Poetry walks

… and sometimes it sits down and looks at the ducks and flowers. Yesterday it walked round the University of Bristol Botanic Garden and produced a booklet of 28 specially written poems by the IsamBards – Pameli Benham, Deborah Harvey, David Johnson and myself. At £3.50 that works out at just over 12p per poem, proceeds to the gardens.

We started with pollination (where else?), as David is doing in the picture, and as you can also see at the bottom of the page. We then went round the pond past the big oak and the plants unique to the Avon Gorge, the latter featuring in a wonderful poem, Gorge, by Deborah. We continued through the Moon Gate into the Chinese garden, on to the Phylogeny Pool (neither did we), on to the glasshouses, and finished at the terrace under a medlar tree at which Pameli read her poem referencing Mercutio’s rude jokes about medlars in Romeo and Juliet. Did everyone enjoy it? Yes they did, here are some of them doing just that. 

And here’s Pameli reading on the steps, Deborah seated. There will be more from the Isambards in Bath on 1st June and Bristol on 8th. Details soon. And if you’ll be in or near Bristol, don’t forget the launch this Friday (24th)  at 7.00 at the Folk House of The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead


Imaginative methods

‘Orchids have evolved […] unusual and imaginative methods
for attracting pollinators.’ Information board,
Bristol University Botanic Gardens

Some look like bees, and bees believe them
            being seemingly bumbling, loose
                        easily led by flowers.

Some look like minature monkeys, and maybe
            there are minature monkeys who
                        get turned on by petals.

Other orchids come from under the ground
            to find lovers, imitate
                        lizards or shining flies.

In time, no doubt, in a world in which
            Orchidaceae dominate
                        they will set traps for men

who in season will emerge
            unclothed from the flowers, dazed
                        thickly coated with pollen

since so often they are bumbling
            loose, easily led
                        by imaginings.

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