Monday, 18 March 2013

Little gothic orangery

You will notice a hiatus in entries - the first of its kind in p&g history - I have finished the commission and it was a relief. In fact I feel that I have been relieved of my commission.

Sometimes writing a poem to order can be a pleasure. By coincidence last week,  I met the great [x] grandson of John Smith - a builder who worked for Walter Scott at Abbotsford. He lived in Darnick and was also a sculptor (his most famous work being a giant statue of William Wallace) and like many builders of his generation architect and designer too. I wrote a number of poems about his practice. How strange to find myself discussing them in my own kitchen with his direct descendant.

This is one of those poems which was first published in Gutter in 2010.

The little gothic orangery

Best work I did there
but I had nothing to do with oranges
the glass panes the cutting of them
and their angles
we had worked on stained glass
and its leading but these
the panes their fine-ness
a meadowsweet head
cut down its shapes
in glass and the curve of it
all to hold oranges
I had nothing to do with oranges

And when we placed the glass there
the rain came in from the hills
we saw its curl
in the glass placed on hessian
in trays from the gardener
he had lent us
before the oranges which might fill them
and then each piece
its position as intricate
as a flowerhead as grass seeds
or crops a harvest of glass
cut and winnowed
with lath and putty
into a shape that caught the hills
each piece of them
their incline and steep upwards
slope in the window’s pattern
I could only look out
I had nothing to do with the oranges

© Bridget Khursheed

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