Friday, 11 November 2016

Ripples of earlier rains

Ripples of earlier rains
11th November 2016

Our workshops began on 1st November 2016, a year to the day after the rain began that fed the river that spilled into the floods that smashed into Elland Bridge "an elephant stampede”, hitting the bridge on 26th December 2015, a bridge which “crumbled like Weetabix”*

lively days before the flood
Working for the Canal and Rivers Trust with Year 5 and 6 children from Elland C of E Primary School, we set out to explore the impact of the flood by looking at the river before, during and after those eventful days.

It flows, calm as a sleeping sloth

The bridge is nearly repaired now and as work moves towards completion, the Trust were looking for words and phrases to fit onto the sides of the river tunnel by the towpath. We gave them more than words and phrases, we gave whole flowing, flooding river poems

As shy as the fish’s cry

I’m not going to steal everyone else’s thunder just now: I’ll just quote from bits of our poems and leave the full texts for the C&RT to reveal in time….but here are extracts along with some of the folded rivers we made to help shape our word-thoughts….

As calm as rain and as a coconut that fell from a tree

Before the flood,
Calm waters,
A deep river,
Quiet and still.

The river runs through rapids,
A vicious cat of a river
Raging round rocks,
A racing river,
Crazily curling over boulders
Blue, black and brown,
Crooked, old and damaged.

 Flooding playgrounds,
The river roars loud as a tiger,
A stampede of elephants.
A rumbling avalanche,
Fish swim between swings
Calm water reflects a slide,
No children play here now.

waterfall picture notes

A wild waterfall,
Throws the river over the edge,
Water wiggling in streams down,
Diving down, onto deep, dark rocks,
The broken teeth of dinosaurs, of dragons,
Of monsters.

The water bursts,
Waves crashing,
Smashing into rocks,
A crazy bear with stone teeth,
 A bull charging,
An elephant stampede,
Plunging down, plunging onwards
Towards the town, towards the bridge,
Toward the bridge that
Will crumble like Weetabix.

the flood!

Extracts are from the Year 6 and Year 5 poems
* quotes from pieces by individual children

Elland Bridge Open Day
Saturday 26th November,
Details here

There should be a blog post about our workshops but it hasn’t surfaced yet!

I suspect it is better not to know  what is happening to the lone swimmer....

Winter night, winter water,
Christmas night,
The river wakes.
The flood is coming.

With many thanks to Tom and Claire and the C&RT team 
 and to the artists and poets of Elland primary School

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