Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Place to Rest

The theme for the Eden Court Poetry people yesterday was "Gardens".  I didn't make it.  After a week spent in the constant company of people, nice though they were, I felt the need for a bit of isolation. Here's one I made earlier:

This is the council housing estate
where Edgeware Road meets
Southwall Close,
built in 1959,
just west of the A27 trunk road,
north of Whiteparish

These are the trees
the builders left standing
with strong limbs, deep roots
and thick, twisted trunks
climbed by four generations
of scruffy children

These were the carrier bags
of used disposable nappies,
and half empty beer cans
plundered by seagulls,
and left like gutted bodies
spilling entrails

These are the flowers
Frank bought and planted
Too many for his garden,
he dug a border beside the path
A riot of red and a blaze of blue
And the fragrance of summer

These are the paving stones,
scraped of moss and
scoured of weeds
by Frank’s grandson, George
who was made redundant last month
and needed something to do

This is the rose bush
offered by Elsie
whose husband died last year
Creamy white flowers with pale pink hearts
and a sweet and spicy aroma,
resistant to blackspot and midlew

This is the bench
that had always been there,
now sanded down and re-painted forest green
by Gavin, who smokes too much.
He was watched by a ginger cat
scrupulously licking its paws

These are the spring bulbs
planted by the pupils
from Miss Garrick’s junior class
after a careful survey
of the insect life and
catching spiders in clear plastic cups

This is the tyre
strung from the branch of a tree,
spinning and swaying
Skinny arms and scrawny legs swinging
until the man from the council took it down
because of health and safety concerns

These are the cup cakes
baked by Amanda, aged six
with a little help from her mum
Eggs and flour,
butter and sugar carefully weighed.
Pink frosting generously shared with everyone

These are the Kendal sisters
the estate's first residents,
witnesses of the ebb and flow
of a nomadic community,
Hands together and eyes closed,
they pray for their neighbours

This is the community
laying claim to a few acres of wasteland
and creating a place to rest
They smile at the camera
as the man from the Whiteparish Gazette
takes a picture for the paper.

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