Wednesday, 9 September 2009

tight skin

Feeling the skin too tight
Expanding within it

Stretching arms and legs,
fingers and toes
in search for wider gloves and socks to inhabit

(photo by Rachel Cherry)

Childhood and Land

I grew up in a land surrounded by mountains, walking with bear feet on the soil which once was the bed of a lake.
I grew up knowing that my home was named as the trees that surrounds it.
I grew up counting the days in order to pick up red and juicy cherries.
I grew up tasting the soil and playing with grass.
I grew up knowing that butterflies have complex Latin names that I could never remember.
I grew up trying to distinguish the mushrooms that can be eaten to the once that could be lethal.
I grew up collecting stones imagining they were eggs and pieces of wood as pieces of bread.
I grew up waiting for a falling star to make a wish.
I grew up observing ants being busy transporting crumbles.
I grew up sensing the change of temperature between day and night.
I grew up throwing mandarin skin in the fire and linger until its smell would come back to me.
I grew up sliding down a snowy hill.
I grew up spreading my arm and transforming in a tree.
I grew up searching for eagles between the clouds.
I grew up stealing sweet corn in August and grape in October from my neighbour.
I grew up walking towards the red fountain to collect drinkable water.
I grew up falling asleep on a hummock hanging from two strong pine trunks.
I grew up dreaming that spiders would cover me and my skin would become black.
I grew up shaking tall grass with a wooden stick to make vipers escape.
I grew up learning how to catch a snake.
I grew up watering plants as soon as the sun would come down.
I grew up fearing the trembling of the plates that make the crust of planet earth.
I grew up listening to my dad’s stories of skiing under the full moon.
I grew up travelling and experiencing the flavours, the temperature, the colours of different lands.
I grew up acknowledging that I do not own my land, but I am just passing by it.
I grew up reflecting that ants are smaller than me and that I am smaller than a tree.
I grew up searching for the direction of the wind so that a boomerang could come back to me.
I grew up riding a horse with the sunrise, a dry field of wheat and wet sand as companions.
I grew up collecting rubbish under water, on the top of a mountain, on a vast grass field.
I grew up being with the land, on the land, changing at its pace, speaking its idiom and constantly being surprised by it.

Monday, 7 September 2009

If my body is my home 02-06-2009

if my body is my home
my skin is a tent
a protecting shelter
it repairs me from rain and wind
it gives me shelter so I can rest and sleep
I go out and
look at the cloudy sky
I go out and
look at the stars
I can stay in or go out
I can stay or leave
I am lying and resting in my tent
I am silent
trying to perceive the mass of my body
to rest the weight of my shelter
on the supporting and
unpredictable surface of the Earth

Thursday, 27 August 2009

On Touch

Each touch speaks of the infinite.
A point is touched and millions of cells are acknowledged.
A pause to feel what can be felt.

Friday, 15 May 2009


When I travel I can feel my skin expanding, reaching beyond identity, roles and expectations.

My permeable container diffuses and melts with the air around it. The sense of self dissolves and becomes one with the environment.

in Italy - in April

a week spent in the country side
every morning I would go and press a button that would activate a mechanism to collect water in a tank
I needed to wait for 10 or 15 minutes and then switch it off
I would use that time to walk around trees and observe
every single day I had a surprise waiting for me
I decided not to bring the small digital camera with me
I was curious to see what would be left printed in my memory

a leaf falling apart, a selvatic orchid, a protuberance of a branch, a mushroom

I had to make peace with the Earth
my legs were still shaking after the earthquake in L'Aquila
my breath was up up up towards the throat
my spatial reference, my sense of ground was shaken
my feet were lightly touching the ground
was I almost touching the Earth?
I love being on the ground sensing the ground with the back of my head, my whole torso, the soles of the feet - but the Earth did not have the solidity that once had in my perception

a month and 9 days have passed and I am just starting to relax towards the Earth again

in Utrecht on the 24Apri09

On a Friday windy morning, I took a walk along one of the canals in the centre of Utrecht, NL. It was my first time there, I had a map I did not want to follow. I tried to get lost but I couldn't. I had too many visual references accumulated in 2 days of passing-by without - I thought - paying attention. So much of the environement touches us... much more than I realise. My eyes were drawn to small plants, contorted banches, the reflection of flying birds on dark green water, ants, a spiderweb. I am constantly surprised by the determination of nature and the spirit of adaptation of wilderness around human-made structures of bricks, concrete walls and pavements.

John Francis walks the Earth