Tuesday, 27 September 2011

My own ingredient for transition

Sometimes you need to remember what it's all about.  It's about working together quietly, sometimes in the background, having fun and producing really great results.

This poem was written after the 2010 May Gala at Hornsey Vale Community Centre, which was very hard work but which led to us collaborating with the centre to make a tyre garden in a tiny unloved strip of land.


When asked about 'community'
I considered at first
Lying on my back on a summer's night
The community of stars.
But although their gleam inspired,
Felt it was an analogy too far.

And then I thought about the honey bee,
Its little suede body busying itself around flowers,
And then to the hive to present its waggle dance
Before the murmuring crowd.

But in the end, I decided
That 'community' is something more in keeping
With a compost heap.

I see it now
Raw, red brandlings tumble the fibre,
And microorganisms munch the slime.
And while some stubborn sticks
And glossy plastic bits
May refuse to change,
Most of it alchemises.

So honour the workers,
The worms and the woodlice,
The moulds and the germs,
Or if you like the cake bakers,
The key holders,
The minute-takers,
The shoppers,
The sweeper uppers,
The emailers.

All helping to create
The dark, rich fudge that is community.
From which - oh yes-
New things spring.

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