writing on the wall logo

David Platt
renga report




Approaching Birdoswald it begins to drizzle. Walking from car park to fort I get my first glimpse of ?the wall: grey, straight, solid and disappears into mist eastwards. The bass riff from Floyd’s wall pops into my head and my step adjusts to fit. The Renga Platform is already erected.

in anticipation
of a dreich day

The warmth of douglas fir matches smiles from new-to-me-faces, I download the rucksack to the floor (not a hard drive in sight thank goodness).

The renga begins with introductions and green tea from an iron kettle. As six of us work on the hokku, Jake and Richard arrive in time to contribute to the selection discussion. The morning disappears as more links are added and, as the group begins to fuse, laughter punctuates the discussions more often. Taking a break for lunch, the weather deteriorates and we are all glad to be inside (well anticipated Alec!) We chat , eat and return to our own thoughts. Over smoked fish I become more aware of the exposed stone in the room – seemingly identical to that in the wall itself,– and probably plundered for building work, centuries ago. Thus, we are really writing this renga from inside Hadrian’s Wall. Yet another thought to add to the feelings and joy of writing it.

We resume; more links, more verses, more laughter, and more green tea: more than just a renga : a good day.

last stroll round the fort
the wind in old sycamores

David Platt
September 12, 2004