Sunday, 24 September 2017

Reflections drawing deeper

Reflections drawing deeper
"Unfinished Poems" at Buxton Museum
Part 2
trilobites are rare in Derbyshire fossils - even rarer in rockpools like this!
Our Unfinished Poems postcards at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery continue to provoke the poetry in visitors to the museum….

The latest set of poems follows. If you would like to add your own, simply use the Unfinished Poem lines here (or in the earlier blog here) and send your poem to Gordon at: We don’t promise to publish everything but if we can, we will

The Derbyshire landscape the Museum collection draws upon (it does have a wider catchment but a lot of our material is local) is a largely Carboniferous one giving us a world of limestone, gritstone, shale sandwiched like cake filling and the weight of ancient coal in the east. Our limestone yields to water, dissolving into spectacular caverns and then slowly crystallising out again into stalactites, stalagmites and wonderful accumulating patterns that grow like strange colonies over their boulder grandparents

Ancient waves on forgotten seas
Left seaweed and shells on prehistoric sand
Like an imprinted shadow that never leaves
Their traces of existence stamped firm onto land
As rock built foliage shapely scored
Speaks of life and of treasures expansively forged
(Laura Huxford)
crinoid fossils are common
This was the postcard starting point:
Ancient waves on forgotten seas,
Left seaweed and shells on prehistoric sand,

(Possibly useful words: trees, free, years, hand, band, land)

Rain falls and water drips
Stone dissolves and water seeps,
Chemicals blend and crystals shape,
Colour and light glinting,
In darkest blackness,                               
The candlelight flaming
Foxhole Cave
Rain falls and water drips
Stone dissolves and water seeps
Lime and crystal streams no longer creep
Into earth's sunken saltiness vast and deep
Darkness merges with icy cold blasts
Daylight turning into night that ever lasts
Closeted secrets hidden as shadows sleep
Whispered of time-lost treasures forever keep
(Laura Huxford)

the starting point for the cave poems was:
Rain falls and water drips
Stone dissolves and water seeps,

(possibly useful words: fossil, crystal, slips, sleeps, keeps, steeps)

Giant dragonfly wings flutter,
Over the swamp of a tree-fern wood
Irridescent flashes awaken muted shade
As silence stands still amongst the forest glade
Flitting across water and onto dry land
Reflections drawing deeper by an unseen hand
(Laura Huxford)

Unfinished starting point:
Coal Measures
Giant dragonfly wings flutter,
Over the swamp of a tree-fern wood,

Useful words: mutter, amphibian, newt, salamander, coal, good, stood, stutter, clutter
there is even a Derbyshire fossil dragonfly

As the centuries turned, dissolving limestone layers into caves, new life moved into those caves and the Museum’s Cave Lion skeletal paw, bear skulls, hyena memories and growling stuffed bear, all remind us of the long living history of the land here…
Cave Bear skull in Museum collection

 A bear in the darkness growls,
A lion watches from the cave,
Through the woods, a wolf howls,
Through the night, fire feeds the brave

Bones lie on cave floors,
Gathering dust and dirt through long slow years,
We clean the bones, assemble the paws,
Not knowing the fur, the blood, the tears

Unfinished poem:
Cave lions
A bear in the darkness growls,
A lion watches from the cave,
(Possibly useful words: brave, save, prowls, howls)

Most of these poems remain anonymous and we recognise the rights of the named poets of the other poems. We must ask you to respect this and not to reprint them without acknowledging that poet and first publication here in this blog. If you want to reprint poems in physical or other form for sale, please contact Gordon MacLellan at the toadwords email above for written permission.

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