In the Physic Garden
Andrew asks if spiritistically is a word
it is now I say
how do you spell it he says
and we sound out the letters together
him way ahead of me
written down they’re ghosts
of the evening primrose
throwing up its arms behind us
MOTH’S MOON FLOWER
says the sign and we lean in
to yellow like thunderbugs
drinking from wilting cups
spiritistically we are yellow
and black when they are the same
night and day – me and Andrew
his words I want to save
and the flowers I can’t
and it’s okay
what does kill or cure mean he says
Just back from the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival where I was delighted to be awarded the Bronze in this year’s Ginkgo Prize for my poem sparked by a summer’s day at Dilston Physic Garden, working with a group of vulnerable adults from Haltwhistle on one of their Zig-Zag outings.
The Prize was judged by poet Mimi Khalvati and gardener and writer Alys Fowler and organised by the Poetry School, following Resurgence’s initiation of a Poetry Competition specifically for ‘eco-poems’ a few years ago. This year the newly-named Prize was generously supported by the Goldsmith Trust, which promotes the work of ecologist Edward Goldsmith (1928-2009). It was fascinating meeting everyone involved (including one dog – Pekingese – and one baby – North American) and all the other winning poets: a real live chain of interconnection – ecology in action.
There is a beautifully designed and produced pamphlet of all the winning and commended poems. You can read it online here. Our wonderful certificates were designed and hand-made by Charles Gouldsbrough.
Part of the award for winners and the runners-up is a 10-day residency in Ireland next Spring at Cill Rillaig Arts Centre, County Kerry. The chain of interbeing continues and will grow…