Watery inspiration

River Continuous poetry postcard published by Poetry on Loan

River Continuous poetry postcard published by Poetry on Loan

Watery places hold memories. I was dead chuffed to have my poem, River Continuous, chosen for this Poetry on Loan postcard. I’ve used it to spark watery writing workshops exploring memories and a sense of place. Here’s a collective poem written with a group of older adults in Collingwood, remembering splashes from their younger days.

The Flow of Life
Mapping our lives through watery places and traces
Collingwood Library 6 October 2015 with Mandy Ross, Poetry on Loan

Remember that pool at West Park where we fed the ducks and fished for tiddlers?
It froze over one year. We wrapped up warm to slide on the ice.

And there was a brook joined Stanley Road and Ringwood Road.
He said it’s not there, not on his map. They put it underground, but still it seeps up.

And Mr Lamb the farmer had pools for his cows.
Two green patches all that remain, by Farmbrook Avenue.

And the paddling pool on Bushbury Hill, it was packed in the summer,
When the ice cream van came.

And us girls rowed better than the boys,
But we still got soaking wet.

And we’d take bread and jam and a bottle of water
For a picnic beside the Waterhead Pool.

And we used to play on the lock gates, walking across.
Jean’s sister fell in – or was she pushed?

And those lads in the canal, they learned to swim there,
those that couldn’t afford the swimming pool. Ooh, you wouldn’t swim there now.

And they knocked down Bushbury Pool,
so now we can swim at Wednesfield or Bath Avenue. But only Meda does.

And there were huge pike in the ECC factory pool.
They went fishing there. Can you eat pike?

And where does our drinking water come from?
The Severn or the Trent?

We used to jump over puddles. Now we walk every week by Northycote Farm,
Where the puddles collect, carefully along the bridle path with our walking sticks.