Poetry from the allotments to give you a glow ... Steve Pottinger, Emma Purshouse, and Dave Pitt
If you’re looking for something to cheer you up in these dispiriting times of Covid phase two, look no further … I stumbled across this on social media the other day, a wonderful film-poem by the masterly performance poet Steve Pottinger, called ‘Come to Me Now.’
It’s a poem written for a community project about the seasons on Boundary Way allotments in Wolverhampton that enjoys a view of the Shropshire hills. It’s warming, crafted, lyrical, uplifting, and has a wonderful rhythm. There is something magical about it.
Here are some of the lines: “A sense of purposeness in the gathering in … the tomatoes in the polytunnel stay obstinately, resolutely green … when the sun still works, and The Wrekin is there in the distance … turning the soil, putting in your shift … when life is a moment you pluck between finger and thumb”.
Don’t take my word for it. Watch the whole poem here, in the film by Rachel Gillies:
The poetry collective that is Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists – Steve Pottinger, Wolverhampton poet laureate Emma Purshouse, and Dave PItt – were commissioned by Boundary Way allotments to create a poem each about the allotments, as part of an arts and heritage project backed by the Cultural Recovery Fund. Steve said: “We visited the site, chatted with some of the folk there, and wrote the poems. These were then turned into a video by local community filmmaker Rachel Gillies.”
Here’s ‘Boundary Way Plots’ by Emma Purshouse, with more luscious lines such as “slugs and sparrows of outrageous misfortune … the drama of sweetcorn … schemes sprout like mare’s tail … rich pickings from a raspberry bush … raise a glass of parsnip wine”.
Dave Pitt’s poem ‘The Joy of Herbie’ is written from the point of view of a painted allotment shed, “watching the old couple have a well-deserved brew, their smiles and flashes of sunlight in their eyes giving away their love, and their pride”.