So this week Jeanne Iris has set the Poetry Bus task (instructions here). I chose the listening option which involved taking note of all surrounding sounds for 5-10 minutes and then writing something inspired by those sounds.
I didn't want to write about sounds in the home so I did my homework for this task whilst out walking the dog on Friday afternoon. One walk I like very much these days is around the grounds of what's left of our local psychiatric hospital (handily it's just at the top of our street). You can read a little about Sunnyside Royal Hospital here or here. It's a fascinating walk for many reasons – there are so many different architectural styles on show for a start (so many different buildings have been added to this huge site over the years) and there are lots of different trees, flowers and shrubs to see too, as well as plenty of wildlife. Like many of these big, old hospitals this one is due to be closed soon so it is a very quiet place really (there are very few patients left inside – just a couple of wards). What there are instead are lots of boarded up buildings and plenty of empty space and I am enjoying all this space while I can because we are promised lots of new houses here instead over the next couple of years. I really hope they keep as many of the trees and green spaces as they can – it's such a beautiful place really and with gorgeous views down to the sea too. Some people don't like the idea of walking through a psychiatric hospital I suppose but I feel quite at home there...partly because my Dad spent time in various similar places. I came close enough too in my time.
Here are a few photos of the grounds I took today:
And the place where I stood and listened for the task was here.
I could hear rooks, raindrops on my hood (it was raining a little on Friday but not today when I went back to take photos) and also the traffic on the road behind the trees (not a major road but still, busy enough at certain times). The poem that resulted was one of my easy-going little rhyming numbers (see below). I write like this every now and again and I have no intention of stopping. I know some poetry people hate this kind of thing but I really don't...there's something childlike and simple about this style (the beginning of this one even reminds me of 'The Gruffalo') and I like that about it. I don't expect every poem to be a possible National Poetry Competition winner (good job...) - I simply write for the love of it, for the pull of it, and sometimes this is the way it pulls me.
So the audio version is here and the text...well, it's right here:
I stand on the edge of a meadow I stand on the edge of a wood There still are some places left for us There are still some things that are good
I hear rooks and raindrops above me I see buttercups, speedwell below The rain is so gentle and friendly It pitter-pat, pitter-pats a hello
But the rooks are a different matter They are groaning and griping on high Local traffic is driving them crazy All the noise, all the fuss (heavy sigh)
I mean what are the humans all thinking Cars come and they go – such a row! Yesterday they all went that way And look here they come roaring back now
They must have some kind of system Even squirrels have rules (more or less) But we've yet to make sense of the humans They build boxes, drive boxes, make mess
It must be hard for them stuck down there wingless And we try to be patient and kind But why must they make such a racket Birds are trying to sing, do you mind?
p.s. Been playing 'name the worst film ever made' here this week to lighten the mood. Pop back and add your nomination if you like - to this post.
Originally from the north of England, I live in Angus, Scotland where I walk a lot, think a lot, listen to lots of music, sometimes write poems, sometimes read poems out to other people, sometimes write songs, read all kinds of odd things, watch a bit...oh and I look after my family too.
I sometimes organise poetry and music events - details are usually here (though nothing coming up in the near future). This year I went travelling with my family - photos and notes are here. Now we're back I have moved to a new regular blog - it is here.
More about the song
You can buy my book (published 2008) from my website if you fancy it (go to 'book' page) or from www.amazon.co.uk if you prefer the comfort of the multinational corporation. My book is printed on recycled paper and card. I have 12 different poetry postcards available too.