There was a moment when I passed into another world. Evelyn and I had laughed about a gate we found with no fence either side earlier in the day and this was as if I’d passed through such a gateway without knowing there was a boundary. It started with watching a blackbird tussle the fallen leaves.

I had been watching birds coming and going as if welcoming them, feeling grateful they were flitting in and out of the space. Inexplicably the mood shifted.

A number of blackbirds, that seemed to increase as I looked, were busily combing through dried leaves. Dark shapes in perpetual motion among golden leaves. It felt like seeing something for the first time and I watched with renewed attentiveness.

Newly aware of my presence, I was now the visitor travelling though. I had a sense of vertigo. The space around me had expanded and with it came a dizzying depth of field. Movements in the leaf litter pulled at me from varying distances displacing my sense of where I was, despite standing stock still.

Slowly the feeling faded and I was the centre of my own universe again.

Louise Winters, November 2019

Louise Winters undertook our first Commonplace micro-residency in Autumn 2019. She started The Poetry Network in 2017 as a way to learn more about poetry and to create a safe and low pressure way to share things that are meaningful for an individual, to express something of who we really are.

The Poetry Network supports poetry as a living, spoken experience that can be contradictory or fragmentary and yet have integrity.