Poetry at the Museums by Caitlin, Danni, Dylan, Ellie, Isobel, Jessie x, Jess, Kurt and Tegan
In the Summer of 2011, nine amazing young poets explored three museums in Cambridge to create poetry and word art from the collections. They discovered paintings, plates, rugs and robots at Kettles Yard, uncovered endangered tribes and languages at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology and found love in the Museum of Zoology! Here are some of the things they got up to in each place. Enjoy x
The House of Kettles Yard By Messy Jessy, Chillin’ Dylan and Makin’ Caitlin Once there was a house where people live Then they moved out But while they lived in the house they turned it into a Museum of art. They collected things from the whole world wide like Books, sculptures and pictures of the tribe While they were there they created rules Not moving any objects at all These rules were strict and would restrict Anyone who tried to touch anything they picked The spirits guarded the house and stuck to the rule book If you moved anything you’d get more than a cruel look. The spirits would trap all naughty souls Of those who didn’t obey what they were told. The house smelt pleasant of Love and care There was always a window open letting in fresh air. The house echoed from voices of times that passed. Some whispered, some noisy, some proud, some masked. Each room was white and when the sun shone it was bright But some pictures you could see with very little sight.
The Evil Robot (inspired by ‘Vexilla Regis’ by David Jones) By Ellie Jelly, Fizzy Izzy, Kurt Flirt and Danné Renné A long time ago there was a master-genius scientist man His hair was a pink afro and he had massive, humungous, grey and wrinkly hands. He created a robot in a dark and gloomy attic, He went to bed cos he was knackered. Then the robot came to life. And everyone was doomed. The robot rushed outside and saw someone throwing bread Kicked them with his sharp blades of ice skate feet, Shoots them with machine gun hands, And then his eyes glowed devil-red. He fled into a forest, a freezing, frozen, frightful scene. It felt so cold like it was snowing, but it was raining heavily. The forest smelt like dead flowers and rotten skin And every time the wind blew you heard the screams of victims. As the robot was skating into the forest the raindrops hit the flowers And extraordinary magical mushrooms And every time a raindrop splashed the flowers and the fruits all came to life again and glowed: Blues, greens, baby pinks, reds and baby blues. Browns, yellows, purples, whites, orange, lilac, turquoise hues. Suddenly a man lunges into the forest on a white, muscular horse That plunges him into a hole full of brambles, leave, mud and paper The robot came back, threws in a lit match The mans finger scratch scratch the muddy walls where he was at And the robot looked down and laughed A deep, genius laugh And skated away on an icy path. And the man was left in the burning hole As over a thousand years brambles and moss grow. He screams, but no-one hears his alarm Os the enchanted forest has a soundproof charm. A tree walked over and sat in the hole Grew bigger and bolder and covered in mould And every time someone goes in the forest to look for him They never come out. Only the evil robot knows the way out. A secret laser is triggered whenever someone walks in. And an invisible, underground forest door appears and locks you in. WARNING: Enter At Your Own Risk
museum of archaeology and anthropology
land of milk and honey The day my tongue grew old and died I sighed and cried and cried `now there’s no-one else who speaks the same There’s no-one else alive. Here’s what happened: Rainforest people walk around bare Not bothering to hide a single hair Kids playing with berry juice making their faces bright They go to the water to paddle, even at night. They go to the water to piddle, even at night. The fresh, green, oxygenated land, Quickly turned into forgotten sands. Vegetated, over 20 million trees. And now just rotten leaves. These viscious people Don’t care what happens as long as they get their blood money Before they came everything was sunny, It was called the land of milk and honey And as I lay my tongue to rest This is the last word you’ll hear: JADACOTUDIR Now you’ve heard the tale of how My language disappeared. by Caitlin, Tegan, Danni, Dylan and Jessie x
photo copyright David Hill / Survival
The day my tongue grew old and died I sighed and cried and cried `now there’s no-one else who speaks the same There’s no-one else alive. Yet every day the spirits talk to their ancestors They tell us stories of old but also describe What the future holds. Our land is being taken the food is running out. The tribe are still happy but hungry so we hunt for meat and fruit.
