Picture This - Agnes Meadows 'Thaw'

Some fantastic writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I've received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images. Agnes Meadows is a gifted and prolific writer. She also runs a great monthly event for women writers of all genres, Loose Muse. I'm really excited about her heavily gothic contribution to the project.

Agnes has written five books of poetry – You and Me, Quantum Love, Woman, At Damascus Gate on Good Friday and This One Is For You. She is currently writing a novel set in 12th century Constantinople with a woman soldier as the central character. Thaw

In moments of transformation, the process of change brings a burden of misery I cannot control. My shoulder blades are knived by the black burst of feathers, the prickle of subcutaneous wings ready to emerge. And where my mouth was, replete with words half-formed for song or velvet metaphor, now I am beak-pierced, my tongue sharp as thorns or holly spike.

My arms have disappeared entirely, merged in the sleek gloss of raven plumage, legs grown crow-thin, toes a trident of talons shadowing your booted footsteps with avian shrewdness. These petrel eyes gleam in carrion hunger, my gorge rapacious for the weight of gristle and sinew.

It is worse in winter when the ground is white and the days are short and sunless. So little time to feed, I am undone by your warm breath, the smell of you coiling in heavy folds across my breast and shank, your blood a graying broth that boils in your veins, thin filaments of deceit.

You do not see me hidden in the leafless trees, are deaf to my shriek of triumph as I swoop, wings stretched, glide and settle on your shoulders, begin my rapier encroachment of your soft neck to reach the core of living brain within. dawn melts my tracks in the snow, a proof of terror, a thaw of mutating species, bird to man come daylight.