The South West Poetry Tour was a 5 day collaborative initiative curated by Camilla Nelson and Steven Fowler in August 2016. The tour consisted of collaborative poetic performances at The Barbara Hepworth Museum (St Ives), The Poly (Falmouth), Schumacher College (Dartington), Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute (Bath) and Hauser & Wirth Somerset (Bruton). In addition to the collaborative efforts of the 6 touring poets – JR Carpenter, John Hall, Matti Spence, Annabel Banks, Camilla Nelson and SJ Fowler – the project featured work by 60 emerging and established poets from across the region. Supported by Arts Council England, The South West Poetry Tour has commissioned over 60 new works as part of its ambition to forge creative links between poets, artists, arts organisations and audiences locally, regionally and nationally. We are delighted to be able to share a small selection of these works through this special South West Poetry Tour edition of The Clearing.
Addresses from a Far Age
Free translations of a victory speech, 24th June 2016
The dragon has woken into its dreamXXXXXXXXXXXXXOnce, a Ballan Wrasse swam, or slept or swept its tail
Of here, a breathable golden kingdom. XXXXXXXXXXXXcreating sound, waves: Uuuukkk
Merlin, and Macbeth’s ginger bitches, XXXXXXXXXXXXAs if we had known, this disturbance muddled up our good
Prophesised what the good have rationalisedXXXXXXXXour spotless small-eyed ray of hope,
Now in their righteous victory, in people.XXXXXXXXXX we flit out in righteousness.
We fought politics and the major inter XXXXXXXXXXXXWhere are the teeth that gripped us,
National we fought banks and the villain XXXXXXXXXXXsnapped and skewered and sharked?
Who cackled when George’s sprouting lanceXXXXXXXXXWe are more slippery in warring water.
Made its bristly Brussely squeal.
Today and today and todayXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXCome Coalfish, Cod and Congar Eel.
Creeps in morality, honesty, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXFish swim in loyalty to salt.
Loyalty, national, victory.
Peaceful accounting – and collateral XXXXXXXXXXXXXXNo mullet fired, or red.
Victims are no more.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXWhen is a fight not a fight?
Banks, OxXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXThis is god-burbled
Ne’er shake thy gory nots at me! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXbanked currents
In this hard redrafting we are friends. XXXXXXXXXXXXXWe bubble up the mare liberum
Everyone is Us and Us is everyone;XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXThis not only for the turbots, porbeagle sharks.
What’s said is done and something else to come.XXXXXXXXThe eutrophic sounds: Uuukkk: Ippp
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXlike sonar pin and scatter all our foes.
Across Europe the dragon’s teeth sprout XXXXXXXXXXXXXLaminar flow has caught us all:
Though my lance fails and will not yet comeXXXXXXXXXXXinto the breakers, rocks and pools,
Into Europe’s Damsels’ market-gardensXXXXXXXXXXXXXxtrailing sequins of stars, the silvering
Though I strive with the cross singing crosslyXXXXXXXXXXxnet of song. A new shoal.
To Babylon, there to be rid of all this
And to be, to be
This day is call’d the Feast of Independence,XXXXXXXXXXXXWe fish wish this
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go byXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXNow time is a fly on water.
As history stops in its continuing
David Sergeant lectures in English and Creative Writing at Plymouth University. His poems have been published in numerous magazines in the UK and abroad and his first collection, Talk Like Galileo, came out in 2010 with Shearsman.
Mike Rose-Steel is a member of the Exegesis writing collective and editor of Spindlebox Press. His poems and essays have been published in The Clearing, Dovetail, The Broadsheet, Kadar Koli, Heaventree Press and elsewhere. He recently completed a PhD on Wittgenstein, Poetry and the Inexpressible, in the course of which he produced two poetry collections, as well as a number of collaborative installations, films and exhibitions shown in Exeter, San Francisco and Leeds. He is based in Cornwall.