Thursday, 27 March 2014

I Am Clay Cross

Over the last few weeks, Derbyshire has been keeping me as busy as Derbyshire should: a series of schools workshops, a cycling poem (watch this space!), two trips to Wirksworth to work with the wonderful Word Miners group and a session for young writers at Clay Cross library. Phew! One of my favourite things about writing poems with teenagers and children is that they always have as much to teach me about language as I do them. In Clay Cross, we wrote a group poem (passing folded papers round like a game of consequences) and I learned a lot about the town and what makes it special to everyone who lives there. With kind permission from the Super Scribers writers, I'm including a bit of the poem here. Many thanks to fantastic author Emma Pass for facilitating the workshop.

I am Clay Cross.
I see the spring creeping up on me.
I hear cheery greetings and traffic.
I smell the flowers opening up for spring.
I touch the edges of forgotten secret paths.
I wish we had a slower pace of life.
I will always be Clay Cross.

I am Clay Cross.
I see the houses in the distance.
I hear the birds sing. Blackbirds, robins, bluetits.
I smell steam and coal dust all around.
I touch street lamps blazing.
I wish I could see myself the way the birds see me.
I will always be Clay Cross.

I am Clay Cross.
I see the bustling people running into the shops.
I hear the clash clashing of Stephenson’s rocket.
I smell car fumes.
I touch the tops of houses, rough roof slates.
I wish I could tell people what this place means to me.
I will always be Clay Cross.

I am Clay Cross.
I see coal bins filled with flowers.
I hear trees whistling.
I smell the strange perfume of diesel.
I touch stone and brick and brass shop door handles.
I wish for woods full of bluebells.
I will always be Clay Cross.

Poem by Super Scribers writers, Clay Cross, March 2014.