Our language is being erased. Our population’s decreasing. Our land is being taken for other peoples eating. And as I lay my tongue to rest This is the last word you’ll hear. The forest is being cut down by swords, diggers and tones of triggers, We’re down to our last lot of food. We starve and the tribe passes away. Now you’ve heard the tale of how our language disappeared. By Ellie, Isobel, Kurt and Jess
photo copyright Toby Nicholas / Survival
Museum of Zoology
I wanna be…by Kurt and Jess I wanna be your Arctica islandica So you can live for more than 500 years I wanna be your kakapo So I can keep an eye on you I wanna be your Acanthostega gunnan To show you what it was like 300 years ago I wanna be your okapi feet So you can run fast like me I don’t care I wanna be yours I wanna be your platypus To keep you safe when your scared I wanna be your whale’s ribs To lock you inside my ribs I wanna be your Museum of Zoology So I can show you all the animals of the past I wanna be your penguin So I can teach you to waddle like me I don’t care I wanna be yours
I wanna be…by Danné Renay I wanna be your tusks So I can help you fight your battles I wanna be your bird friend So we can sore all through the day and night I wanna be your kakapo so you can here me when I call I wanna be your wings So I can make sure you never fall I don’t care I wanna be yours I wanna be your islandica So we can lay on the beach for days I wanna be your pearl necklace So you will always shine I wanna be your elephant So you can ride on my back so We can run away together Even when our love is under attack I don’t care I wanna be yours
I Wanna Be ... I wanna be…by Jessie.x I wanna be your moon Up in the sky with the stars I wanna be your guidance home No matter where you are I wanna be your kakapo To jump around the ground And whenever you need me Just make a booming sound I don’t care I wanna be yours I wanna be your favourite picture Hanging on the wall I wanna be your safety net So you never fall I wanna be your Acanthostege I’ll go out and hunt for food Because you’ll wait home for me I don’t care I wanna be yours I wanna be your hedgehog To walk you through the night I’ll give you all the cat food So we’ll never fight I wanna be your slender loris To climb about the trees I wait all through the four seasons To see you in the golden leaves
I wanna be…by Kurt
I wanna be…by Jess
I wanna be your quilt So I can keep you warm at night I wanna be your ice cream So I can cool you down on a hot day I wanna be your coat So on a cold day I keep you warm I wanna be your okapi eyes So you can see I don’t care I wanna be yours
I wanna be your sun cream So you don’t get burnt in the sun I wanna be your deodorant So you don’t smell when you run I wanna be your okapi So you can have fun finding me I wanna be your duck billed platypus So I can sense your every move I don’t care I wanna be yours
I wanna be your okapi So you can have fun finding me I wanna be your okapi feet So you can walk I wanna be your okapi ears So you can hear me I wanna be your okapi So I can be your friend I don’t care I wanna be yours
I wanna be your stripy okapi To make me look like a zebra I wanna be your pick knife To get every detail I wanna be your kakapo island To keep your species growing I wanna be your feather To stroke your smooth face I don’t care I wanna be yours
I wanna be your kakapo So I can keep an eye on you I wanna be your fossil So you can live for millions of years I wanna be your okapi nose So you can smell I wanna be your kakapo island To help increase your numbers
I wanna be your Arctica islandica To make the sea shine and sparkle I wanna be your purifier To make you look brand new I don’t care I wanna be yours
If you’d only look and see me.
I wanna be…by Dylan and Inja I wanna be your killer whale So I can always save you when your in danger I wanna be your wasps’ nest So we can live as a big family I wanna be your sea horse So we can ride around the ocean I wanna be your trumpet shell So we can make beautiful music together I don’t care I wanna be yours
I wanna be your tree frog So you will never leaf me I wanna be your alligator To keep you safe in the musty merky swamps I wanna be your iguana So we can disappear together in the trees I wanna be your bird-ofparadise So we can fly away beauty I don’t care I wanna be yours
I wanna be your great angus pheasant So I can be the decoration in your heart I wanna be your swan So we always have royal protection I wanna be your bat wing So we can fly in the dark of night If you’d only look and see me.
m m e
A IS FOR ARCTICA ISLANDICA AGEING B IS FOR BUG PLATES AND BEETLES IN BITES C IS FOR CAITLIN AND COOL COLOUR EYE-SHADOWS D IS FOR DYLAN AND RADIANT LIES A POKER FACED FIBBER WITH WINNING DISGUISE.
E IS FOR ELLIE, DIRECTOR EXCEPTIONAL F IS A FOREST WHERE ROBOTS CAUSE FRIGHT G IS FOR GENIUS HUMUNGOUS GREY HANDS H IS FOR HELEN AND JUMPING FROM HEIGHTS WHEN IN NEW ZEALAND OR WAS THAT A LIE? I IS FOR ISOBEL’S IRREPRESSIBLE GIGGLES J IS FOR JESSIE X CLOUD STORMS AND DREAM FADES K IS FOR KURT’S ICE CREAM COOLING YOUR HEAT DOWN L IS FOR LAZING ON BEACHES FOR DAYS JUST LAYING AWAY WITH THE LADY DANNÉ.
M IS FOR MUNCHING ON FLAPJACKS WITH JESS N IS FOR BEING HER PICK KNIFE AND DETAIL O IS OKAPI KIDS ALL ON THEIR OWN P IS THE SEA WHEN YOU DIVE IN FOR PEARLS OPEN AN OYSTER AND UNLOCK THE WORLD.
Q IS FOR QUILTS THAT HEAT UP YOUR QUIVERS R IS FOR RUGS WITH CHARMED MAGIC WALLS S IS FOR THE STRONG EVIL SPIRITS THEY STOP T IS FOR TEGAN’S “JADACOTUDIR” CALLS CHANT IT THREE TIMES AND YOUR SADNESS WILL FALL.
U IS FOR UNICORNS GRANTING MORE WISHES V IS FOR VISCIOUS WARS TRIBES JUST CAN’T BEAT W IS FOR WHALE RIBS LOCKING YOU INSIDE AND X IS OBSESSED WITH XBOX PS3 AND YELLING ALL NIGHT WHEN YOU REALLY SHOULD
With many thanks to:
Caitlin, Danni, Dylan, Ellie, Isobel, Jessie x, Jess, Kurt and Tegan Centre 33 http://www.centre33.org.uk/ Kettles Yard, Cambridge www.kettlesyard.co.uk Museum of Zoology, Cambridge www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge maa.cam.ac.uk Page to Performance (poetry workshop leaders) http://www.pagetoperformance.org/ Survival International (donated images and resources) http://www.survivalinternational.org/