Inspired by Nature is a themed Croak to entertain you with some of our favourite artwork based on nature and the outdoors. We hope it will stimulate you to get creative and produce something yourself. If you do and would like to share them with us, please post them on our Facebook page, Twitter account, or email us at email@example.com
This months feature has been written by Rebecca Neal our Conservation Youth Worker on the Peterborough Green Pathways project, funded by BBC Children in Need.
Over the summer term Froglife’s Green Pathways project worked with Voyager Academy students at the lovely Olive Branch Community Gardens located in a deprived area of Peterborough. This garden is such a fantastic place for young people; its gives them an opportunity to learn, contribute to their community and is somewhere they can simply relax and let off some steam. Over the weeks we spent there we hunted for frogs, harvested veggies, watered, toasted marshmallows and hunted for more frogs (this never gets boring). For the last few sessions, we invited local poet Keely Mills along to show us how to put words together in a creative way. She wrote four poems, some of which were with help from the young people. Here is the one she wrote about attending her first session with us. The rest will follow in future Inspired by Nature’s
A Space to Connect and Grow
Along a narrow alleyway, fenced by white brick.
In through the gate and wood chip driveways.
I shut the door on the concrete faces.
Lock the madness behind me and out of me.
I take the handbag off my chest.
I close the screen of the I-phone five.
With its apps that count down to Christmas.
My boss’s face and email are a ghost now.
Nature’s love is waiting for me.
I am pleased that we are making a fire,
More pleased to know we will cook jacket potatoes.
I am surrounded by strawberries.
I am immersed in June’s undecided weather.
Listening to the best things that have happened to people,
I am really content to hear that a dragon has got better.
Happier still when I learn that a friend survived.
As wood is chopped and the oven is being stoked.
I take a walk with a camera.
I feel the poppies petals, shapely like harem skirts.
They dance in red with whirly-gig notes.
These flouncy sirens no longer shy in pale green pin heads.
Already they have stripped their petticoats as if receiving a sailor on shore leave.
Their petals pinched pink as though they had been grabbed and kissed.
I stand in front of their chorus, their red magic has worked.
I dare not touch their flowers for remembrances sake.
Just the memory of my hand casting their sheets of colour,
to the ground as if the grass was a newly married bride.
Sneaky chives catch the edge of my toe nails.
Lavender that never-ending dream of a herb,
grabs my nose and performs upon it as if it were a perfume
counter girl in John Lewis.
Showing of its smells in deep strands of blueberry yoghurt.
Each one a sampler that sprays itself, I cannot
stop from testing all its strands by pulling its scent,
through my fingers.
Fennel is the first, iconic fractals in childhood sweets, spreading to the sky.
Whilst sage refuses to be a pot plant, rather a tyrant that defends its battalion.
Remaining stead fast from Spring to Winter.
I rest a time, sitting amongst the throne of berries that seats a 100 bees.
Whose royalty is hard working and mesmerising.
I linger my ears on their gentle hum as they fill their back legs with busy nectar.
These regal creatures are not the only kind in this Eden.
I take part in the unveiling of a frog from under a pot.
It leaps from hands and quickly we fly it to a nearby pond.
The thought of the cold water makes me creep towards kelly kettle.
Hot chocolate in the open air.
Apollo’s golden chariot is above the houses at the edge of this heavenly patch.
Bluebirds are its cheerleaders, swiping at the sky in an ethereal and noisy display.
Within my breath that is now as delicate as sweet peas.
I feel better.
I can get through each fabricated prospect the world chucks at me.
By Keely Mills June 2015
Inspired by exploring Olive Branch Community Gardens with Voyager Academy Students taking part in Froglife’s Green Pathways project.