A wonderful afternoon full of laughter and conversation with elderly people in a Herefordshire Nursing Home. I work regularly as a poet with the Courtyard Arts’ award-winning project, ‘In The Pink’, which employs professional poets to go into care settings to work with people living with dementia. The project is mentored by John Killick.
I took in a bag of different Herefordshire apples – Crispin, Russet, Spartan, Rubinette, some locally bottled apple juice, and a bottle of local organic cider. We passed round samples, then I listened and scribbled down the resulting conversations and comments. There was remembering, much smiling, in fact a lot of joy.
I take home the scribbled notes and turn them into poems by rearranging the words, but add none of my own. Then the next week I go in and read out the poems. They are given back to the people who gave me the words.
Here’s a couple of the resulting ‘apple’ poems:
I give you half, you have
the other half.
Could do with a little
more sweet, but
I can eat it.
The pears didn’t
come to nothing.
I think it’s gorgeous. It’s got
to be right because it’s Hereford
and for the last forty years
every fruit tree has been cultivated
by Hereford people, right from
Weston down to Hereford.