Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 10

Five Minutes Peace: a garden to sit in, a poem to read, and a prompt to write to … No 10. (Find out more about what this is all about here.)

THE POETRY POP UP GARDEN

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The brainchild of landscape designer, Marian Boswall, the Poetry Pop Up Garden is a welcome addition to the Chelsea Fringe. I was lucky enough to read on it yesterday in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral as part of the Chelsea Fringe in Kent, and the NGS Open Gardens Scheme. And look …. we had actual sun.

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Together with Patricia Debney and two Foyle Young Poets, Dillon Leet and Flora de Falbe, we shared our own poems as well as our favourite garden poems.

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And in between readings, we wrote our own collaborative poem which we read out together later… a real buzz!

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Here it is as today’s poem: I’m calling it Mixed Border because we wrote it line by line like the old-fashioned game of consequences…

poem

The trees are getting hungry again,

chlorophylls crowd to the leaves’ tips

to devour a flash of sunlight

that trips like tongues through broken clouds,

pours like slow sand through water

and all the healing words, like flotsam

in the static of air that withstands the wind,

crowd with laughter and rhyme.

*

Grown from stone, stuck between sexes,

the statue watches trains swerve by its gate,

and I wonder will we ever recover?

Today we’re a landscape that doesn’t fit,

a shelf of sun in a mid-May shower

that I’ll keep in amber come December,

and forever, I imagine, thereafter.

*

Some flowers only open every century

like my heart, full of petals.

I’m counting out: He loves me

not. He (thirty-three)… he loves me not.

They say daisies in love are genetic mutations,

sometimes we all need extra petals

and a green travel chest to keep locked.

*

Here I remember that afternoon:

the constant tolling of the bells

wafts through sun-drugged air

that blows the commas off my page like pollen

like the dust which floats anywhere.

To create a garden is to write a love story –

lines that twine up balconies, bind trees

at the limbs, the roots.

We dedicated the poem to Marian as a thank you for making us such a beautiful garden to work in.

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The Pop Up Poetry Garden will be at Canterbury Cathedral again today (Sunday) with special poets Jo Hemmant and Abegail Morley taking the stage, and then travels to London on Tuesday to be in the Potters Bar Garden (right next to the Mayor of London’s office). The excellent Emer Gillespie will be taking the stage there, together with special guests… Wouldn’t it be something if Boris nipped out of his office to read a poem or two? You can find out more here.

5 thoughts on “Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 10

  1. Pingback: Chelsea Fringe Performances | dillonleet

  2. Pingback: Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 12 | Writer In The Garden

  3. Pingback: Chelsea Fringe – London Garden No 15 | Writer In The Garden

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