Ancient Mystery front cover

Poetry, Jo Waterworth and Bruce Garrard
32 pages, A5 booklet
Published 1994
Price £3.00


“Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals … Know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the great mystery: for if that which you seek you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.”

This collection of prose and poetry pieces concerns the interaction of the sexes. Most of the material was written for, during, or as the result of the process of devising theatre productions at the Glastonbury Assembly Rooms.

“The dual process of writing and performing our work, using both mind and body, has proved to be particularly good for moving energy and revitalizing the creative faculties. We hope that the results speak for themselves.”

TIME (Bruce)

Dark & light, cool, bright, smooth, sharp, deep green, and humid. Movement, wind, leaf, branch, creature. Sound. Sound from the wind. Sound from the sky. Sound from the movement. Sound from the creature. Sound of birds and insects. Colour. Feeding & mating. Dying & growing. Decorating. Who first thought of decoration? Who first knew – them selves – that they were different – that they could choose? It was us. Men. Some of the grandfathers still remember, the time when we chose, the time when we became ourselves; and now we have a village of huts.

Trees – tall – bushes – sharp – walking – looking – hunting. Crack – flight – wings – arrow – bow – bird – feathers – string – go – dead. I walk to pick it up. Stop, still. Movement – bushes – looking – danger – far from home … person!


She is a woman.

In our village, women do not go hunting.
In our village, we do not allow other people onto our hunting grounds.
In our village …

Run – hand – stick – hold – jump – run – chase – hit – woman – beautiful … she is like me! Stick – fight – hurt – shout – fight – fight – fight –

All day long –
Bruised & bleeding we fight until dusk.
Darkness – creatures – danger –

We will be hunted in the night
Unless we make a fire

Eyes … look … fire … wood …
Heat, safe, warm; bodies, weary, lay down …


Fighting, holding, feeling, smelling, tasting, knowing, loving –

All night long –
Wild & ecstatic we make love until the dawn.

In the morning
I am different.
She goes.
I go,

In our village,
women do not go hunting.
In our village,
we do not allow other people …

I am different.
I want her again.
I want her forever.
I don’t know where she has gone.
I cannot bring her here.
I want her
Without the fighting.


Long ago in the darkness there were women counting moons. We were the first to calculate, and we knew the moons for bleeding, and the moons for babies, and we guarded our knowledge together. We learnt to plant and harvest, and we learnt to collect leaves against illness, and we learnt to choose for ourselves the times of blood, and the times of babies, and we were not alone together.

Hot – Sticky – Alert – Senses straining – Smells – Heat – Life – Death – Decay – Hunting, hunting – Trees and leaves and earthsmells – Dank heat – Sweat – Grip my spear, my knife, sticky hands – Hunting.

Sounds of water – Stream – Cool – Need drink – Wary – Alert – Watching – Watching water – Smell – Listen – Feel the forest – Safe to drink – Silver stream – Splash water – Cool.

Snap – Sudden – Something there – Melting movement – Shadows, shifting – Spear … Man!

Hunter – Hunted – Who is he? – Hate – Hide.

Ha! Hunting, hunting. I have him! I hate him. Hate – hit – fight – fist – knife – knee – hide – hit – struggle – strangle – hunting – fighting – testing …

Testing, testing. Is he worthy? Man. Strong. Stupid man. He was hunted.

Fear, fire. No more fighting. Him.

Tangled. Tingle. Tremble. Together.

Mine. My man. Seed, sown, struggling. Strange. Together.

My man. Mine to kill. Custom. No kin. Kill. I am a predator. He is my prey.

Seed stolen by starlight. Starseed. See. He is someone’s son. Stranger.

Seed sown. Tested. Tingled. Trembled. Together.

Leave. Leave alive. Take life. Seed inside. A son maybe. By leaf and love. Leave alive. No more hunting. Going home.