Bryngarw Festival Literature Day

Robert Minhinnick

As Part of the Bryngarw Arts Festival 2009, Bridgend Arts Development Officers worked in partnership with Academi to timetable a day of literature events in the programme.

During the day of 9 July 2009, poet Robert Minhinnick worked with twenty four individuals from Porthcawl Comprehensive School and Bridgend Writer’s Squad to create a selection of poetry inspired by the sights, sounds, smells and general environment of Bryngarw Country Park. The group also worked with printmaker Pete Williams to create a word banner on Chinese paper using old letters from a printing press. This was then displayed in the marquee along with poems and drawings created during the festival.

Sixty three people attended a varied evening event which included the launch of Seren title, Seahorses are Real, a first novel by local authorZillah Bethell; poetry readings by the Bridgend Writer’s Squad and Pupils of Porthcawl Comprehensive compeered by Robert Minhinnickand storytelling by Cat Weatherill.

Pete Williams

The Red Tree

The trees are rustling and birds are chirping
I see logs on the slimy mud
Squirrels are collecting acorns
Vines wrapping around trees
The red tree is my favourite tree
Because it is furry, it is like the hair on a gorilla
The trees smell organic
Lawnmowers in the background
Little plants making their way up
Lily pads floating on the pond, rivers are flowing into
And on the pond, little pond skaters skating around
And on the ground many leaves
I love the world. I try to do my bit for the environment
Nature is always by my side.
My Exploration of a whole New Universe
Rachel Lewis

It’s not my weird and wonderful world; it’s so much more,
It feels like I’ve stepped through a magical door.

Watch delicate dogs run, and cheeky children have fun
You can just about see through these timeless trees,
The beautiful yellow and orange sun.

I can hear the roaring rush of the river Garw,
The not so silent sway of the astonishing azaleas.

I go on a trek; I see strange stones, so colourful and bright,
It’s like I’ve touched a ray of light.

I also see ravishing ripples in the pond,
Broken branches, it’s still amazing to me.
My sat-nav brain tells me I’ve reached y destination.
I think its right.

Time’s taken its toll, I wish I could stay.
I’ve enjoyed my time with you today.

Quest of Love and Nature

Here in Bryngarw Park, we hear nothing but lawn mowers
But while I was at a meeting, I heard an owl hoot.
As we began our quest, we began to see
Large statues of large heads, bugs and all sorts
We also came across a bush of thorns, which could scratch
And make you itch.
The trees feel as rough as a large stone with bark
Moss with an icky, mucky colour feels soft as sheep’s wool.
On one tree, the branches have holly on them, As sharp as a porcupine.
We hear the leaves being blown by the wind,
Oh my goodness! A tree which looks like a giant man with muscles.
How strong is he? I don’t know. He was really high.
We then came across a pond and there lying on the surface were lily pads.
They were as wet as napkins being dropped in a sink full of water.
What is that lovely sound? It’s a bird! This lovely creature
Has a voice like a flute playing in the orchestra.
The Senses of Bryngarw Park
Samantha Denyer, Katie Keeping and David Mcluraith

Bryngarw Park is a place of smell,
Fresh fertile air fills your lungs,
Flowers some sweet some sour
Create an amazing aroma
Marshy mud the opposite flavour
Come down the hill and there’s a catatonic change in smell
But soon your eyes take over

Bryngarw Park is a place of sight
Arching trees twine together, giving the image of a wedding
Motherly magpies sing a song of love
As they travel to build a nest for their resting chicks
In the tress high above the love carvings
The couples express their love in a way that is everlasting

Bryngarw Park is a place of sound
Darling ducks are quacking, the rustling leaves as the squirrels leap
Makes a song of love as the owls and bats sleep
Alongside the river is being rowdy and rough
As the children skim stones with a shimmering splash
Further you go through the forest today the sense of touch comes into play

Bryngarw Park is a place of touch
Entering the statue garden you reach out and feel
The damp, soft, slushy moss, rubbing against the grooves of your fingers
The roots under your feet rubbing against your toes
As you move away from the glade towards the car park

You think to yourself
The sights, sounds, smells and feelings tickle your senses
You have a new memory that’s everlasting.

The River
Ieuan Briers

It glides and weaves
Like a watery snake
With its ice cold fangs
It’ll make you shiver and shake

It charges and storms like
An angry Rhino
Unstoppable and dangerous
The unpredictable dynamo

The Forest
Ieuan Briers

The stench of decay was obvious
As we made our way
But we dare not separate
Or let one of us go astray
Through the forest we kept on track
Like Doctor Livingston or Captain Cook
Famous explorers knowing the world
Like pages from a book
We returned home with our head held high
Tom, Anne and me
All the plants, trees and animals of Bryngarw
Had been unleashed by us travellers three.
Bryngarw Park
Mel Davies and Talia Davies

Bryngarw Park, so happy and joyful
The ducks glide so softly across the river
The leaves shiver delicately in the wind
The smell of the freshly cut grass is beautiful
The feel of the bark on the tree is rough and moss covered
The Japanese gardens so peaceful and inspiring
The laughter of children echoes through the park
The cycle track filled with cyclists going fast and recklessly
The sun filters through the trees in the forest, shining and sparkling
The bark prints dotted around the park from previous visitors
Bryngarw Park so happy and joyful
Bryngarw Park
Lauren Hill

Brown birds soar sky high
Thin trees sway in the breeze
And the Japanese garden is silent
Leaves fall from the abandoned branches
Merging together to form a carpet
While scary animals charge through the bushes.
You can hear birds tweeting
And smell the dew from the fresh grass
The bark teases your fingers
As you touch and feel for the textures.
As you hear, touch and smell
You admire Bryngarw Park.

