In her final instalment of her time as Wales Arts Review‘s Artist in Residence for October, clare e. potter brings together text and audio to present two new poems centred around her river journeys.
Ceg: Cegin; Mouth: Kitchen
Eisteddfod art—the dialect of her walls.
At the room’s heart, a tale on the table:
hill wind smell from cloth, a bullion of butter
gleaming on an heirloom dish, ripe fruit and
hothouse tomatoes in a wide-lipped vessel.
She’s spaced each offering, arranged plates
to guide our conversation, and given
our talk of rivers and language flowing,
the slab of cold salmon keeps us anchored.
No time for pleasantries; this is urgent.
We pass our words, the bread, the bread-knife;
she teaches me to season slick and slack
parts of my not quite fluent Welsh. I stumble.
It’s there on the worktop, the unwrapped gift;
she serves up this delicacy. Tongue –
a meat I’ve never eaten, its texture
foreign on my own tongue; mild melting fat
hard to swallow. An inherited heaving
works to halt these muscles seeking union.
Nothing is unspoken between us now;
a rush of hunger. Each word shudders on my fork.
©clare e. potter