Fiona Kam Meadley
from the Gloucestershire Riviera
bees pollinating long grass;
river mud cracking in the sun.
We rustle in the wind.
Walking and talking
“Should we harness the tide
Or preserve the bore?”
Change coming either way.
She picks grass to make
prints – yellow with pollen.
Reassured by a dream
death behind her now.
This summer I will do nothing but:
sit in the garden when the sun shines,
paint the house when it rains,
spend time with friends and pass on family mythology.
. . .
Two great grandfathers who were poor
One died young in Indonesia
Leaving a widow who sold cakes in the market
to support their son.
The other made a fortune trading timber in Penang,
had seven children (by wife No.1) and
Grandmother (middle daughter) headstrong
the orphan boy now a clerk
sent their two sons to university
on scholarships – the first post colonial generation
When our turn came to study abroad
we, by and large, stayed there.
The Chinese diaspora shifting home
from one generation to the next.
Perhaps your English roots
will hold you here.
The half that loves cricket and plays jazz
laying claim to the land.
Points of sensation
Both transience and permanence of the river
Linearity [but s-curves of and on the river]
Banding and the different horizons
The Infinite palette of green
The void of the dark pools of reflection
The cycle and speed of wetting and drying
The subtlety of colour on a grey day
[and the dominance of the wind noise in my ears, drowning out the skylarks !!]
Newnham horse turning his back to the wind
Linear bands of water, grass, trees and stone
Just how does the drying clay crack and delaminate?
Absence of right angles
Drift of sound from across and above
Silent drovers crossing the flood now
Why don’t we try ?
Ships graveyard or hotbed of marine commerce – no clues
Many drowned ? Church graveyard can tell us
Can Newnham hear us ? Can we hear them ? Can we hear us ?
What is everyone else thinking ?
In my 100 paces I counted 100 grasses and sedges
and 100 ducks
The pillbox is aimed at the Forest…..no way in
and no way out.
Fishing camp [Its Hartley’s you know]
Been on the telly.
Knows it backwards.
Elvers and salmon.
Dabs and mullet.
And its own beach.
Wished I had walked barefoot in the mud – next time I will