Brighton Greenway

High above the Brighton streets
on the old railway bed
Through the locomotive works
the Brighton Greenway led

The engines left here long ago
but their memory remains
Homage paid by sculptor’s hand
to Brighton’s long lost trains

©Jemverse

The Brighton Greenway follows the trackbed of a branch line that once led through the steam locomotive works based in Brighton. The ‘Ghost Train’ was sculpted by John Mills and is a homage to the ‘Jenny Lind’, a 2-2-2 locomotive designed in 1847. Photo – Jempics

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A last word from the sun

To the west was the gold
over Brighton tonight
It was simply breathtaking
and a wonderful sight

The heavens were black
Cloud cover complete
except in the west where
the golden had seeped

And as the sun bade farewell
at the end of the day
It was clear to us all
it had plenty to say

©Jemverse

Photo – sunset over Brighton’s Palace Pier, Sussex, UK, October 2017 – Jempics

Bob Marley Seagull

It was raining in Brighton
and, strolling back to the car
parked there in Ann Street
from the centre, not far
We paused to admire
on the wall, ‘cross the way
some graffiti scrawled quickly
but with something to say

And in contemplative mood
we pondered the depth
penned by those words
whilst at our feet, quite perplexed
A young seagull ran by
so as not to intrude
For to spoil this fine moment
would have bordered on rude

Was there metaphor here?
Bob would have been proud
‘No woman, no cry’
is still shouting loud

©Jemverse

Photo – Ann Street Graffiti, Brighton, Sussex, UK – Jempics

A test of time

Against the blue the old Town Hall
with yellow ochre walls
Declares aloud his history
from ageing hallowed halls
In Brighton now amidst the new
it stands aloof to change
Whilst all around the architects
make plans to rearrange

And yet its walls have stood the test
that time has often posed
So here it is with confidence
and will stay put, I suppose
A pleasing thought to keep in mind
as history remains
With old and new together
and memories retained

©Jemverse

Photo – Brighton Town Hall, Bartholomew Square, West facia – Jempics

In Constable’s footsteps

Went to Brighton to see the original
on short loan from the Tate
It’s quite a lot bigger than the one on my wall
and to see it there was great

A Constable retrospective
representing four years’ toils
When he lived right here in Brighton
with some drawings and some oils

It was a special privilege
to see these works all here
and in particular for me
the original ‘Chain Pier’

©Jemverse

Photo – my print copy of John Constable’s ‘The Chain Pier, Brighton’ (1826-27) ; Tate Britain – Jempics

John Constable took lodgings in Brighton between 1824 and 1828 during which he drew and painted a lot of what he saw around him. ‘In Constable’s Footsteps’ at Brighton Museum brings all of that output together for the first time in an exhibition running until 8 October 2017.

The Chain Pier was Brighton’s first pier. Built in 1823 but destroyed by a storm in 1896, you can still see remains of its oak pilings at very low tides today.

The Fly-past

Gulls above the Metropole
a fly-past just for me
Here in Brighton in the sun
next to the deep blue sea

Their cry is one of happiness
and the joy of being here
With the clarity of summer
at this lovely time of year

©Jemverse

Photo – gulls on the wing above the Metropole Hotel, Brighton, Sussex, UK – Jempics

For the birds

On Ditching Down we found ourselves
‘For the Birds’ – a mystery tour
Part of the Brighton Festival
at midnight, what was more

A trail of lights led up the hill
which we followed to the crest
all adding to the mystery
which put us to the test

And all was really quiet
as we delved into the trees
The darkness all consuming
The moment there to seize

Then gradually the sound of birds
or something up ahead
A whistling and a chirping
it could, I think, be said

What followed was incredible
magnificent and more
as we discovered installations
in the woods upon our tour

Celebrating feathered things
and magical to see
It was truly an experience
to fill our hearts with glee

©Jemverse

For the Birds‘ – a meditative and immersive journey through a secret South Downs woodland location – took place during the annual Brighton Arts Festival in May 2017.  It was a self-guided journey through a wild landscape at night, transforming woodland and downland with a series of thirty-something bespoke light and sound installations produced by some of the most dynamic sound artists currently working in the UK. It was, without a doubt, the most magical and beautiful experience I’ve had in a very long while. Truly breathtaking.

Photo – ‘Swanee Whistles’ by Kathy Hinde – Jempics

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