The Teapot

Once when I was young and naïve I destroyed a green teapot with a black lid by putting it down the rubbish chute of the flats I lived in. It was a blameless item, existing its little heart out from home to home, its final place that flat in a boxy brick estate lit by round streetlights, the bushes below the window precipitating hordes of small green flies up through the windows  on summer nights when the blue sign of the Cunard Hotel glared sullenly across the void at us. The windows faced westwards; so no sunrise to greet our morning egg and toast and marmite, if there ever was such a thing. But sunsets, over the bend in the river a mile away, roaring in silent sheets of flame.

I once wondered how large a sunset actually is. Is it the size of a memory? Does it have a real extent? The Northern Lights show up on film when invisible to the eye.

Although there were no stars in our night sky, there were robins singing their hearts out as we walked from the Tube station, across the sullen dark of the main road, up the street of Victorian houses and into the flats like a rabbit turning tail and darting down its burrow to safety from the drifting hawk, the prowling fox.

Home. Where I felt safe. Home.

http://chramies.typepad.com/

Chris Amies was born in south London and lived for many years in Hammersmith, which still appears in much of his fiction. He is the author of one published novel (“Dead Ground”, published by Big Engine and reissued by Clarion), one non-sfiction book (Hammersmith and Fulham Pubs, published by Tempus) and about 25 short stories, and has reviewed fiction for the BSFA and Tangent Online. He recently diversified into anthology editing (“NeaDNAthal” available from Fringeworks) and full-length translations from French.

Kingston’s Apple Story, By A Michelson’s Seedling

*Launching today!*

Alison Fure’s Kingston’s Apple Story, By A Michelson’s Seedling,is the third chapbook to be published on the Seethingography imprint of Sampson Low Ltd. This colourful A6 pamphlet tells the story of Kingston’s orchards and apple growing heritage across 16 pages, squeezing in juicy chunks of local history, and the importance of orchards as places sustaining an amazing amount of wild life and rich biodiversity. You will also find out about some of the fascinating people in the Borough who remember, for example, what life was like as a child in Hook when it was full of orchards!

 

“Behind the bakery was an orchard from which I was chased many a time by the irate owner, named by us as ‘old man Phipps…We rarely did any scrumping in the orchard, just used it for Cowboys and Indians and tree climbing.” (J. Mutimer, Hook resident, 1920s)

 

It features the Tolworth Apple Store- a beautiful, but desperately in need of restoring, old barn c.1856, not far from Tolworth Court Moated Manor. Alison hopes that this important piece of local heritage can be saved and restored for everyone to enjoy.

Please help her and sign the petition here!

Copies of the chapbook are available to buy from Sampson Low, and from Alison herself, whose website and contact details are here.

The chapbook is £2.00 plus p+p

Alison is a field ecologist specialising in bats. She is a director at Kingston Environment Centre and a license trainer for the London Bat Group. She believes that orchards can help soften the impact of urbanisation; if each child could plant an apple tree-in their name-it would halt the spread of ‘green desert’.

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Carried

Come and carry me away

gather up my pieces

fold them tidy

tuck in the frayed edges

carry me away

click and swish

bob me to the beat of your footsteps

make your way between the trees

brush me up against the sun rough bark

carry me away

packed with my heaviest bits at the bottom

place my delicate leaves on top

put me in the press undamaged

carry me away

or set me down in a windy park

let me unfurl

let the wind

carry me away

Sinead Keegan

https://allthesins.co.uk/

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Two Running Poems

Runners roots
Runners roots
Ter Race number 12642

Runners

       hell.

You, that’s who!

Sweaty locks and discomfort.

Trust in a few jelly babies for every

emotional and physical

        response

Found poem from 9 things you need for race day survival


Runner’s roots

Found: one trainer along the Portsmouth Road,

rooted to its spot atop a wall.

Lace tendrils carefully pruned, suggest a

recent transplantation.




Less is more,

except when running,

then two feet are always better than

                one.

        Run on.

Circuit complete, the trainer remains.

Pale circular roots have sprouted.

It means to settle. And why not, since this

                                         wall

                                         is as nice

                                         as any,

with its south-facing aspect and communal garden.

It’s the sort of place that nourishes

the soul;

the sort of place that one might

                 blossom.

By Lisa Davison
Lisa is running the Royal Parks Half Marathon
to raise money for Children and the Arts Start Hospices programme.
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=LisaAndrews6&faId=728966&isTeam=false

 

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Seething Town, the place I want to be

That Seething Feline (photo by Lucy Furlong)
That Seething Feline (pic by Lucy Furlong)

Back to the future. It all started in the Museum of the Future. It had been a detective agency once, reminded him of one of the Douglas Adams novels, Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency or something like that. The whole area was known as the Wells, somewhere he had passed by many times but he had heard many interesting stories about it and now here he was. He looked up and even the clouds looked a bit different. Definitely something different about the place though he couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was.

He started walking along the street, noticed a few road cones and a small yard with some hollyhock plants in it, then started walking along the main road near the river. A couple of cyclists went past, it reminded him that there was a big cycle race the following weekend, happened every year and always lots of people watching, some having picnics on the local village green or watching it pass by outside the local pub.

