Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Poems for Abney Park Cemetery
I recently did some work with the Hackney Pirates, a fantastic children's charity based in, erm, Hackney. Over half-term, the work involved using the nearby Abney Park cemetery as a stimulus for poetry. I wrote three especially commissioned poems for the project, and I am delighted to be able to share them here. Each poem was written in order to model specific writing techniques, such as personification, metaphor/simile, the five senses, rhythm and repetition. Here they are, along with pictures of the items in the cemetery they were inspired by.
Abney Park Chapel
I have seen the slow rolling
of the seasons, the cycle of life
and the ceaseless turning of the earth.
I have bridged the path from ground
to sky, my finger touching heaven
and my feet set in the soil.
I have heard the cries of widows
and the laughter of birds
taking flight to the stars.
I smell dust in my stone nostrils.
I taste ash in my toothless mouth.
He’s watching you.
With eyes keener than guided arrows
and claws sharper than angry knives,
he’s watching you.
He’s waiting for you.
With a neck stronger than varnished oak
and a mane mightier than an ice-capped mountain,
he’s waiting for you.
He’s ready for you.
With teeth poised like soldiers
and limbs as agile as an acrobat,
he’s ready for you.
He’s protecting you.
With a heart as pure as fire
and courage as deep as the ocean,
he’s protecting you.
in and out
Tommy, you lie in the ground.
Quiet. Still. Fading away.