<em>'Incubate' project</em> (May 2020) / Tineke Van der Eecken and Elsewhere/Rebecca.

Tineke Van der Eecken and Elsewhere/Rebecca

A nature photography slide show of images taken in May 2020 at Booyembarra Park (White Gum Valley, WA) by Tineke Van der Eecken with sound created for this by Elsewhere/Rebecca.

There is a suite of poems (below) from both artists to go with the slide show.

BUSH TUCKER
SHOREHOUSE
LAP-LAP LAPPING
SLEEP
Tineke Van der Eecken, 2020
GRANTED
ODE TO THE NIGHT BEFORE I BECAME OLDER
UNWELCOME
Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, 2020


BUSH TUCKER

 

Where do you come from? you ask.

A leaf of lemon myrtle
perfumed and zesty

Where is your country?

Kunzea
A round berry found on rock outcrops
Full-bodied, succulent, sweet and heady

What is your name?

Kumiqs
Long berries with velvet skin
Sweet and tart

Where is your fire?

Native mint
Pungent, biting, zingy

Wattle seed
Dry to the touch
Soft, peppery, nutty
Unmelting and bitter
when crushed in the mouth

Did you say something?
Sorry, I didn’t understand.

Tineke Van der Eecken, 2020

 


SHOREHOUSE

 

Walls, hedges and fencelines
separate morning from night
Transitions are places of freedom

A tiny reed
moved by wind
grown by sun
battered by weather

A girl in yellow vest with
a parent on a life craft
rescue mission moved by tides
directed by gulf streams lost in storms

The compass aimed for better shores
tilts with news of unwelcome homes
a family’s freedom blown by wind

Our coastline crumbles and cries
we wait for a sign of sun
to break the winter’s hold.

Tineke Van der Eecken, 2020

 


LAP-LAP LAPPING

for Hannah

Small hands clasp, they
open and close like mouths
the crows behind me
She laps at my jeans
Laplap
This water has voice
it gurgles resistance
vowels play wonder
her eyes lock in, green as mossy grass
shimmer of sun on the river’s skin

The lap-lapping fades
years have past
The earthy scent of cut grass
wind-carried eucalypt, crisp and tart

An ant crawls on my hand
Overhead clouds form volumes
rain carried by wind
I wait for her, palm stretched out

I remember her birth
like a performance
doctor, midwife, nurses
an audience clapping.

Today my brother’s son’s was born
into another world
a different family altogether
it seems.

Today she no longer ‘laps’ at my jeans
At twenty-four
her voice like water
Her character strong as the wind.

Tineke Van der Eecken, 2020

 


SLEEP

 

your chest rises and falls
lifts the dark night
weighs down the birthing light
cuts the moon’s reflection

blue on blue around the white framed
Rosi Mitchell’s painting
a window through a wall
leading sleep to wakening

I am all here, yet not here
every drop of thought
each seed of activity
every mouthful of breath held
to start
or fade back

I care about sleep, about you, what happens around us
Neurons fire up my brain
my heart thumps and breath quickens
I will my muscles to slow
break the thrum of pulse

return to this frame
this night
there
rest
now

Tineke Van der Eecken, 2020

 


GRANTED

 

I sway back and forth
Against the breeze of your unspoken truth
Your empty words hang loosely in my mouth
When we touch
And they stay entangled in our limbs

It is an embrace I can hardly escape from

I unwind myself discreetly
But not without being sliced
Or cut
By the thorns that hide in your honesty

A month has gone by so damn fast
It’s like my heart won’t keep up with time
And time is unforgiving

All I could give
Rests in your palms
You grip your hands so tightly

Remember
I am made of liquid
If I ooze
I will fall away quickly

Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, 2020

 


ODE TO THE NIGHT BEFORE I BECAME OLDER

 

I remember
Turning nineteen
Being near here
Amidst the wind and the way it changes the temperature

Back then it was November
The days of jacaranda purple
But we were sitting in orange and green
Watching the sunset whilst we nibbled on salad leaves
Drinking and daring each other to swim (which we did)
Thanking everyone for existing
Listening to music that brought some us
Nostalgia
And some of us
Sombreness
But in a way that felt soft
In an evening without resistance
Solely celebration

The river was so warm
That it blanketed my body in trust
Trust that things would be okay
For all of us
Balancing on the water’s surface
Eyes closed, head back
Laughter in the low light
When we could be in such groups without consequence
Without the immersion of hesitancy
To touch each other
This physical stimulation
This tactile pleasure
A sign of complete contentment with each other
Within one of the best evenings ever

There was once a time I didn’t stress over friendship
And now I sit here by the river
It is the same one, just slightly older
Tied tightly to my memories
Except now it exists
Inside of me
On the edges of my dreams
For the future

Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, 2020

 


UNWELCOME

 

A tangle of reeds
And a chirping sound in the corner of my hearing

The lapping motion of quiet, gently pushed and prodded waves
Remind me that this is in no way my home

The colourful, delicate tones
Of the small birds that peer at us from desperate branches
Discuss our presence amongst themselves
And us being here

Thick, still liquid evokes other lands that I have been welcomed on
And I have not been welcomed here
Not on this land, nor this country

It is clear in the way that a swan can cause us to find safety
And in the chill of a steady, unshrinking wind
The urgency in the trees and their creatures

I know that this simple magic
Which exists in living spaces
Is not something I can ever simply take
Nor take for granted
Just because I’m human

Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, 2020

 

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