Polly Robinson organised a Worcestershire Lit Fest walk with poetry en route on the Malvern Hills for last Sunday. It was suitably foggy to creep unseen over the border, invading Herefordshire; we all met at British Camp car park. Around twenty walkers, with assorted children and dogs, set off following photographer Geoff Robinson in his leaderly high-vis jacket.
At the first foggy poetry stop, however, reader Maggie Doyle – “I don’t want to walk too far up the hill because I have a bad back” – Worcestershire Laureate, was nowhere to be seen. Mobile calls were made but signals around the Hills are a bit dodgy so it was a while before she was located; we walked on.
It transpired the Gazette had sent a reporter, an energetic walker, who’d insisted the only way was up and dragged a protesting Maggie to the very top of British Camp. So the audience for her poetry was limited to a few poets who spotted her – and then caught up with the main walk much later – and some bemused hikers. But the Gazette picture is atmospheric and the rest of us caught up with her readings on our way back.
The second wayside reader was the superb Jenny Hope, suitably attired for her pitch by Sutter’s Cave.
Third was bard Math Jones, clad in azure cloak.
Lastly was the lady who read bravely on the ridge of Hangman’s Hill, as the chill wind wisped fog over us like something on a Hammer Horror film set. Despite being out in the fresh air and in daylight, Suz Winspear was in a perfect gothic setting.
Back at the Malvern Hills Hotel we repaired to their cosy basement with food, drinks and open mic five minute reading slots; a lively event. Gary Longden had already penned something on the losing of the Laureate.
Here’s my take on the subject, a poem for reading aloud:
Maggie Doyle, missed
in the mist;
there was no vist-
a. We thought she’d be pissed
off but she’d been kissed
ity; a tryst
ing our exist-
of poetry set in the midst
might be missed
if you get the gist