A Guide to the Elements

So here’s my second poem from my mini-residency – A Guide to the Elements.

During London Open Garden Squares Weekend in 2015 (13th & 14th June), I was a poet-in-residence in Nomura’s rooftop garden as part of a collaboration between the Poetry School and London Parks and Gardens Trust. This is a poem made from the hundreds of conversations and interactions I had with garden visitors over that weekend. People usually wanted to talk about the view, the vegetable garden made by the switchboard staff, the birds of prey keeping the pigeons off the premises, and the strong work-envy that Nomura’s garden provision provoked in them. As the weekend progressed, these topics sorted themselves into the basic elements of rooftop garden life. The Saturday was also the day of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, hence the quick glimpse of the Red Arrows flypast. (The last crowd-sourced poem I wrote also featured the Red Arrows. I might drop them a line and see if they want to give me any airmiles.)

Thank you to all visitors for their contributions, and to Nomura for making me so welcome.


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