adventures in guerilla poetry today, this time in Essex. Initially
slightly irked that we were visiting a church on my only day off
from Church, I was soon taken with the little Log Church at Greensted,
otherwise known as Greensted Church or St.Andrew's, it's the oldest
wooden church in the world and the oldest standing wooden building in
. Somehow during our journey from Hackney we missed the snow falling in
Essex and then whilst in Essex missed the considerable snow fall we
found on returning home. On entering the church we were met by three
friendly fellows sheltering from the snow and fully equipped with
sarnies and flask of coffee and as is so often the case in Essex, we
discovered that we shared knowledege of Hackney at various seasons of
its life. We then went on a walk in the cold white landscape, all
made very bright and beautiful by the frozen crystals lying all around.
A field of geese was a real treat as were the blue black sloes whose taste had been tamed by the frost.
Too cold to write poetry in these places, so exhilarating walk over, we went to Ashlings Farm where warmed by soup and the festive cheer of parties having their Christmas lunches we found some inspiration and the results are below.
Cold sun shines on a low white land
The snow sparkling with shreds of ice.
On bushes stripped of leaves
Bright berries still shine
I taste the bitterness, but also,
In frost-chaffed flesh, a surprising sweetness.
In a church older than I can imagine,
Dark and warm with ancient wood,
We talk with three men and a Methodist
Finding respite from sudden cold.
May I taste here the sweetness in the bitterness
The warmth in the cold, the beauty in the dying.
by James Ashdown
Ancient oaks and swollen sloes
bedecked in sparkling white
the gentle sun and frozen earth
add beauty to the scene
Midst winter barns and trampolines
the ancient spire stands clear
a homely place, with Hackney crew
warm coffee, Christmas cheer
Honey, tea towels, local jams
please buy them while you're here
and come and join us if you can
the manchild is due near
By Lucyann Ashdown