By Sarah Yapp, photos by Sally-Ann Ashley
With the sun blazing down, people who were discovering the plot or the first time began to arrive laden with cakes and poetry books. The table had been set out by Fiona with her delicious falafel, salad and tea and the plot welcomed us into her arms.
A strong Green Party contingency arrived with Simon and Sue, Jason, Fiona and myself. We were also joined by two of the Lady Garden Poets Rachael and Susan. Haley and Jason also brought poetry to share.
Sally Ann, Susan and Fiona had been hard at work weeding the beds, and clearing the way to dig up the potatoes which were finished flowering. However, Cake, poetry and the ever-growing group of guests was calling.
As unusual the food was delicious and there was ample for everyone, topped off with Lavender and Blackberry fairy cakes and Rhubarb crumble cake, all made with produce from the plot, we settled down to listen to the poets. The setting couldn’t have been better for poetry, the air was super still, and the surrounding nature provided a wonderful amphitheatre capturing the voices, the laughter and the applause, and keeping the feeling close and intimate.
We were encapsulated first of all by a very apt poem by Susan called “The Allotment”, a bittersweet look at the cycle of life as seen through the eyes of the gardener on the allotment. Then we were blown away by the performance piece by Jason and two lovely poems by Hayley and one by Rachael.
A lull in the poems brought out poems from the floor from Simon, Jude and …. Er…. Me! As I spoke my poem I was aware that there were more than humans in the audience… that the plants and trees on the plot were relishing our words, the birds engaged with the gestures of Jason’s poem about Orpheus and the sun and clouds even engaged with our words, providing light and shade to our storytelling.
Altogether the poetry on the plot event was a lovely day, very relaxed and inspiring, and we all went away with a feeling of fulfilment and joy, that something truly amazing had occurred and that we had planted our roots just that little bit deeper into our community.