Museum Tales 2: Tatanua mask

posted in: Authors, Blog, Guest Author, Tony Spiers | 0

Creative Future run creative writing courses at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery for marginalised writers. Dr Claudia Gould, the group facilitator, encourages participants to use Museum objects to inspire their work. Funded by the Arts Council England, these groups will be running again in spring 2015. If you’re interested in attending please contact Creative Future (01273 234780) for further information.

Creative Future run the creative writing workshops in partnership with Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

Tatanua mask by Tony Spiers

he hated him
the week after his father’s funeral boy
on a school trip to the museum
sees a tatanua mask
used by the people of New Ireland
in ceremonies to bend the world
back to normal after a death
to amuse the girls he puts on the
mask swallow boyface in biggob
open to business prickly teethshine like reefshark
in limewood sootish bloodbrown white
wear sugarcane fibres wear fleecewool
tall cresty rughair
seasnailshells two peeperholes
boy go look him at spirits at everyplace
in braincoral in mangrovetree in ghostcrab
now make him go dance him shankbones
all puppetty skip hop the knuckle
go twist jump stars
rump go wiggle to drumsongskins
hoof and prance go leapfrog moon
kickheel and armfling
go more go boy go quickit
till world all mend
and see him father
again out of whalesleep
helphand him along into nextlife
goodbye him
teacher rips off the mask
boy gasps for breath
the class is staring at him
someone has been crying in his face

Tatanua mask

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