Glastonbury: Day 3

Captain’s Log 26/06/16 12:50

IMAG0571It’s my last day at Glastonbury and I’m ill. I mean really really ill. I was out last night dancing to Shy FX with Jemima Foxtrot. I drank all my rum. There was a reason to celebrate; yesterday, inbetween blogging and doing poems for people, I did an interview with The Guardian. I’m not quite sure where it’ll end up yet, but the fact that they were interested was a massive vote of confidence and we spoke for a good while about D2D and what it’s all about. So I went out and I didn’t get back till well after the sun came up. And now the prospect of writing a poem for someone is frankly mind boggling. I can hardly wait in line for a fry up.

IMG_3522Scott Tyrell mentioned the beautiful views you get from Lime Kiln ground. It makes sense for a few reasons; it’s on the complete other side of the festival to Strummerville, so that means I’ll have covered things from all angles. Also, I have the urge to be somewhere pretty looking and quiet. So, fighting against every aching muscle in my body, I begin the hour-long trudge over the mud. Whole swamps of the stuff. I go through a little wooded path next to the John Peel stage and I’m there. I hike all the way up the hill and look out at the amazing view, the endless stretch of tents blurring out as far as the horizon.

IMG_3526I take a quick breather and turn round to the tent behind me; three people are sat making some pasta on a stove. I do my intro. We get chatting. ‘We made some spoons yesterday,’ says a girl called Ann. She pulls out a hand carved wooden spoon. ‘Was this planned?’ I ask. ‘We actually saw people doing it last year but we didn’t know that just anyone could do it. And when we found out we could we said “Right, we need to do it this year.”’ ‘It’s more than just a spoon though,’ Ann explains, ‘it’s captured a memory’. ‘What does it mean?’ I ask. ‘The day we carved these spoons was the day we found out that Britain had decided to leave the EU. It’s made of wood, wood is a very honest material. You can’t fake it.’ ‘But it’s not about leaving the EU,’ she explains, ‘It’s about coming together. Listening to eachother instead of separating.’ ‘And a spoon is all about that,’ I suggest. ‘Not like the knife, cutting up things and dividing them. A spoon brings all the food together, doesn’t it? It doesn’t care what’s on the plate, it’s all one to the spoon.’ ‘The Brexiters would have made a knife,’ says a boy called Aidan. Ann tells me it’s really nice to meet a poet. ‘I don’t feel like there’s enough poetry in the world,’ she says. Yes. This is what D2D is all about. Meeting people who don’t have poetry. Giving it to them. I feel great, I’ve already forgotten about my hangover.

IMAG0577I say my goodbyes and take a walk over to the other side of the field, dodging the various tent strings. Something is drawing me to a gazebo in the top left corner. I pass a few other people who I could ask, but I want to go to there; there’s a group of 6 people all sat out, they look like fun. I do my intro with a different beginning*. After I finish they give me the most amazing round of applause, it’s the best response I’ve ever had. ‘That was great!’ says a lad called Ky. ‘I was feeling terrible before and now I feel amazing’. ‘What do you think then? Can I write you a poem?’ I ask. ‘Will you do one about all the people on our campsite?’ asks a girl called Sorrel. ‘So each line would be about a different person?’ Sounds great. Sorrel gets me a seat and we clear a space in amongst the general detritus of nos canisters, empty cans and bits of plastic. ‘I’m so excited,’ she says.

We go round in a circle while each person tells me a fun fact about themselves, if someone can’t think of one all the others help. The stories they tell me are hilarious. It strikes me straight away that these are proper lovely people, they seem like really good friends to each other. They’ve just had their University results back on Thursday, so Glastonbury is their after party.

IMG_3531After half an hour of chatting, the most amazing thing happens. It turns out Sorrel is Michael Eavis’ granddaughter. At first I think she’s winding me up, but after a few seconds I can tell she’s not. To her it seems to be more of an inconvenience at Glastonbury more than anything; I think there’s a reason we’ve been chatting for so long and it hasn’t come up. She tells me about her drunken friend, who went round the Pyramid Stage when Adele was on telling people who Sorrel was and pointing at her. It strikes me that she just wants to be treat like everyone else here really. But I can’t ignore how incredible this is. This is the last poem I’m going to write here, how fitting is it that it’s going to be for her? ‘It must be fate,’ she says. It feels fucking spooky.

