First, W stood for Whitemere
And it circled me in
An artists’ haven
Colours clamouring the whiteness walls.

In the mornings
Clods of clay
Were 11year old moulded
Into a flock of stamp-sized ducks
Blue glazed
Kiln glistened
Taken home to roost on shelves.
Three years stood around
Artists’ benches
There was no seating plan
We didn’t even sit-
We wandered the room
It was our room, after all,
For those morning minutes
And there we were safe.

When W followed me seawards
It didn’t mean anything
Other than the fourth letter in a place name
It didn’t have a house or a colour
It was almost just W.

But echoes of Whitemere
and the artist haven
Dropped me in a woodwork workshop.
Kilns and potters’ wheels
Swapped for jigsaws and lathes;
Sawdust now not paper
Confettiing the floor;
Heady smell of wood
Papier-mâchéd over paint.
At lunchtimes
Turned into a haven once more
From the schoolyard.
And we didn’t sit then either.
I think we sort of
Leaned against work benches
Chisled away down-time
Twisting G clamps
Open and shut, and open and shut again.
A few of us not cut out
For the cut-throat yard.

Two gentle men
Gentlemen who guided me through
Doing what a tutor should do
Modelling for me how a tutor should be:
Simply. There.
In your place
When school was too big
Or you felt too small.


Author: Lowrey E. Gray

Usually found with a cup of tea, a pet or a book, I am most content with life's humble gifts. A catch up with friends and home baked cakes is my idea of bliss. My heart beats where my family are close but my soul will always be in that place between sunset and sunrise. 💚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *