Poetry In The Museum Vaults – a first taste of what’s to come…

Museum Vaults group locked inFor almost six weeks I’ve been working with a marvellous group of people In The Museum Vaults at Ludlow Museum Resources Centre.  Each week a curator locks us into a different vault, where we make notes, take photos, and then I help along the writing, applying coffee and chocolate biscuits as you do.

We – and Ludlow Museum Resources Centre – hope this will become an exhibition of creative writing and artefacts next year.

Meantime, here’s a taster of some of the exciting new writing that’s emerging.  And some photographs, that I took, and that don’t match.  But hopefully you’ll get the idea.

Stones and Mammoth Bones

was it a terrified marmoset or a rock python
a giant toad – a bufo marinus – mid-croak
or an eagle-headed griffin… that made you stare?

Stuffed, Tagged, Pinned
Stuffed, Tagged, Pinned

You, golden eyed, red burnished like sun on rusty tin, velvet ears pricked.
Magnificent you are.
Thin you are.  

Working Clothes & The Rustle of Silk
Working Clothes & The Rustle of Silk

It was such a plain dress; no frills or flounces, bows or lace, silk or taffeta. Somehow I could just picture you wearing it, your tall frame filling it as you walked down the summer lanes.  

Ladies, ladies, how fortunate you are!
Goddesses bathing in a sylvan landscape,
Your ample figures quite acceptable.
Today you would be hurried from the scene,
And sternly offered diet sheets.  

Cow's Hair Suitcases
Hairy Suitcases

Who named these things? Wulfenite, marcosite, topaz and tourmaline,
olivine, garnet and aquamarine?
Was there a Miss or Mr Hach who named the Hatchbetine
or a mad professor who named Ogygiocarella debuchi from the Ordovician sea
of Llandeilo, where sheep now graze?  

Costume (3)
In the First World War a million uniforms died  

I visited an archive full of clothes
hung high to the ceiling in double rows
and there were boxes and boxes of caps, shawls
and scarves, christening robes, aprons, bonnets
and shoes. A red cross uniform from the
First World War, a single Tudor sandal,
ice-skates and stoles. Each item had a number
and I relished the democracy of it all.  

Dolls House
Dolls House

During making iron,
dross is skimmed off the molten metal,
in order to pour good metal into moulds.

But what do we do with the quirky dross
of un-fileable museum items
Hide them behind the door.  






Specially for #NationalPoetryDay last week, I sat at a desk in the middle of Ludlow Library with my noisy ancient typewriter and provided VERSE TO GO! to a succession of lovely people of all ages who were curious enough to come and find out what was going on.  We wrote poems together about gorillas, a special place in New Zealand, a cuddly toy called Rabbie, a sea-plane flight in Norway, Peppa Pig’s wellies and bellydancing at Appletree Theatre in Ludlow.  Just a few below:Bellydancing Appletree

Jean Verse To Go Copper Beech poem Olive + poem Olive's poem Peppa Pig


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