A Day at Bryngarw

As you enter the beautiful bright forest
Early in the morning, it’s silent
Then as the ducks awaken, the silence is broken
The sweet musical sounds of the dawdling ducks
The birds arise from their slumber
The magical whistles of their natural beauty and talent

As the morning turns to noon, the children
And family enter the site. A smile stretches
Across the child’s face as he watches his
Reflection appear in the shimmering
Pond. The fish swim softly and gently greeting
The boy, though his reflection ripples his
Happiness glistens

The fast flowing river is crowded. As it
Watches the children play and splash in the
Water, he too enjoys making others happy.
The tall, thin trees shade the guests from
The burning hot sun, but still let’s sun shine break
Through. The sweet scent of blossoms breeze
Through the wood swiftly.

As the day comes to a finish, the
Cars, children and family leave. The beautiful
Forest again is silent. Waiting, waiting, waiting
For tomorrow to begin.

Bryngarw Park
Sophie Bevan and Jess Cundy

The ducks glide across the ripples of the water like a floating feather
The trickle of the water as it flushes away is enough to soothe anyone
The heat of the sun praises on the water warming the little visitors that come to play
The bridge stands adequately as we all come and admire the peace and quiet
The flowers bloom so delicately on the rough surface of the old oak
The Japanese garden is ripe and ready as ever for the new season, Summer.
The willow tree whistles by the soft touch of the wind
The bugs scatter on the sandy ground like an angry mob
The leaves shiver in the wind like a cold baby
The sun shot shadow blazes the grounds of Bryngarw

Tree Tops

The tree tops glisten with the dew left from the cold night
The top most branches of the old oak wave in the blissful breeze
Leaves flutter gracefully to the green grassy ground and rest
Amongst the others that have fallen and turned brown.
Sparrows spring from tree to tree echoing their sweet song through the blue sky
Ivy twined around rough brown bark tumbles through the clear air
Beautiful blossoms nestle within the star shaped leaves
Leaves from other trees merge with the various sizes, shapes and shades of the big beech
Rushing, the river flows past, rapidly speeding up carrying smooth soft pebbles
Along the wrath of the water.
Bubbling the river sparkles and the ripples rest as the sun beats down,
shining in the reflection of the children’s faces
Giggling gleefully the children drift into the darkest depths of the forest.
Trwy’r coedwig tywyll
Hefo adar bach
A’r pricop slei
Mae’r coed wedi cwmpo
A dail swnllyd
A’r danadl poethion dychrynnllyd
Mae rhai pethau Ddrwg ac ofnus
Ond rhaipethau da
Gwiwerod bach
Gyda cnau blasus iawn
Heb feddyliad drwg o gwbl

Lawn mowers cutting
Tree leaves rustling
Twigs snapping
Birds chirping
Nasty nettles
Smooth leaves
Damp wood
And moisturised moss
Scampering squirrels
Flowing streams
And a mossy mound of mud
Broken trees and colourful logs
With silky spider webs
Under the torn tree branches
There were black beetles and
Slimy mushrooms like leather.
Tranquil Change
Rachel Mcmeekin

I’ve stepped into a wonderful world
So calm,
So different
No longer are the towering trees dull and green
They are red rhododendrons and amazing azaleas
Little rocky foot bridges and oriental lanterns
Rive Garw and streams make here so tranquil
The beautiful bamboo shoots shoot up higher than the eye can see
But all I see is change
I walk on
The trees make a pitch black tunnel
I walk on and on …until
Everything is back to the way it was
Like time has stood still here
I’ll come here again some day
I promise
I will



The water parts, leaving its cascading brother to fall, effortlessly, down the small moss filled channel. It looks longingly towards its brother, as it tumbles down the cracked and chipped stone Sentinels which watch silently from the river bed, gazing with a glazed stone eye at the water’s faltering flow. While the water twists and turns down the spiralling meander its brother moves fast, spitting angrily at their sudden separation. The defeated water falls from the last rock, splashing down back into the rippling pool, meeting with its murky brother. Embracing each other in an overlapping cycle, they both sweep down the river, reunited at last.

Bryngarw Park

Dancing dragonflies skim across the murky water
The sound of the river timidly tipping over the rocks
A leaf floating down to the rotting vegetation below
Twisted tree roots forced out of the ground
Three trees convoluted into one
A twisted tunnel of over hanging branches
The wind whistling through the ancient trees
A rotting tree trunk covered in vines
Smooth, soft feeling of damp moss
Tiny, delicate deep pink flowers against a green canvas.