Fiona Kam Meadley

severn walk

from the Gloucestershire Riviera
Walking details:

bees pollinating long grass;
river mud cracking in the sun.
We rustle in the wind.

Walking and talking
“Should we harness the tide
Or preserve the bore?”
Change coming either way.

She picks grass to make
prints – yellow with pollen.
Reassured by a dream
death behind her now.

This summer I will do nothing but:
sit in the garden when the sun shines,
paint the house when it rains,
spend time with friends and pass on family mythology.

. . .

Two great grandfathers who were poor
One died young in Indonesia
Leaving a widow who sold cakes in the market
to support their son.

The other made a fortune trading timber in Penang,
had seven children (by wife No.1) and
Grandmother (middle daughter) headstrong
married grandfather,
the orphan boy now a clerk
sent their two sons to university
on scholarships – the first post colonial generation
returned engineers.

When our turn came to study abroad
we, by and large, stayed there.
The Chinese diaspora shifting home
from one generation to the next.

Perhaps your English roots
will hold you here.
The half that loves cricket and plays jazz
laying claim to the land.

Martin Clarke
Points of sensation

Both transience and permanence of the river

Linearity [but s-curves of and on the river]

Banding and the different horizons

The Infinite palette of green

The void of the dark pools of reflection

The cycle and speed of wetting and drying

The subtlety  of colour on a grey day

[and the dominance of the wind noise in my ears, drowning out the skylarks !!]

Observations

Newnham horse turning his back to the wind

Linear bands of water, grass, trees and stone

Just how does the drying clay crack and delaminate?

Absence of right angles

Drift of sound from across and above

Silent drovers crossing the flood now

Why don’t we try ?

Ships graveyard or hotbed of marine commerce – no clues

Many drowned ? Church graveyard can tell us

Can Newnham hear us ? Can we hear them ? Can we hear us ?

What is everyone else thinking ?

In my 100 paces I counted 100 grasses and sedges

and 100  ducks
The pillbox is aimed at the Forest…..no way in

and no way out.
Fishing camp [Its Hartley’s you know]

Been on the telly.

Knows it backwards.

Elvers and salmon.

Dabs and mullet.

And its own beach.

Perfect.

Wished I had walked barefoot in the mud – next time I will

• click here to see Martin’s images