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JLM Morton – Spirit of Place: Work

JLM Morton – Spirit of Place

Genio Sancto Hvivs Loci

                Altar inscription, Corinium

I couldn’t find it in the broken statue

or the stillness of the alcove. It cast

uneven pools of light on to my skin

and I chased it, felt it slip around

away from me like shoaling roach.

The sour milk of dandelions

on my tongue. Ancient goat horns

spilt all over

me, a double cornucopia of high wolds,

black foals feeding at dawn, pylons, ploughed fields.

I stumbled


the nettles.

Allowed the river’s silt to soothe me.

The darkness of the icehouse.

All of my love became caught

on the filaments in a brachiopod’s shell

and my heart took root. A fleshy pedicule

on a hill that was once a shallow sea.

I laid down on a grassy patera,

asked no questions at the altar, cannot say

what it is that I have found, or how.

JLM Morton – Spirit of Place: Work

Winner of the inaugural Laurie Lee Prize 2022, JLM Morton's poetry is published here and there including in Poetry Review and The Rialto. Her work explores cultural identity and belonging, ancestry, place and practices of care, repair and solidarity across human and other-than-human worlds.

JLM Morton – Spirit of Place: Work

Artwork: Reveal by Helen Gwyn Jones

Helen Gwyn Jones (she/her) started recording her world at the age of 8 when she bought a Brownie camera from her sister, something which has become a lifelong passion. A collector of the past (hers and other people’s) she likes nothing better than muted images of imperfection.  May be found poring over Welsh grammar books when not photographing drains or going into raptures over rust.  Recent publications include Hungry Ghost Project, Free Flash Fiction, Acropolis Journal, Paddler Press, Blink-Ink, Hecate, Pareidolia, Moss Puppy, The Levatio, Camas, Subliminal, Terse. Instagram / Twitter:  @helengwynjones Facebook: Helen Gwyn Jones Photographic Artist

JLM Morton – Spirit of Place: Work
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