Landscape Laments & Incantations

WORDS & IMAGES: Eijls 

Eijls is the author of a steadily growing body of works that recall “the lost, forgotten, abandoned and mythic” landscapes of Britain. His work encompasses experimental texts, photography and found fragments.  These are sometimes accompanied by discarded natural elements, organic litter which is reformed or reconfigured into “placements” – small, intimate sculptural offerings, [sometimes including short, incantatory texts] that are returned and secreted within the land that begat them.

In his own words… “I see the capturing of images, and coalescent sense impressions as acts of retrieval. My work is most often a futile attempt at reconstructing a half-imagined past, breathing life into that which is inert, giving voice to that which maintains enigmatic silence, re-enchanting that which has fallen by the wayside, obscured and mundane…”

Here is a selection of pieces from his pamphlet ‘Laments + Incantations’, available here.

 

Quarry Wood

OS REF: 861857

 

Then walkers, souls on their route to purgatory

bleached like bone

waking revenants, soul-less quarry

worrying the storm-shattered larch, the ancient oaks, the beeches

 

no human skin, however aged, is as pitted and corrugated as this bark

 

some have shed their skin completely

transfigured in ghostly pallor

roots in stream-softened earth

 

wind bitten, sinuous river

innumerable threads, unravelling

exploding into light

now tamer, an edge-place

coiled at the centre

lost in illimitable depths and pathways.

 

 

light; liquid, futile

floods the now drowned hedges

standing in their own reflections

black windows that stare like blind eyes

a noose-pool where men hang ropes and forget

 

flowers

 

North Northumberland

As for the hushes, the becks

tumbled and bare

retched from the moor that cradles them

the derelict shafts, cloaked in spoil

as torn and naked as ever

 

Stonecrop, mosses, vetch

colonise walls , their sombre beauty

crowned with fog

black lines stretch near and far

 

solid, persistent cairns shimmer in murk

penetrating silence

 

nerve silence

 

the fells grow to thunder

dispersed, then stricken like crows

a dark shiver of sky

threatens

time uncoils, overwhelms

 

the moor, a grey sea

 

rivers torrent through narrow waists of rock

clamouring through chambers underground

charged with dissolved peat

thick and glass-brown, froth as boiling sugar

and dissipate

congregations of sheep, form circles

and watch distrustfully from twisted gorse

the river’s innumerable threads die here

and fall like molten lead.

IMG_3684

 

Crag

 

This first sight

plight-granite life

a bell-mouth

a blunt head

walking a songline

 

winter demise

and dense the shore

fettered to bleak moor

a spit on double time

and attune your eyes

to peel moor grass

from a hurricane’s force,

on petrified wood

 

a line of stones

tracks paths

to kindred passages

this colony,

ascetic,

solitary

gathering

claiming attention

 

a possession of source

 

ribbed with earth

framed with a collar

of moss

cushioned with glacial rubble

a bird cliff

perched on found tracks

sit out on siege

feathered grasses

willow grass

About the Author

Further examples of Eijls works can be found at his website or purchased directly from The Fireside Bookshop, Littlehampton.

Still available in small, signed limited editions:

  • Helm, a pamphlet discourse and summoning of the Helm wind of Cross Fell.
  • Laments + Incantations, liturgies for the liminal places
  • Afondhu – Black River (forthcoming) incantations for the dark places

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