Exploring our smallness and the interconnectedness of everything

    Start date: Tuesday 7th March 2023 [for 52 weeks]

    A collaboration between Aya Hastwell, Sally Stenton and all the walkers who are participating.

    In this series of 52 weekly walks we are walking alone, knowing that others are walking also. It is a kind of solitary companionship, one that allows for the reflective, unpressured experience of solo walking, to be combined with the sense of  feeling part of a communal activity. This best of both worlds has arisen through simultaneous walking activities during lockdown (e.g. Walks with[out] edges and PORTAL walks), but was also present in earlier collaborations such as ‘If the Cloud allows’ which involved people walking in a circle in Cambridge, UK and Basra, Iraq with a shared view of the moon.

    The ecological themes emerging from earlier walks feed into the simple prompts for these walks which give the Walk an active role. They draw attention to the interactive, vibrant energy of everything in and around us.  The idea is that the prompts might help to reframe our walks and challenge our human-centred perspective. Here are a few examples:

    The walk dances around you

    The walk creates illusions

    The walk chatters

    The walk extends deep into the earth

    Those who walk with the prompts are invited to send words after the walk. These responses to the walk are formed into a poetry collage which is sent out with the prompt for the following week. Walkers become involved in suggesting new prompts and in creating the poetry collages.

    The prompts are like little experiments. We might intimate from the responses, how they help us to re-imagine our connectedness. In this way we are researching how words can activate different experiences of walking.

    If you would like to find out more and/or join the project please get in touch via the contact page.

    Detail of shirt made by Ceyda Oskay as the poetry collage for Walk No. 3.  “The Walk is a Library”



    The following people are or have been part of  ‘Walking Beyond Words’. It is very free and easy and some people will send words every week or just occasionally. The task of combining the words each week to create a word collage is shared.

    Aya – Watford, UK & Almaty, Kazakhstan

    Caroline – Norfolk, London & South Africa

    Ceyda – Istanbul, Turkey  click here for  Website

    Chris G- Cambridge, UK

    Chris S – Cambridgeshire, UK

    Deb – North Yorkshire, UK

    Diane – Bath, UK

    Ean – Flint, Michigan, USA

    Ecem – Cambridge, UK

    Feyza – St Louis, USA

    Finn – Bournemouth, UK

    Heather – Cambridgeshire, UK

    Judy  – Bury St Edmunds, UK & Japan

    Julia – Hertfordshire, UK

    Jago – London

    Jane – Kent, UK

    John – Cambridge, UK

    John – Cork, Ireland

    Linda – Northamptonshire, UK

    Liz – Houston, USA and Berkshire, UK

    Mansi – Cambridge, UK

    Michelle – Cambridgeshire, UK

    Paul – Cambridgeshire, UK

    Pragya – Gurgaon and Goa, India

    Rosemary – Birmingham, UK

    Sally – Cambridgeshire, UK.

    Sandy – London

    Sarah – North Yorkshire, UK  click here for her blog

    Shruti – Bombay, India

    Svetlana – London & Bulgaria

    Tina – London

    Walk No. 1

    The Walk Smiles at You

    Waggy tails chattering

    Effervescent shine,

    Rushing, glistening river

    Fresh Frost painted leaves

    encounter mysterious hellebore ball

    Merging lights dazzled


    Order from

    walking in step

    Slither of blue opening wide

    It grins and disappears

    Quizzical, playful sheep


    Me, I smile back


    Smiley Tête-à-tête ,

    People walking,

    Reception drummers,

    Artist acquaintance

    Catching up camaraderie


    Velvet crocus

    Ritual birdsong

    Daffs spines oscillate

    rainbow clouds

    jangling thundercloud

    Edgy pink and yellow flowers

    sing of spring to come


    streaked, faded blue

    at the swimming pool terrace

    Mind in other places

    Trapped in chewy mud

    Eventually smiles arrive

    Happiness Reflection

    Everything goes well

    Poetry compilation:

    Linda and Sally

    People were asked to contribute up to 10 words. The lines were arranged by Sally and rearranged by Linda

    Walk No. 2.

    The Walk Extends Deep into the Earth


    Ancient gnarled Trees
    Exposed, rooted, yet fallen.
    Peeled back, bare, open.
    Interweaving. Winked.

    Marshy surface,
    Hidden world,
    A step at a time,
    Roots, a fallen tree,
    drawn in.

    Roots, grounding, Gaia, re-energizing footfall.
    Gravity, eons layered, moving structure.
    Pounding feet
    Reverberating wheels
    Penetrate path

    Truly cavernous cracks
    Praise firm support
    Aim rising warmth
    The soles of my feet grow gravity roots

    Flood evading worms,
    Wild garlic scents,
    Rocky paths
    Slip sliding.

    Muddy debris,  sodden earth, muddy bicycle tracks, glistening puddles

    St Mary’s Church
    Worms, Bones, Darkness
    Fecund, Time Passing,
    Decay, Life cycle

    For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

    Your special place
    On granite tor
    Connects our spirits

    Scrambling into a dank, dark ditch. No Iceni warriors. Only birds!

    Back from sand and heat
    To the cold and concrete
    But spring flowers are coming through

    With every footstep, the earth dances to my beat…

    Poetry Compilation:


    This walk took place just after a major earthquake in Turkey and Ceyda, who is in Turkey, responded with just the one word ‘Earthqauke’.  There was no restriction on the number of words in response. The combination of three factors – the walk’s title, the event in Turkey, and the participants’ responses led to the poem.

    Walk No. 3.

    The Walk is a Library

    Poetry compilation:

    Ceyda Oskay

    Ceyda printed letters individually onto fabric, made it into a shirt and then continued to add more words from the walk responses. 

    The top photo shows the shirt on display during the Borderless Book Fair in Istanbul 4th to 7th May 2023. The label gives information about Walking Beyond Words and Ceyda had many conversations with people about the project. During the event she invited people to bring clothes on which she printed words. 

    Click here for Ceyda’s website