Beginning by John Terry









A poem by John Terry

Forget Genesis:
I arrived long before Adam-
Earth was without form 
and void
when I rose from its boiling crust
dragging half-molten
world-stuff that flowed
from my hips like a garment.

Stretched towards a belly of sky
I teased lightning’s crooked fingers
to fire new creation.

became Flamenco –
clinging magma flared
from my body,
rippled like incandescent silk
ruffled and flounced
into a full skirt.

Right arm raised,
left levelled with horizon.
I imagined red Cuban heels:
stamped the first step –

Solid earth formed
where my foot fell.

To a rattle of castanets
I danced shape into the world;
added colour; separated light
from darkness, water from land;
danced the swell of hills,
the bare height of mountains –

my swaying shape a pattern
for birch and willow. All life
rejoiced, clicked its heels –
danced to my rhythm.

John Terry

Based on a piece called Bliss

The sculpture was made in 2004 and shown at a retrospective at Paintworks in 2006, John spent some time at this show and wrote this poem about the piece.More of Johns work can be found at