text of the performance


I want to land like a cormorant
when I die, be remembered
like a long black neck,
grace, a small sweet splash
I want to live sailing,
displacing what embraces me.

You stood like a lake
and explained the seal hunt
above an imagined hole
you were still,
your heart quick,
waiting for water to still,
the seal to rise.
You said it’s a long wait.

Sometimes I think if I could remember
to stand above a hole and wait
I might learn what I need to know.
Sometimes I think that hole
is history.

I didn’t intend to be born.
I’d like to be displaced
like water around a paddle,
transform into a cormorant
when I die.

Jessica Joy Hiemstra and Paul David Esposti

—2nd Place Winner of the Brush & Lyre Prize—

Jessica Hiemstra is a visual artist, designer and widely published in Canadian literary journals and anthologies. She has published three trade collections of poems, most recently The Holy Nothing with Pedlar Press in 2015. Paul David Esposti makes short films and takes photographs. He has been taking photographs since he was young, in fact, he began taking photographs on a family trip as a child when he saw a pair of swans in a pond. He is especially interested in photographing birds because they are so elusive to the camera. Paul has also worked with National Geographic photographers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen and is interested in the relationship between the photograph and environmental action.