Poetry – including Postman’s Park residency and Beach Hut poetry

Here are some poems from a short residency in Postman’s Park. There are many more of my poems on a variety of topics on Beach Hut poetry.

Please clip on the following link

https://annperrinspoetry.wordpress.com/

I also have some poems on my Latest news and pics page – see header.

Details  of my poems in ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’ are on my home page.

Details about  my residency in Postman’s Park and some of the poems follow.

In 2015 The Poetry School together with The London Garden Trust invited 16 poets to take part in a weekend residency in different open spaces in London as part of London’s Open Squares and Garden Weekend  ‘Mixed Boarders’

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The poets came from all walks of life and were very different in experience, content and style. The idea was to be inspired to write new poems and to engage DSC06626 - Copythe public in poetry.

I  am a late start poet, writing poetry on a regular basis when I retired. I had never had such a wonderful opportunity and was lucky enough to be allocated Postman’s Park. I just tried to do justice to this beautiful space with its history, it’s church, The Watts Memorial etc.

We were encouraged to organise our involvement in the open spaces in own way but in consultation with the those in charge of each space. I arranged a small poetry flower bed and distributed famous garden poems around the park. I also encouraged members of the public to write poems and hung them from a line in a tree. My son made a postbox and members of the public posted their poems if they wanted them to be part of a post on this blog.

I loved this – Masako from Japan was moved to write a haiku in Japanese translated

 I recall a lot of persons
the flowers of today blossom.

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Most of the following poems were written during that weekend but some were completed after the event.

The handkerchief tree

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I sit under the loggia
and consider heroism
what it must take
to jump into the depths
of Highgate ponds
to save someone from drowning
to risk being crushed to death
by the weight of a runaway
horse’s hoovesDSC06547
to die on a burning stairway
trying to save your mother
from a house on fire.

Is it all your gentle spirits turning
the leaves on the handkerchief tree
pure white in remembrance.

The worm

On the path
I just avoid
stepping on a
brown worm.
I place him
on rain-sodden earth.
After all, anyone
can take
the wrong
direction.

St Botolph’s Aldersgate

I hope this is the pew where the poet once sat
having enjoyed his breakfast of burnt toast
sitting in his morning chair looking out to the grave yard
where his great grandfather is buried
drafting a letter then leaving his acorn
papered eerie to saunter out of Cloth Fair
in his heavy coat and wide brimmed hat.1-p1030400

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
listening to sacred music from the deep throated organ
wafting through ancient pillars up to the ornate ceiling
looking up at the famous alter painting stored in Wales
during the war and now with the day light flickering
on the angel with the chalice in Gethsemane
offering strength and courage to The Son of God.

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
next to the Wesley window that was not his favourite
but near the stone memorial for a much loved daughter
and not far from the detailed deliberations
of  Dame Anne Packington, widow, who in her will
in 1595 tried to devise ways to ensure her estate1-dsc06872
would help the poor in perpetuity.

I hope this is the pew where once the poet sat
singing the hymns and half listening to the sermon
as thoughts of the letters he still had to write
and the  women that he loved passed through his mind
having time to later wander to favourite memorial
where it implies that it is not a man’s  ornate plague
but his good name and the deeds he accomplished.

in memory of John Betjeman

The formal lawn

Sebastian methodically measuresDSC06653 - Copy
bright orange netting like an artist
marking out his canvas.

Full of tools
one wheelbarrow stands
forks, spades, brushes, stakes.

His mate kneels at one corner
carefully sifting soil, troweling edges
his head bent, intent on perfection.IMG_0133

A third man brings in a barrow
rich green turf,  all three
in harmony, finely tuned.

Postman’s Park

Watts Memorial
a silent church
Boris bikes resting
wrought iron railings
a mossy waterfall
trailing streams of tears
blousy yellow blooms
heavy on fine stems
a robin hops in
offering his song
armoured woodlice
scramble in dried bark
moths nest in flaky
circles of a tree trunk
visitors rest in the shade
of the horse chestnut
blue glazed tile
for heroism
the ordinary
extraordinary.

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Lunch Break

IMG_0118A brief hug
they sit on a bench
unpack sandwiches
cheese and pickle for him
crayfish and lettuce for her

A solitary frayed pigeon
struts about hoping
for abandoned crumbs

A canopy of leaves
like Japanese fan dancers
tease the wind.

Hide and Seek

Hide your eyes
I’ll go firstDSC06683
one two three four five
hiding behind a tree
crouching behind a grave
peeping out that only children can
it’s a dance.

Red Camelias

From the window of my office
I watch the changing seasons

winter snow and ice shines
like tea lights flickering on the loggia

long stems with tiny white flowers                                                                              1-P1040295
preen and show their faces

red camellias hoping for a tea ceremony
bow their heads to the graceful acer

memories of home and thoughts
of the transience of life.

