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  • Writer's pictureWEDossett

Curlew Writing

Curlew Writing

Curlew, saviour of St Beuno's noble writings from the main

Back to the biting wind, tail-feathers blown against the grain.

Her tapestry-needle bill sifts and turns the silt,

Sifts and turns, sifts, persistent,

Weaving invisible weft through muddy warp

Her own lines, disappearing,

There and gone,

Her cries, too, taken by the wind,

There and gone. There and gone.

The poem figures the Curlew as a weaver with a tapestry needle (curved like the Curlew's beak). She's weaving something precious - just below the level of human consciousness. The invisibility of her work is contrasted by the fact she saved St Beuno's permanent written words. There is a gender story there - the indelibility of male-assigned work and the invisibility of female-assigned work. His 'words' are contrasted with her 'cries'. Yet she is what stands between his work and destruction. Not only does she save his work, she tenaciously communicates in her own language, weaving her own story in the mud. I hoped to convey something of her strength and creativity, but also her fragility. 'There and gone' is the story of so many species at this time. WD August 2023


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