She walks through meadows at dawn Dark skinned horses sprout from the murky earth Afraid as if blindfolded Thrown inside the crevices of her body Free as miniscule arachnids in the eye Never watching but looming over visions Bearing a mirror she turns to stone Wonders how her body dies in its endless apparitions As this inverted woman roaming in the meadows Harvesting wild horses Taming their tide filled bellies Bridling their shape shifting ankles Pierced by time She speaks Blinking eyes red I have seen the three owls Black and grey I have seen a house made of syllables agitated as my feathered blood Deep into my skin the cradle mask of sea raising a hall of grace inside my pumping heart
My body is a three-storey building with wooden staircases and cement walls Large windows Plants leaning over the slits inside I slither outside I have three small animals buried under my skin Sometimes I open their hideaway and stare A small striped squirrel its back stitched to soil I am afraid it will slip inside time and find other animals to play with A white crane its beak hidden inside feathers My cat predator eats flesh and deems skin featherless Before I sleep I sense the deepest darkness of the heart
A merciful ceremony aspires to remove intact dermis from our floating knees My golden surgical scalpel penetrates holy membrane and enters orbit Washed ashore we kneel anew as morning prayers
The sea is a neck and swallows The thirst of my whale-grandmother Her skin pleads for an exit Through a fountain To sprout a seaweed Beyond her mouth Where words grow unbruised from tides and roots I can see her two-chambered eyes A glorious slippage of sky and sea How she enters alone Her solicitous urge dribbling through space Falling like needles from tombs She speaks in another language and carries a legacy of fluorescent leeches Of eye-cubes Glazed glued to the vitreous instant of air Raining the wind of the great above to the great below Our women are mirror-temples on cliffsides To be seen Their sea-written bodies serve soil and the yellow stalks of fields Α drowsy repetition of an imminent eternity A Hydra hushing inside the lining of their silence Slipping inside their melting salt-pillars Turning towards her own weeping To see me Grandmother Facing the Other
About the author:
Maria Constanti is a performer from Cyprus, based in Athens, working across the fields of storytelling, music and devised performance. In her work she embraces practices that explore the body as the creative source of poetic and symbolic articulation, as a space for speaking in images from the body’s experience, informed by the underlying resonance of the mythic. She studied Classics at the University of Cyprus and researched postmodern reinterpretations of fairy tales at the University of Athens, performance practice and embodied dramaturgy at Arthaus Berlin Centre for Devised Theatre and Performance.
Discussing disabled characters in fairy tales and folklore!