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5. Hislop, Emma. (2020) rushes edge them [Top image: Juncus Effusus, heavy hand/ Bottom image; Juncus Effusus, vegetable fats, forceps, flame]

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Juncus Effusus, the common rush, a race to find the edges of my life and work inwards. A backwards approach, in keeping with its etymology, ‘to drive back’. Walking through the bent hillock with my dad, picking and peeling rush in the hope of making my own candle wicks. After several broken failings collapsing into muck and myre to chew, stare and spit at the clouds making together shapes and stories. A primitive light-source, a crude lamp by side, to chew on the fats of skinned dinner reincarnate for tales and matters of Mr Rochester-esque imaginings – or so the clouds say. 

Queens Park pond possesses high concentrations of cyanobacteria. A potential fossil fuel replacement for energy, a problem to be fixed. The spring still sings, but blue-green algae blooms prove too much for one community. Enter friends, a bed of drowsy rushes planted as inhabitants now revered as living filters, habitat for once plagued frog-spawn. Could-be wicks now flicker in the glow of sunrise and set. Clumps of circular filtration, a natural antidote to bleach. The boundaries of what I know, samples of truths strained through a life part lived to titbits part taught. The edges of things are always a spectrum. A true sign of poverty is in dancing corners of a room, a vibrant flicker. Imagined and exaggerated memories to settle bills of guilt and loan, the wisp of a cloud is no coin. A thing of no value, not one of them is worth a rush. A debt to the ferryman may linger over the rush-users more than most, the race continues.

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