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The Lost Words Walk One

Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. They disappeared so quietly that . . .

Walk one of two at the Compton Verney gallery, spelling The Lost Words back into the landscape.

Instructions

Walk up the track like before past the St Davids Holiday cottages.
Enjoy.
 
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Chapter one

A Spell Book

Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. They disappeared so quietly that at first almost no one noticed – fading away like water on stone. The words were those that children used to name the natural world around them: acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble, conker – gone! Fern, heather, kingfisher, otter, raven, willow, wren . . . all of them gone! The words were becoming lost: no longer vivid in children's voices, no longer alive in their stories.
Chapter two

Conjure

With your foot prints and breath, we will conjure back these lost words right into the landscape. Through the old magic of being spoken out loud they will flutter and unfold into our bright dreams once again. To dance amongst the pillows and brows of tiny heads and be sweetly sung back into the world once more.
Jackie - Keep walking along the trail
 
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Chapter three

Acorn

As flake is to blizzard, as
Curve is to sphere, as knot is to net, as
One is to many, as coin is to money, as
bird is to flock, as
Rock is to mountain, as drop is to fountain, as
spring is to river, as glint is to glitter, as
Near is to far, as wind is to weather, as
feather is to flight, as light is to star, as
kindness is to good, so acorn is to wood.
Chapter four

Acorn

Before you move on, say the word 'acorn' into the wind to spell the word back into being.
Chapter five

Acorn

Jackie - Keep walking along the trail
 
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Chapter six

Bramble

Bramble is on the march again,
Rolling and arching along the hedges,
into parks on the city edges.
Chapter seven

Bramble

All streets are suddenly thick with briar:
cars snarled fast, business over.
Moths have come in their millions,
drawn to the thorns. The air flutters.
Bramble has reached each house now,
looped it in wire. People lock doors,
close shutters.
Chapter eight

Bramble

Little shoots steal through keyholes,
to leave – in quiet halls,
Empty stairwells – bowls of bright
blackberries where the light falls.

Before you move on, say the word 'bramble' into the wind to spell the word back into being.
Jackie - Keep walking along the trail
 
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Chapter nine

Conker

Cabinet-maker, could you craft me a conker?
Oil its wood, burnish its veneer, set it glowing
from within?
Never. Not a chance. No hope at all.
Chapter ten

Conker

King, then, could you command me a conker?
Compel its green spikes to grow, its white plush
to thicken? Impossible. Impractical. Inconceivable.
Engineer, surely you could design me a conker?
Refine its form, mill its curves and edges?
Manufacture me that magic casket?
Unfeasible. Unworkable. Unimaginable.
Chapter eleven

Conker

Realize this (said the Cabinet-maker, the King and
the Engineer together), conker cannot be made,
however you ask it, whatever word or tool you use,
regardless of decree. Only one thing can conjure
conker – and that thing is tree.

Before you move on, say the word 'conker' into the wind to spell the word back into being.
Jackie - Keep walking along the trail
 
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Chapter twelve

Willow

Willow, when the wind blows so your branches billow,
O will you whisper while we listen so we learn what
words your long leaves loosen?
If you whisper when the wind blows so your branches
billow, willow, we will listen for a day, a week, a year,
till we know what willows say, what willows speak.
Lean in, listeners, come below our leaves and wait until
the wind blows so our branches billow, listen for a year,
a week, a day, but you will never hear what willows speak,
what willows say.
Chapter thirteen

Willow

Long you linger, listeners, hard you press your ears against
our bark, but you will never sense our sap, and you will
never speak in leaves, or put down roots into the rot –
for we are willow and you are not.
Chapter fourteen

Willow

Open up your heartwood to us will you, willow, show
your deep within, your rough without, your waterbrushing
bough, your shoot, your grain, your knot?
We will never whisper to you, listeners, nor speak, nor shout,
and even if you learn to utter alder, elder, poplar, aspen,
you will never know a word of willow – for we are willow
and you are not.

Before you move on, say the word 'willow' into the wind to spell the word back into being.
Jackie - Keep walking along the trail
 
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Chapter fifteen

Kingfisher

Kingfisher: the colour-giver, fire-bringer, flame-flicker,
river's quiver.
Ink-black bill, orange throat, and a quick blue
back-gleaming feather-stream.
Chapter sixteen

Kingfisher

Neat and still it sits on the snag of a stick, until with . . .
Gold-flare, wing-fan, whipcrack the kingfisher –
zingfisher, singfisher! –
Flashes down too fast to follow, quick and quicker
carves its hollow
In the water, slings its arrow superswift to swallow
Stickleback or shrimp or minnow.
Chapter seventeen

Kingfisher

Halcyon is its other name – also ripple-calmer,
water-nester,
Evening angler, weather-teller, rainbringer and
Rainbow bird – that sets the stream alight with burn
and glitter!

Before you move on, say the word 'kingfisher' into the wind to spell the word back into being.
Chapter eighteen

Thankyou

Thankyou for spelling these words back into the landscape. (will write more here - publishers note etc ISBN) note there will be a banner below too with logo's on.
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