Poetry: “Where I’m From”

As part of the 2018/19 TheoArtistry collaborations, each partnership was asked to keep an ongoing ‘scrapbook’ of any ideas, source material, and art-making that formed a part of their research.

The following poems capture a significant moment of connection within Marjorie and Mariah’s collaboration. Developing a relational model for their partnership, based on a mutual willingness to create and share art-making as part of their research process, helped them build towards insights into the meaning of home, belonging, and hospitality.

You can read more about Marjorie and Mariah’s project here.

Where I’m From

I’m from the crackle of fire and the rattle of a spinning wheel;
Clattering coal bucket, the whinny of a pony at the clink of the gate.

I’m from the Beeches at the Windy Corner;
The cackle of rooks returning home at dusk.
I’m from the edge of the grasses where two fields meet;
And omni-present radio 4.

I’m from fish cakes and dal bhat; cold porridge with a teddy bear on top;
Willie Lowe’s coleslaw and rhubarb tarts;
Left-over soup, never twice the same.

I’m from the backache of berries in the summer;
Skylark and swallow;
I’m from frozen fingers of the tattie harvest,
geese returning from the North.


Where I’m From

I am from a sun-kissed dress whose twin
will always know my name.
Our dance on the green and giggles under the tented sky
is where it began.
I am from delicate snowflakes and desert air
that illuminate the fragrance of pine.
I treasure the trees she planted.
Mud on cheeks are treasured summer evenings,
where I am from.

I am from good ol’ Idaho potatoes in
the kitchen called Primary, the sweet colors of my
I am from chili beans and honey tea,
communion juice and the tie that binds;
from the wispy fuzz I used to kiss
between my wolf’s copper eyes.
I am from the gentle voice of my Father, who
endeared my ears with dragons and hobbit holes
and taught me how to breathe shalom.


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