Gathered Knowledge

Two Spanish Poems

Two works by Spanish poets, which we read and thought oh!

Have them both:

 

“Proverbios y cantares XXIX”

by Antonio Machado
trans. Betty Jean Craige

Wanderer, your footsteps
the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, we have no road,
we make the road by walking.
As you walk you make the road,
and to look back is to see that never
can we pass this way again.
Wanderer, there is no road,
only traces in the sea.

 

—————————————————————————————————

Walking Around

by Pablo Neruda
trans. Robert Bly

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.

I don’t want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don’t want so much misery.
I don’t want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That’s why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night.

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses,
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords.

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops,
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow dirty tears are falling.


The Flowing Britain Trust

A charity dedicated to the Heritage Drinking Waters of Britain.

Flowing Britain

Ed and Will and friends are forming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, devoted to monitoring, enhancing and championing British drinkable (and bathable) ancient and natural waters i.e. springs and wells.

We believe everyone deserves access to safe natural drinking water, within walking distance of their home.

 

The Aims

– To provide water choices in a tap on/tap off world

– To offer improved health through detailed analysis of natural waters

– To make forgotten and lost springs fashionable

– To promote British water tourism, nationally and internationally

– To combat nature disconnection syndrome

– To increase local distinctiveness and pride

– To provide community amenity and cultural venue space

– To enhance Britain, for the good of all

 

Come take the waters!

Britain has been periodically famous for her mineral-rich and health-giving waters, free flowing from the ground. The Romans, the Georgians and the Victorians, all have renovated our ancient natural water network, for health and tourism benefits.

Towns like Bath in Avon, Wells in Somerset, Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Llandrindod Wells in Powys, have been literally built around their spring waters. Most small villages “sprung up” in proximity to a reliable safe water-source.

This heritage can be revived. The waters never stopped flowing. What other so fundamental an element can be re-discovered in so significant a way?

 

Murky Waters

Today, public tap-water is chlorinated, and sometimes fluoridated. And with industrial and agricultural chemicals leeching into ground-waters, general mistrust of natural water sources has become prevalent.

But the waters need not be unclear. Many ancient springs flow from miles underground, where chemicals cannot reach. Such deep-waters remain fresh, wholesome and delicious, and carry diverse mineral-contents, which may help aid a number of our surface-dwellers’ ailments.

 

The Vision

A website, based around Google maps, showing the location of scientifically tested springs and wells. Also an iOS and Android app (i.e. find my nearest spring/well)

Website to include history and lore, photo and video, with a members upload portal

Waters tested with full spectrum mineral/bacteriological analysis, and regularly scheduled re-testing. Partnerships for best value to be found. Legible and relevant information available for lay-men.

Spring/well artwork restored, and new fountainheads commisioned in stone and metal by young artists.

Increased local tourism based on the health-giving effects of waters.

Unification with long-distance footpaths – a new symbol on the OS map?

Enhancing of springs/well spaces, where suitable, to create community spaces – herb gardens, seating etc.

A brass cup on a chain at every spring tested. Commissioned and cast by British artist.

Possible commerical partnerships with water filtration companies, water butt manufacturers, and bicycle-trolley makers.

Long-term custodianship roles in local communities, for regular re-testing and cleaning.

Encouragament of other groups – villages, parish councils, churches and private land-owners, to open up and include their water-sources on the public-access map.

A prudent legal disclaimer/caveat to prevent confusion and accidents.

 

First phase

Preparation of website/organisational structure /staffing.

Establishing testing partnerships and routines.

Research, collating existing tested wells and springs information

Launch of first “re-discovered” springs/wells collection, focussing on highly accessible existing beautiful water-sources.

Trial of first commissioned artwork

Trial of first herb garden community space (links to national nursery possible)

Encourage local community groups to utilise the space, for worship, music, thatreetc.

Publicise tested local sptrings in catchment area, via pamphlet/radio/concerts

 

Please contact us, and help Flowing Britain achieve these great goals.

Ed and Will and friends, 2014