In the beginning are my hands

they are my skin-cut tools

cracked as dried earth

I trust them, they lead me.

I listen to the passive witness

of stones, their dialogue with trees,

learn how they rely on each other.

I need the energy of peat — the melt of mud

and mineral feed and sheep’s urine on canvas.

Above all I love my icicles — reconstructed,

glued with my spit or draped like lobster

claws and oysters on a plate of river ice.

I square black-rooted bracken stalks

thorn-pin chestnut leaves into floating

snake ribbons until surfaces open up

and nature itself becomes the object found.

I go into its internal spaces — become a shadow

laid down in time as I lie on the ground,

spreadeagled, feeling the rhythm

the gender of rainfall as if I were sand.

(after Andy Goldsworthy)

By Elsa Fischer

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