A History of the Airfields of Lincolnshire
August 1, 2019 § Leave a comment
A visit to my forgotten one-word poem (with a title of any length, as the prescription says, but this one is fixed for its subject and purpose), just outside the village of Skellingthorpe west and a bit north of Lincoln. It sits beside a long-distance cycle trial, in this section from Newark to Lincoln. It was a delight to see it renovated, re-riveted and well maintained after all these years, and how it has fallen into the grass cutting regime of the local parish.
The seven slabs of airfield concrete were taken from RAF Swinderby down the road further south, skilfully sawn and transplanted from flat to vertical in 2002. The next year, Erica and I glued on the orange anodised aluminium letters with the fiercest epoxy and a contraption that allowed it to set. But it was not strong enough for the long term, and any lone cyclist with a screwdriver could prise off a ‘p’ as a momento, or ‘poppie’ for their mantelpiece. Fortunately we lost very few, and there were a few spares.
Hugely physical for a poem, you might feel, but I always see it as my bit of Richard Serra, and maybe the true sensation of the poem is unchanged in its meaning by any of this?
the glass bridge and the aeolean neon
April 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
A recent photograph of one of the seven sections of my glass bridge of the anyone poem crossing the stream at Healey Hall, Riding Mill, Northumberland. Grid Ref 583000. It was built in 1999. Taken from underneath, from the stream as it were, the text is of course reversed, but walking across holding the thin handrail, you encounter the panels in sequence like the pages of the book. I guess these are three children paused on the centre panel, watching the rushing water.
Not far away, Grid Reference 585001, and easy if you can read a map, is the first of my Aeolean Neons. It is run by solar panel and wind-power , stored in a battery and let out consistently to the blue neon, installed in this small stone building in the middle of open country. The text is John Clare’s I found the poems in the field and only wrote them down gently glowing at dusk over the open field. Built in 2004, the battery has just been replaced after eight years, but during that time, the neon has been working of its own accord, with no switch to be turned on. It is remarkable to to think it is working there while I sit here in Ireland, or elsewhere !
The Swiss Cottage
March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
The amazing folly or ferme ornée known as the Swiss Cottage by John Nash is just down the River Suir from here. Here the eminent Butler family would play at being peasants in the manner of Marie Antoinette, almost in sight of their big house in Cahir, County Tipperary. The Office of Public Works completely revamped the building with great care and precision over the last twenty years, after the local farmer who owned it had used it for cattle and tying up a horse in the nineteen eighties