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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Monday, 9 March 2020

A spring poetry walk at Arnos Vale Cemetery

The IsamBards, of which I am one, have performed poetry walks around the Botanic Gardens, at last year's Bee and Pollination Festival, across the Suspension Bridge, on the platform at Temple Meads Station, and even undertook a poetry boat trip a few years ago. Our most recent venture is our first poetry walk around Arnos Vale Cemetery. Here's a few photos. 

A male angel, I think, or at the very least, an androgynous one

A holly tree, all of which have self-seeded from burial wreaths

The weather looked a little threatening for poetry walks ... 

... but it brightened up by early afternoon. 

The Clueless team from Radio Bristol appeared for a spring poem, read by Dominic Fisher, at the end of their show. 

Then it was time for the walk, guided by Janine Marriott, an expert in Death. 

The event was a sell-out and our audience interested and very good at listening.

My favourite series of poems were the ones addressed to the stillborn babies and their mothers, which we read in the corner of the cemetery where so many of them were buried last century, in unmarked graves and often without the knowledge of their parents.

It would be nice to think that we had made some small restitution.


By Rajah Rommohun Roy's tomb

In the wooded vale, the trees were making a strange moaning noise as the wind blew them against each other. It would be a decidedly eerie place to walk on your own in the dusk. 

My fellow IsamBards, Dominic Fisher, David Williams and Pameli Benham

Sunlight through the trees

We've had foxes grace a rehearsal, and ducks on a previous poetry walk, but down by the Guinea Graves, a black cat came to listen (and eat grass).

As our poetry walk drew to a close, the light was positively celestial. 

There was just time before we went home to visit my grandparents, and infant uncle up in the top part of the cemetery, all dead before my birth and now beginning to disappear altogether. 

We had a great time, and hope to do more poetry walks at Arnos Vale over the course of the year.


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