On past the local wine store and the Old waterworks building which was now a gym and student accommodation. He remembered the time the waterworks was still in use and even the slight smell from the old filter beds  and looking around began to imagine what it might have been like back in the day. Now it was a wildlife haven, a few years ago someone had the idea of building floating houses there but  fortunately that had been abandoned. So many stories he had heard about the area, about giants and caves and a mysterious goat-boy, wondering how many of them were true, maybe that was where the detective agency came in ..

He was brought back from his reverie by his friend passing by with his large but amiable husky type dog, he lived just round the corner and they chatted for a while, walking past the car showroom and the golf studio . After the man left he walked on towards the gated estate, no dogs allowed in the park there so just as well his friend had left by then he thought. He then noticed a cat was following him, as he approached the private garden, looked like a lovely place with large garden, shared walkway and small pond and fountain in the distance. He played with the cat for a few moments before it wandered back to where it had come from. Remarkable to think that the garden had once been a small reservoir, even Alan Titchmarsh hadn’t managed that big a makeover.

Soon be was passing the park where they held a community sports day every year, and then through the Wells estate on the way back to the Museum. There was definitely something different about this place,whether it was the distinctive appearance, the wild garden with the bee hives, and the back gardens of the houses near the Museum. Maybe it was here that the strange tale he had heard about the little goat boy who lived in a cave underneath the mountain originated, it all began to make a bit of sense.

Finally it was back past the old emporium shop with contented cat inside and back to the Museum

As he met up with his friends in the Young Sheep pub afterwards, he reflected, yes there was magic in Seething Town …

By Mark Badcock

 

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Oh little town of Seething Wells

robinrutherfordwalk

Oh, little town of Seething Wells, how still we see thee lie – Meandering through our own waterworks, we risked being run down, by joggers or commuters we crossed at lights.

Tourists from another world, gazing in awe at blue painted railings, snapping brickwork and each other.  Visitors gathering samples to take back to our craft.

Like schoolboys we searched our pockets for things to drop into a well, took photos of the sun, quenched by filterbeds.
Brave voyagers, we walked amongst the resting places of a thousand souls.  Where were these creatures for whom water had been cleaned and towers built?

We called, yet no one answered, tuned instead to cobbled together tales of northern streets on glowing screens hung on walls where once their ancestors gazed benignly down.  Good grace stayed our hands that longed to knock and wake them up.

Leave them to their slumbers, like Titania’s host, we must away, to pick through the gathered fruits, choosing which to eat and which to store away.

By Robin Rutherford

http://www.robinrutherford.co.uk/

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Seething Writers of the Walking Kind

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So, Seething Writers of the Third Kind, as it was billed on Facebook, became Seething Writers of the Walking Kind… our first foray into what I have been calling Seethingography, and this was it- a walk around Seething Wells for just over an hour. We met at the Museum of Futures and the walk began with a small reading from Phil Smith’s wonderful book ‘On Walking’, followed by the famous Walt Whitman lines:

now voyager

It was great fun, and we were very lucky to be accompanied by Seething experts Simon Tyrrell and Howard Benge who have studied the history of the filter beds and Seething Wells water works, amongst other local history. It will be interesting to see what writing comes out of this psychogeographical exploration of the area.

view from the lambeth waterworks steps
view from the lambeth waterworks steps

The next Seething Writers meeting takes place on Monday August 22nd, from 7.30- 9pm at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton. There is a Facebook Group here or email seethingography@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list.

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Berrylands Snoozes

sharon_berrylands_seething_june2016
Berrylands snoozes:  bounded by steel, tarmac and water,
We lie cosy, caressed by birdsong and the A3 hum.
Our houses and gardens, scout huts, allotments, and pet club,
Litter the fields, and green trees are our bedroom views.
Bulrushes stand in hidden waters behind croquet lawns,
And here’s a grassy amphitheatre for who knows who -
Past citizens, the dead maybe, come back and enjoy the silence.
Light on landmarks, punctuated just by that lone tower,
Berrylands snoozes.

Sharon Zeqiri
https://lifegoingdown.com/
https://taramander.wordpress.com/

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On a Bridge

View from the bridge by Lucy Furlong
View from the bridge by Lucy Furlong
I’d taken a risk with the weather that day,

Which’d held until Worcester Park.

The London sublime sound of cars rushing elsewhere

Hummed in the background, and then was gone.

I walked up Southwood Drive

And reccied my position on top of a street sign

That marked my turn left into Oakdene Drive.

I strode up the hill and round to the right

Looking at a porch with a figure of a yacht

Marked out on the window.

The grey late winter held,

As some cast iron steps rose up from the ground

I sailed up, the Atlantic low blustering from the left

And below, towards the Tolworth Tower

Cars, some with headlights on, zipped by

Like a dream of an American city.

I looked towards Croydon, and Crystal Palace,

The Shard behind a hill, Canary Wharf giving birth

To Norwood. This was what I wanted.

As I stepped down to turn towards Highfield Road,

The weather broke.

22/02/2015 and 14/09/2015

By Paul Miner
@PaulMiner3 
Paul's LinkedIn Profile

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