It’s Easter Saturday and I’m on the train home from Cardiff where I’ve been performing alongside writers I have a lot of respect for including Clare e Potter, Dan Tsu and Philip Gross for All That The World Allows. The event, held in Bute Park, was part of a Tree Charter project organised in association with Lyrix Organix and is connected to a wider Charter Champions programme currently running across the U.K.
Today’s event grew from a workshop I facilitated in December last year, which then encouraged (and funded) participant Jake Hurley to create today’s follow up event celebrating trees. Our original workshop was centred around writing in response to the trees at Bute Park and it’s wonderful to see how everything has evolved. I also loved discovering the diverse and engaging work of Rachel Nwokoro, Daniel Williams, Wanda O’Connor and Toby Thompson. It was wonderful to return to Bute Park (one of the largest green parks in the U.K. And home to some of the county’s most important trees) in the spring to drink in a fizz of pink and white frothing tree blossom. A tour of the park was planned so that we stopped at various places to hear poetry or hug a tree – and the whole event left me feeling nourished and energised. Here’s a gorgeous quote:
The Charter will be rooted in stories and memories that show us how trees have shaped our society, landscapes and lives.
Trees have formed the basis of various projects I’ve been involved with including planting community orchards in Mold some years ago (including at Mold Alun high school) so I’m always delighted to work on anything tree related (especially if it also includes poetry).
My favourite moment was when Clare e. Potter read out a poem her daughter had spoken to her the day before. It was magic – the trees loved it, as did I.
The Tree Charter is right when it states ‘It’s time to stick up for trees’ and I was reminded to share a section of a long performative poem Psycholingualgeography published in Dark Mountain a few years ago.
It is a ridiculous title for a poem but also what the piece demanded to be called so I had to just go with it. This bilingual poem explores the Cymraeg language gifted to us by the land here, and attempts to represent how it is layered or pools like water and time across our internal and external landscapes.