“Night Bird” by Karin Mear


a poem by Rachel Carney in response to ‘Night Bird’ by Karin Mear


The white, scratched shell of my spirit –
what’s left of it –
lies in this nest, beneath the shadow
of my silence.


Skin prickles like straw in the dark,
but if I hold tight enough,
if I bury my head in these feathers,
they will begin to glow.


Reflections on the Writing Process

“This image, from Karin Mear’s exhibition Coal Tips and Patty Tins, made me think about my bed, my own nest. I thought about how night-time can often bring worries, sorrow, or fear, but also the comfort that can be found, feeling safe in a familiar, cosy, private space. The image has a rough, scratched quality to it, and that inspired me to think of physical sensations – the feel of feathers or straw against skin. The ghostly white figure appears almost translucent, as if it represents something internal, and that’s where the spirit came in.”

You can explore Karin’s online exhibition “Coal Tips and Patty Tins”, here.


About the Virtual Poet in Residence

This poem is part of a series written during the Coronavirus pandemic, in response to online exhibitions, and blog post research undertaken by artists and volunteers in partnership with Cynon Valley Museum. You can read more of  Rachel Carney’s work during this residency over on the Poet in Residence page. Rachel is a poet, book blogger and PhD student, and she’s also spent several years working in museums. Her PhD research explores the benefits of using creative writing in art museums, and she’s particularly interested in examining the writing process. You can find out more about her work and PhD on her blog.

The Cynon Valley Museum Trust, like so many others during this pandemic, have suffered a loss of income. We are working hard behind the scenes to fundraise as well as provide options to explore the Cynon valley’s heritage, art, and culture, through projects such as this Residency. If you enjoyed this and would like to support us more, please consider making a donation. You can do so by following this link.

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