The energy and enthusiasm of this lot is just indescribable. I’m not saying this because I want to show off, but they seem to absolutely love what I’m doing. They’re already planning on framing the poem. And their excitement is like some kind of drug. I feel incredibly uplifted. And, I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact I’ve had 2 hours sleep and my face feels like its melting off, but there’s something about the synchronicity of this which I just find incredibly beautiful. I honestly feel close to tears. It’s the most amazing way to end the most amazing weekend. Goodbye Glastonbury, you lovely, crazy, freaky place.

True Spoon

It’s not just a spoon
it’s a symbol,
a symbol of hope.
Honest material, you see:
You can’t fake wood.

A tree gave up its life for this spoon;
the most noble sacrifice,
like it took a bullet.
But it wasn’t a bullet,
it was a saw.

It’s not just a spoon
it’s a message,
a message of togetherness.
Fuck those wooden knifes,
cutting up shit on the plate of hate.
Bring it all together,
in a small concave container.

The spoon doesn’t care if you’re beans.
It doesn’t care if you’re custard.
It all goes the same way;
we’re all made of water.

Why should we live alone
under the rule of the knife?
I want to live together
on the spoon of life.

Rowan McCabe

The Campsite

Meet HP, god of Pendeen,
He loves The Gulley music scene.
Then there’s Ky, the bravest guy,
For saying Adele made him cry.
And what did poor old Sorrel do
To make someone poo in her shoe?
Sophie’s had it tough as well,
Dressed as Geri Halliwell,
Some shoutey bloke who wasn’t nice
Said that she was Brexit Spice.
Lucy, on the other hand,
Has met the most amazing man,
Who walked her back to the campsite
Then kissed her cheek to say goodnight.
Sticky Vicky’s nipple’s pierced,
She wears trousers that are fierce
And Tessa’s been fucking so loud
That she’s been heard by quite the crowd;
They say the sound of all her banging
Was like the sound of wet hands clapping
And everyone agrees that this
Means that she’s ‘The Camp Slut Pig’,
Which sounds quite cruel but they all say
They mean it in the best of ways.
Then there’s super tall Ester
Who moved here from America
And wishes that she was to you
The only Yankee that you knew.
Taylor, camp co-ordinator,
Cornish man and trouble maker,
Accusing strangers pushing prams
Of hiding secret Carling cans.
Izzy, camper of the year,
Lives in Holly Cottage where
It’s mega-painful middle class
But she still has loads of sass.
There’s also Emily and Mary,
Say they’re Welsh although they really
Come from Manchester, though this
Is kept a closely guarded secret-
You don’t see them wrecked at all,
Though they sniff ket off sweaty balls.
Other Mary, Pharmy Army;
Jadamz, who’s stoned endlessly.
And lastly, though you’ll never see her
There’s the lady called Maria,
Who stays outside the metal fence
Where busyness is her pretence
Though everyone knows that she really
Spends the whole day eating Muesli.
In spite of this, I’m sure I know
The most exciting place to go
When you have finished your exams
Is to this lovely little camp.

Rowan McCabe


*I’m a Tent-to-Tent Poet,
A scruffy rhyming Geordie
But, y’know, at least
I’m not a drunken casualty.

I won’t be weeing on your tent
Or causing any hassle
By jumping up and down on it
Like it’s a bouncy castle.

In school they taught me poetry’s bust
Wrote by toffs who’ve turned to dust
On country manours, deathly shrouds,
Serious Lords and fluffy clouds.

I found it quite hard to relate
I grew up on a rough estate
Walls thin as paper used to trace
The clouds an endless shade of grey.

I’m here to make poetry exciting
Like bungee jumping but less frightening
So I’m at your tent to find
The subjects that flow through your mind.

Tell me what’s important to you
Anything at all,
I’ll stick it in a poem for you
However big or small.

Maybe you’re going to spend the weekend
Learning how to weave.
Maybe you’re scared of all the people
Who have voted leave.

Maybe you dropped your I-Phone 6
Into a Porta-Loo
I don’t know, it’s not the same
If I decide for you.

So cheers for listening to these verses
I hope I got across my purpose.
Don’t run away, don’t be nervous,
The Tent-to-Tent Poet is at your service.

Rowan McCabe



7 thoughts on “Glastonbury: Day 3

  1. Miss Goldsmith

    Eeehh, why’ man, Rowan pet
    You’re the best Geordie poet yet.
    Gadding about with great intent
    writing poetry for merriment
    to the buoyant, wild and free
    of a varry clarty Glastonbury.
    (Very well done wor kid). x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann

    Thanks rowan for the true spoon poem!I’ve shared your poetry across the Irish Sea!Best of luck and keep spreading the love poetry across the globe!


  3. Pingback: Glastonbury: Day 3 – Seán Maguire Writer

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