Adventures in Guerrilla Poetry


Today we had our first guerrilla poetry day. I first found out about it when I received a postcard inviting me to attend, to be in a certain car park near my home at 11am with my car key and the password on the postcard.
The car journey began with a recording of 'London Nights' (radio four radio programme) talking about the river Thames. Then by slow release directions, I drove to the Woolwich Ferry. It's been a glorious day and this was only enhanced by the expanse of sky and the wide river before us. Once the Ferry left the docks we got out of the car to enjoy the view whilst being read 'The Old Man', one of James' poems about the Thames. This was very evocative of the various era's of this pulsating river.
After a little more driving and intrigue we arrived at the Thames Barrier Park, here we observed the strangely tidy lines of trees, a bench looking out at a wall and climbed a padlocked fence to walk a jetty.
Then lounging on the grass we ate our homemade gluten free wraps and drank in this lung full of breathe in the midst of the city.
But that was not the end of it, I was serenaded with more poetry before we found a sun kissed spot to drink 'a cuppa a tea'...just when the perfect day was slipping down and enlarging my heart, a note pad, pen and pencils appeared, now for writing some poetry!

Between us we produced 3 poems, here is one of mine called 'Under 5's, the others can be found here

Under 5's

The training is gruelling
Non stop lifting, walking, waking
No rest from looking, checking and worry.

But these summer days,
I breathe
Sit on the verdant ground
Finish a conversation
Laugh at the inventiveness of my body's creation
Eat sweet fruit and lick ice cream
Before returning to the routine
of the homely training camp
of dinner, bath and bed

Lucyann Ashdown 3/9/10

Perhaps what makes this poem an authentic adventure in guerrilla poetry is my bold decision to go and read it to the Mum's whose toddlers had inspired it. After some initial dis-ease they seemed to enjoy it, particularly the end. In keeping with the third line, one Mum had to leave in the middle of my reading of it to rescue her child. It seemed only fair to write them our a copy to take away.