Off My Feet by Rod Kok and Spring Park Bench by Heather Burns: The Anxiety/Release Collaboration #2

15 Apr


Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’


Welcome to the second collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of anxiety and release.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The poets have taken up the theme of anxiety, and the artists, in response, are engaging  with the theme of release. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions- the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.


This week’s collaboration features

Rod Kok and Heather Burns (artist)



 Spring Park Bench

Click on image for enlargement  


Off My Feet

by Rod Kok


I am perceived as being
unafraid of the winds
that harangue me from
every direction.

Yet those branches in
my mind are buffeted
by thoughts of inadequacy.

Nobody sees my tears,
or feels my pain
as the roots which hold me
weaken under stress.

I fear judgement from my peers,
so I hide.

What truly exists inside
gets painted with
an opaque veneer,
a disguise made up of
words, smiles and laughter.

I try reach out,
offering a glimpse into
my tortured psyche…
fear causes me to draw back,
back to the shame I feel,
to the disappointment I have created.

Failure is mine.

You tried to help,
crawling to me, your own tears
laving my feet…
I pushed you away
out of despair.

Anxiously I pray
for a gentle breeze
to caress me,
but the answer comes
in a gale.

And knocks me
off my feet.



You can find more about Rod and Heather here: .

Rod Kok

You can see Rod’s Weekend Showcase here.


Heather Burns

You can see Heather’s  Weekend Showcase here or read her blog about the creation of ‘Spring Park Bench’ here


Please do come back for the next Anxiety and Release Collaboration on Monday 28th April featuring poet Lucy Quin and artist Jack Morris. Thank you for your interest.

2 Responses to “Off My Feet by Rod Kok and Spring Park Bench by Heather Burns: The Anxiety/Release Collaboration #2”

  1. nembow April 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    I relate to this poem so strongly. Especially the branches in my mind being buffeted by thoughts of inadequacy. The artwork is so beautiful. The colours look as if they have punched through the paper.

    • Heather Mary Burns (@Heatherburns201) April 16, 2014 at 8:12 am #

      Thankyou so much that is such a wonderful way of putting it about the colours, Rod’s poem has such strong visualisation too, thanks again love Heather

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