Playground by the Village Hall

On Mondays, the village hall is closed:
no community cinema, yoga or bingo.
Even the clock has slowed almost to a stop.
I crunch across the gravel, past the football pitch,
dodge clumps of daisies and jump a little ditch.
No dogs allowed inside the playground
with its drooping swings, not-so-merry-go-round,
empty slide and ropes to climb.
I sit on a swing and rain spits;
push off with my feet, sky tilts and tips;
trees and houses slide away.
I slip back to a pile of dried leaves and a butterfly.
In the roadside hedge, sparrows chirp, dodge in and out.
A dog barks and, in the distance, children shout.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Tuesday Poetics – Community 

A warm welcome to Paul with his first official bar prompt! Thanks for sharing Starhawk’s writing and the poem ‘Ode to Wine’ by Pablo Neruda.

Paul asks where we find community in our lives: in real time? With people? Family and friends, clubs and associations? In nature? With animals? In cyber-space? With birds of a feather? With the world? In your country? In the pub? He wants us to take a moment to reflect on where and how community shows up in our lives and then write a poem with the word community at its heart.

29 thoughts on “Playground by the Village Hall

  1. There’s a real nostalgia in the swing moment…not so droopy when someone is using it…I like how the community is closed when the village hall shuts…well…part of it. Get a real sense of being rural. Thanks for your contribution to the prompt. Fab as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful outsider view of the joys of community, and the wondrous silence of empty playgrounds, locked doors & shuttered windows, On liberty, as a sailor, I used to walk through neighborhoods staring at windows & crowds & imagining the millions of stories within the naked city.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to tell myself that, Alison, but there are hardly any children in our village now. I think parents are put off moving here because there isn’t a school, although the school bus comes through for the few children who do live here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so jealous of your swing adventures!
    There is work in progress on the green at the head of my estate, a children’s playground, swings and all. I have already planned to sneak up there in the dark of night and swing to my hearts content!
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When a village hall is closed or a playground is empty, it looks sad to me ~ I love to see people and children enjoying themselves with games ~ Also love the sounds of your lines:

    sparrows chirp, dodge in and out.
    A dog barks and, in the distance, children shout.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t have many children in the village any more and the day nursery has been moved to another village. It’s such a shame as we have plenty to offer.


  5. I am struck by the originality of this…presenting a sense of how it feels when community activity is absent (or scheduled for another time). I also enjoyed the feeling of being on a swing.

    Liked by 1 person

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