend together.

The Sonnet was traditionally written as a love poem and followed a strict 14 line rhyming pattern of alternating pairs. The first twelve lines contain the main idea of the poem whilst the last two lines (a rhyming couplet) feature a dramatic change in thought or emotion. However, in modern versions these ideas can be changed and played with however you wish. You will see in my version that I have taken one idea and expressed it throughout without using any rhyme. This approach is an easier road to follow through the form!

You could use the 14 line format to write a poem about someone you love or whose presence you cherish in your life. Or use the word ‘entwine’ as a theme for a piece of free writing or stream of consciousness writing about someone who’s life is entwined with your own, past, present or perhaps even future.

Image and poem Copyright Elaine Reid 2020

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