Exhibition at The Old Schoolhouse

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This is a poem inspired by a special Cornish gallery found deep in West Penwith, West Cornwall. We exhibited our work there in December and January in the purpose built gallery converted from an old Weslyan chapel and school house. It is found  in typical Cornish countryside, wild, rough and inspiring.   

The Old School House, Morvah


There were fields first
and immaculate laid walls
straddled by a few granited cottages
on a track to St. Just.
Madron Parish oversaw the faith,
then a man on horseback came
and spoke about an altogether new life,
from the same source
but as vibrant, gushing, fountain life.
The people believed.
A chapel was built
and in 1743 one of the brothers,
the men of fire who came on horseback,
blessed the stones.
Revival passed through Morvah.
The chapel swelled
and people came to sing everyday,
their joy increased as they spoke about only one subject.
Swallows swooped for flies in the fields surrounding,
the hedges were lifted up in colour.
After the men on horseback died,
changes came.
The chapel hardly filled.
Stone walls were replaced or repaired.
Miners trudged by in the heat of summer.
The chapel was left alone
perhaps becoming a home for a farmer.
A century passes,
the Millenium year turns.
The chapel is renamed " The Old School House".
An art community and café.
Work floods in from local artists,
it provides an easy place, a holiday rest.
Yet the Wesley name smolders on the side of the building,
it’s date of foundation freshly cleaned.
Someone important knows it’s real status.
They took our work for exhibition.
The crosses, the jewelry, the doves,
with Scripture sunken into clay.
We are Cornish believers,
Our art is as worship.
From the gallery upstairs,
A swift dips and spins.
The walls are skillfully preserved and full of bees.
Below the fields, some distance away,
the Atlantic is as a half dipped length of blue slip.
New life.
Always promised.
August 2008

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