Solstice Day Out

Members of CWC have a day out: (from right) Maureen, Jean, Ammaprema, Bea, Steve, and Elizabeth. (Photographer: Ian)

Today, newest member of Chudleigh Writers Circle, Ammaprema Grace reports on a rather damp day out and presents some of the output. We are grateful to Maureen for organising and leading the outing, and to House of Marbles, Bovey Tracey, for accommodating us at short notice.

“As we arrived at Stover Country Park it was cold damp and rainy…not a great start, as our first venture after lockdown! Fortunately the wonderful Kate McCormick had anticipated our disappointment and moved us to the House of Marbles. So after the relocation, we were led into our writing exercise to explore the House of Marbles and to free-write. It was very interesting to observe what we each saw and noted.

When we returned our task was to select 8 statements and to put them into the Pantoum form: as below:

1,2,3,4.
2,5,4,6
5,7,6,8
7,3,8,1

Here were some of our offerings. I found it quite hard and dislike the limitations of the form, so when I got home I played with it a bit

Mandalas of time by Ammaprema

Broken pottery-broken lives
Fragments of history
Frozen in time,
Memories, passed

Fragments of history,
Luminous peacock blue
Memories passed
Glass blowing emporium

Luminous blue
Firings of colour
Glass blowing emporium
Functional crafts

Firings of colour
Frozen in time
Functional crafts
Broken pottery, memories passed

Sitting outside at the House of Marbles also prompted this memory free-write.

The Orange tree by Ammaprema

The Orange tree in a large pot, is set against the red-brick of an industrial past,
together with its partner Palm: the courtyard dressed with wire furnishings, green sun umbrellas…

Ah I am transported to a day long past in Turin…
A cup of tea after exploring antiquities in the museum.
That was the day the sphinx talked to me, and I learnt of its role
in guardianing the secrets
of Egyptian mystery schools.

A wagtail runs across the rainy British patio.

But my body burns with the heat of Hapshetsut’s temples.
The memories, the drought, the scream of children’s empty bellies echoed again
In the pain filled calls to prayer,
sounding out across the Nile,
Mosque to mosque,
there are bread riots there now.

Here in wet summer England, white privilege is set in time,
ancient industrial heritage turned tourist attraction.
Memory draws it all together, in current writing.
Personal, present, poignancy,
Times lost and past
Shards of pottery, marking
time, passing.

I breathe, the sounds of raindrops,

the aching of bones,
Brings me back,
Here Now,
The orange tree in its pot
Against the red brick wall.

On a visit to the House of Marbles by Ian Riddle in Pantoum form

Heat on my head from an artificial sun
Old wood of windows and crumbling brick
Rusted iron bolts hold the building together
Matching rusted machines from a bygone age

Old wood of windows and crumbling brick
A marble machine that’s retired now
Matching rusted machines from a bygone age
And birds of glass, flightless through weight

A marble machine that’s retired now
Penguins that have never seen snow
And birds of glass, flightless through weight
Posh boys in boaters playing marbles in a circle

Penguins that have never seen snow
Rusted iron bolts hold the building together
Posh boys in boaters playing marbles in a circle
Heat on my head from an artificial sun

House of Marbles by Elizabeth Ducie

Marbles on a chain rise to the top.
A spinning arms slams it along.
The cat’s cradle rings a bell.
Brilliant stained glass frames the wall.

A spinning arm slams it along.
The animals watch from the side.
Brilliant stained glass frames the wall
The model pottery reflects the past.

The animals watch from the side.
The museum ensures we remember.
The model pottery reflects the past.
Marbles drop through a hole in copper.

The museum ensures we remember.
The cat’s cradle rings a bell.
Marbles drop through a hole in copper.
Marbles on a chain rise to the top.

Thanks everyone for a fun day out!! Love Ammaprema.”

Ammaprema Grace

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