In this imagining of yourself you speak English and it is 2018 and you identify as female. The world seems to be caving in around you, almost apocalyptic. You begin to notice words more than you have done before.
I should say at the outset that being a product of my surroundings, I am not particularly in tune with the natural world. I have always lived in extremely built-up cities where I can get everywhere on foot or by public transport. I grew up in Singapore.
I never consciously make a decision about what to say in a poem: the poem itself says itself. So the poem happens. It doesn’t happen because I have decided that it should happen. It wasn’t a conscious decision to write about nature. The nature just bubbled out.
What do you think about when you think about nature? Weeds? Mountains? The sea? Do you think about its absence, or perceived absence, in cities? Or do you ponder human nature?
‘Never mind what the TV says! The weather is getting worse, my bones don’t lie!’ That was one of the expressions I’d hear hundreds of times in my childhood. And it was true: technology left room for error, but not one’s bones.
The idea that we are surrounded by secret undercurrents that shape our interactions is appealing and depressing in an equal fashion. Appealing because there are mysteries to be uncovered, intimacies to be shared.