By Tina Negus
He speaks, and the sound fills the void
with living green, life which sustains all life,
sunlight and leaf: our food.
He tastes the air, savours his speech,
his tongue flicking across the foliage from his gaping mouth.
He recites our stories,
licking myths and legends into existence.
He sings our tunes for us, our wordless songs.
He looks down on his creation from above,
sees all things dependant on his utterance,
regards us with impassivity or amusement: his creatures.
He weeps with us, and his tears nourish our being.
Within his sight, we live our little lives,
relying on his artistry.
He hears our cries, our laughter, listens to his own words,
and to our inadequate imitations of his creativity.
His ears receive our music, our rhythms and rhymes,
make whole our melodies and harmonies.
He tolerates our limitations,
circling, with us, our May-time pole.
He scents the honeysuckle in the woods,
perfumes the rose and the down-land thyme;
spreads the spring-time hedgerows with pungent sweetness.
He breathes, and his breath gives birth,
his respiration flourishes and bears fruit;
our feeble inspiration is derived from him.
He touches the stems arising from his face,
points to his mouth and tongue, and we touch him,
where we can reach, stroke the leaves, and the chiselled edges
of his nose and brows, finger the fronds and vines,
removing blackened spiders’ webs,decades of neglect.
Our hands linger on his beard and hair.
we ponder his origins, his meaning,
wonder at the unnamed sculptors,
question their intentions.
My thanks to Tina for allowing me to reproduce her wonderful poem and the incredible picture above. Tina wrote:
“ I thought you might like this Green Man! As far as I know it is my discovery and I think it ranks as one of the most beautiful. There are other Green Men in the church which are well-known, but this one is in hiding. If anyone wants to find him, I can reveal his whereabouts.”
I know where he is! – but if anyone else wants to know they’ll have to drop me a line!
Serial Green Man sleuth John Roper let me know about this wonderful Green Man quilted wall hanging that he spotted at the Open art exhibition at Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery at the end of 2019. I managed to get in touch with it’s creator Charlotte Holm who kindly sent me these wonderful pictures of her work in progress as well as the finished green man. Charlotte wrote “A friend taught me to crochet a couple of years ago so I decided to try and make a green man out of crocheted leaves. The green man is a subject I keep returning to and I have made quite a few textile ones over the last few years. I arranged the leaves so that they created a face, the hardest part was crocheting a nose! The design is totally original and handsewn- after crocheting, the wall hanging is then quilted on to material.”
Charlotte is a textile artist, “Although I got my degree in illustration, I have taught myself how to sew as I liked the texture and look of quilted fabric. I am interested in ancient things- fossils, archaeology, stone circles and chambered tombs… also pagan themes which all reflect in my work.”
You can see more of Charlottes wonderful art on her Facebook page:
Rob Stephens, artist extraordinaire, new grandad and creator of our fabulous logo dropped me a line to tell me that his stone carver brother Shaun has got the green man bug. Rob sent me these pictures of his incredible workmanship. The paler coloured one is a piece of stone that came out of the restoration work at York Minster. There must be a cathedral out there somewhere who would like their very own new Green Man?