Elements of Larp

Elements of Larp

First Element

As we stood
there by the vine-covered
tree, solemn,
tangible forest around
intangible, skin-covered words, created
in our own image, we left behind
our cocoon, the forest was real
and so were we, in this moment
where the seed was
planted in our name
and we watered it.

Second Element

Was there a wall here
sometime before and have we
forgotten it or torn it down
because it limited our view
of who we could be?
The roofs are gone as well and we
drenched as we are, is it rain
that has wetted our faces and
our backs, is it us, are we
the ones whose silhouettes
suspended in a silent narrative
still stain the stone?

Third Element

I don’t remember who
among us did the melting; you
or me, or both, but here we are
liquid as ever, marbling together
forgetting our own colours; if
they were yours or mine
or never ours to begin with as
the heat of the moment forges us
together and forces us
to think as we never
thought before it –
behind this line that someone
drew in the scorched earth
blood may run thicker than
water, but we run thin
into each other.

Fourth Element

I opened up my veins
to let you in, to let you breathe your life
into me as my aspirations filled
your lungs so full of warmth that we took flight
of fancy; our parts multiplied
by more than one and less than two, a fraction
of who I was before you became me
like fragments of a language that connects us
unspoken to the voices in our mind
of all the ones that we have been before
tomorrow someone else will flow
through you.

Fifth Element

What are the parts that make up
the sum of what we can be and more –
when we subtract ourselves and don’t lose
count, something still is left
that wasn’t there when we began
to take root inside our own bodies
to sculpt our own river clay
to harden in the fire of our dreams
to breathe the air we occupied
and open its mouth to sing;
what strange new songs will it begin
to make of us?

Cover photo: Image by EchoGrid on Unsplash. Photo has been cropped.

This article is published in the companion book Book of Magic: Vibrant Fragments of Larp Practices and is published here with permission. Please cite this text as:

Wierda, Berber. “Elements of Larp.” In Book of Magic: Vibrant Fragments of Larp Practices, edited by Kari Kvittingen Djukastein, Marcus Irgens, Nadja Lipsyc, and Lars Kristian Løveng Sunde. Oslo, Norway: Knutepunkt, 2021.

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Berber Wierda (b. 1983) is a larper from the Netherlands.