Evening folks. A couple of weeks ago I took part in a project at St Oswald’s Church in Grasmere. A group of 14 Cumbrian/Lancaster poets wrote poems about the church and then the Lakes Collective group created art work inspired by the poems and the church. Their blog is here: http://lakescollective.blogspot.co.uk/p/poetry-and-place-event.html
You can also read what Sarah Hymas, another poet who took part, thought about the event here http://sarahhymas.blogspot.co.uk/
But I thought I would post my poem here for what it’s worth – more interesting is the beautiful art work that was created. I was stupid enough to not write down the name of the artists that did this work – which was very remiss of me as one of the lovely artists gave me their art work to take home!
Anyway, here is the poem, imaginatively titled or what?
St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere
Tell me about the west wind that meant
no west door was built and Oswald
in the moment before he cut
the oak tree down, and Teresa of Avila
before she was turned to stone
and the man who placed her head
so she could see the altar. Tell me
of the benches with their shoulders
against the wall, the saying the weakest
go to the wall and then tell me of the lepers
gathering at the leper door and far-away
saints, standing to their waists in water
as the sun rises, prayers twitching
in their minds like newly caught fish
on a boat deck but most of all tell me
of the man who hangs the flag and winds
the clocks, and the women who lay rushes
as if animals still shelter here.
Here is my new house guest, a saint standing up to his waist in water, placed in the font on the advice of the very good humoured vicar at St Oswalds.
Obviously I haven’t got the font to put him in, so he will have to go on a shelf.
Here is the other piece of art work created in response to my poem. This was already sold – don’t know who to – but it is beautiful isn’t it? In the middle of the tree there is a a woman’s head – Teresa of Avila’s I think…