Friday, 7 May 2010

❝❞ listening history

remember the park where you spent most of your childhood
where you spun on the witches hat and met up with your friends
where you lay on the grass and gazed at the clouds?
mine was Chalkwell Park:
I still live quite close to it and often go there:
just as I did when I was smaller:
in the middle of the park stands Chalkwell Hall:
behind which, there used to be a mini zoo:
it even had a bear called Lulu:
now only the peacocks live there:
the Hall is now home to Metal
an artistic 'laboratory' founded by Jude Kelly OBE:

Wednesday night saw the first evening of 
an idea to invite writers and artists to share experiences
her grandparents would enjoy informal gatherings in their Chalkwell home,
sharing ideas and debate in their front room:
this was a larger but great recreation:
at first we enjoyed a glass of wine:
talking or watching the continual loop
of archive films shorts by our guest speaker:
footage of old London markets, cars and kitchen table antics:
a man who manicured his front garden:
boys with cine cameras:
grainy and soundless:
images of a past life in Hackney:
after a short introduction by Jude Kelly
our guest speakers were Rachel Lichtenstein
Rachel told us of a poet who spoke to her in Yiddish
but she hardly understood:
her family roots from Poland to Brick Lane to Essex:
the stories of those who they met on their way:
Iain describes his many walks:
the rhythm of feet on ground, breathing deeply:
heart beating time:
it helps you to remember:
 the Isle of Grain:
obelisks and markers:
the differing banks of the sides of the Thames:
North and South:
the Chinese jogger who can no longer take his chosen route
as the Olympic Gateway has closed it off:
an excellent hour, or so, of still and listening:
layered every so often by the call of the peacocks:

*added 16th May >

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