‘Rattling, battling, bumpy ride/ in the donkey cart’

I’d no sooner laid out my table with tempting activities than Maisie (5) blew into the Shepherd Poet’s Hut with Lucy – who is her grandma, but that doesn’t look possible.  Maisie had been to see the piglets, now a fortnight old.  Poet table & Poem Inside envelopesShe told me all about what she thought about them, and we made a poem.  Maisie got me to write down the poem on the green paper which goes inside the little ‘Poem Inside’ envelopes, and then she autographed it on the back, and drew a fairy on the front.

8 June Maisie's Poem 8 June Maisie with Poem Inside

Meantime, Acton Scott was humming with the rare sound of petrol engines: the Midland Oil Engine Club had set up on the ‘Park’, a green space by the Schoolroom Cafe.  After waving Maisie and Lucy off, I went up to chat to them, and take notes about these curious early generators that came into use on farms in the early 20th century.  They were great labour-savers, and were put to work alongside horsepower over the following 50 years.  I found one labelled: ‘Purchased from a gent in Malvern’.  I have a few lines in my notebook that may be the start of a poem…
‘rhythmic cough of The Lister Junior/ smoking on the beat/ belts spinning easy/ suck, squeeze, bang, blow, this engine/ will freewheel without firing…’

Back in the Shepherd Poet’s Hut I met a big family picnicking among the Golden Leghorns.  They’d brought together three batches of cousins, and much poetry writing began.  Eva, nearly 11, and Dylan, 7, wrote about their ride in the donkey cart behind Dusty.

Dylan & donkey cart poem

‘Rattling, battling, bumpy ride/ on the lovely donkey cart./ No-one cried’ By Dylan, 7.

Eva & donkey cart poem

‘…Velvety ears stick up/ in our path/ grey hair blusters/ the air around’. Eva, nearly 11.

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