On the first day of Nancy’s recent Desmond Family Canoe Trail journey, she visited the Safe Regeneration site by the canal in Bootle. She was so impressed by the work creating community gardens, beekeeping and brewing there, that she wrote this for them for them.
Recipe for a Towpath Garden
Lift the old canoe from the canal, set down its keel
on the dry grass. Fill it with soil and broken tiles
heavy enough to thwart its restive spirit.
Plant it bow to stern with medicinals:
a small lemon tree grown from a pip,
lollipop verbena, lavender, juniper
and hops to train up the rusty barrier.
Press down the roots, give them water.
Next summer bees will pollinate the flowers
and you’ll dry the petals, pick the fruits,
then distil drinks from them so strong
they’ll bring the wildest dreams of freedom.