Note The building was part of the post office now offices for Nomura a japanese company

The Yellow Balloon (in memory of Dave)

Suppose I whispered the words Postmans Park
and wrote the word love
on a luggage label
and tied it to a yellow balloon
as we watched it glide
a tad nearer to heaven
would you remember those happy days
at King Edward Building
sorting the mail and where
colleagues became life long friends.

In the heart of the city

where the Watts tiles tell tales of heroism                                        IMG_0126
rain falls from the leaves of the horse chestnut tree
the door to the church swings open to the sound
of the organ playing sacred music in celebration
of the Wesley revelation and  generations
of buried bones.

In Praise of Postmen King Edward Building – 1990  

(for my partner who loved this park as a postman in the 80’s)

Sorting, walking                                                                 DSC06603
laden with letters
EC1 to EC4
big ones, small ones
white ones, brown ones
Broadgate, Barbican
local stores.

Peabody flats in EC1
climbing endless
flights of stairs
Hatton Gardens
golden windows
jumping buses
paying fares.

Rest in park
before more sorting
deliveries that
must not fail
everything depends
on postmen
London’s lifeblood
Royal Mail.

Wishing

The waterfall sings
to the goldfish in the pond
that glide in circles
above the sunlit coinsDSC06601
thrown by hopeful lovers
creating ripples of gold
and silver dreams.

Haikus

growing/flowering
seeds/trees withering/dying
recycled benches

growing/flowering
seeds/trees withering/dying
recycled benches

ciggy and the Sun
Joe’s yellow anorak glows
then it’s back to Bart’s

I suggested members of the public might like to write Haiku (a Japanese form of poetry often following a pattern of 5 – 7 – 5 syllables) They are often about the natural world and often with a more profound thought obscure thought for the last line. Many did but others were very happy to write in free verse etc.

Some of the poems written on the day by members of the public 2015

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Steph from Brighton in Postman’s Park

Beauty, serenity, peace in the streets of the old city where the bombs dropped long ago the ghosts of the past are all here. and with the blackbird, and the butterfly are watching us; and listening to the ancient church … Continue reading

Charles A Newland

To a meadow brown. Dance, delicate fairy of the fields And with your unseeing eye Show me the way through paradise To the garden of delight.

Posted in Visitors Poems |

Maria in Postman’s Park

Two London Plane trees Yellow beaked blackbird find worm and poet Ann sits.

Posted in Visitors Poems |

Sue Hunt – Haiku

The red tulips glow                                                                         … Continue reading

Posted in Visitors Poems 

George visits 

I like the red flower because it is beautiful. . .

Posted in Visitors Poems |

Tricia Budd in Postman’s Park

No letters delivered here Just remembrances In the calm beneath brances Of selfless acts And sacrifice .

Posted in Visitors Poems |

Knock’ Knock’ whose there? Leigh, Walter, Amelia and others who were like you and me before they got caught in a moment that changed them into heroes. Now remembered with awe and thanksgiving in the serene green of London.  Anon

Posted in Visitors Poems 

Poems – https://annperrin.wordpress.com/resident-poet-in-postmans-park/

Blog post from the time of the residency in 2015

Story of my mini residency in Postman’s Park in London

The first day dawned of my tDSC06591wo day Poetry residencyIMG_0137 in Postman’s Park, courtesy of the Poetry School.  I was one  of sixteen poets in different parks writing poetry as part of the Open Garden Squares Weekend.

So there I was amidst plant sales, teas served in the pop up cafe by volunteers,  city guides, the church open thanks to the staff of Christian Heritage and a guest appearance by the author and historian John Price with his second book about the memorial ‘Heroes of Postman’s Park’. He has researched in detail the lives of all of the heroes and heroines on the memorial tiles.

DSC06721             DSC06732            DSC06668

DSC06690DSC06693I had spent ages reading poems by different poets about plants and gardens, chosen 15 in different styles to laminate and set around the park; those included poems by Seamus Heaney and Jo Shapcott.

I loved researching the history of the park and the memorials to gain further inspiration for poems to write myself. The park is tranquil and also very pretty and without disturbing them too much I had conversations with several people.  Sebastian who had laid the lawn, a couple from the Midlands who told me about the handkerchief tree. By the time the two residency arrived I had already written 14 poems and I’m still engrossed in it all.

I also enjoyed coming up from Brighton where I now live, three times in three weeks with my partner.  He had worked as a postman at King Edward Building before it was sold in the 90s and spent many lunch times in the park.

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We were given a free hand as to how to engage with the public, so I read a few of the  garden poems placed around the park when it seemed appropriate.   I also encouraged members of the public to write poems and place them in our poetry flower bed or post them in our box.  So there I sat, sometimes in the rain but mostly in the sun, under a lovely tree for the two days.

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https://annperrin.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/the-handkerchief-tree-in-postmans-park/

https://annperrin.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/open-garden-squares-weekend-mixed-borders/

https://annperrin.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/behind-the-scenes-with-one-poet-in-residence/

An award winning blog  for a ‘blog that brightens our day’

My new collection of poems is called ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’ .

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