New Horizons Poetry Trail

New Horizons

On 9 September 2009, seven members of the New Horizons Mental Health and Emotional Well Being Resource Centre travelled on the Arriva Trains railway line from Aberdare to Cardiff Bay while recording their experiences in poetry.

Led by poet Patrick Jones, the group were encouraged to produce a vivid journey of words reflecting the communities and scenery they travelled through, from the train itself and from their experiences during the day.

The group were met by the New Horizons patron Boyd Clack in Cardiff Bay, where they shared their poetry. The main group poem will be designed as an A3 poster and displayed at Arrive Trains stations across the Valleys.

Arriva Trains Wales and Academi are supporting the development of literature amongst mental health support groups across Wales. This was the first special train ride for an adult group. The aim is to assist adults who enjoy writing and who are beginning to write well and to broaden their experiences of creative writing.

From The Mountain to the Sea
Group poem with Patrick Jones

Organised chaos
Apprehensive morning
Will I fit in?
As we take our seats
Full with
open minded ink

United by words, joined by thoughts
Amusing how something so simple
Can be so epic
Our common journey
Aberdare valley green

A pool of thoughts
Pouring, pouring
like the trickling streams that start our trip

as the mountains look down upon us,
elderly women going shopping
life outside passes again
leaving time behind
oh what a view from a high train
oh come to me and  we’ll speak again

Railways at the back of everything
At Mountain Ash
We wait for another train to pass
Notice the new hospital growing

A lonesome beginning of a tree
Out of place
Missing some sense of belonging
No sign of life at the stations
Just ticket machines
Waiting, waiting

The train rattles on,
Bursting with life,
to Cardiff

Nature replaced by concrete
My pretty bumble bee
Busy on the same tree
Does he even notice
The train rushing by

From the mountain to the sea
The river where the trees
Cast a shadow over
The sunlit water
Hidden words are spoken
Spilling forth from our early apprehension

We returned to our natural selves
As we travelled
From green to grey
From tree to building

We felt at ease
No more tension
Just freedom of expression
Like the sea shining in the sun
Everyone and everything different
Proof of this today
Tailored by time
Laid beyond
This sheet of glass.

Mike Came
Oh what a view from a high train
Oh come to me and  we’ll speak again, again
Mike Came
Twin steel lines from Aberdare to the Bay
Following the river winding through the green valleys
To the brick and concrete of our capitol city
Eight people joined through the love of words
Meeting and bonding to a common theme
Travelling by Arriva train talking and sharing ideas and thoughts
Sitting, writing watching the faces of our fellow commuters
Grim, serious features of work bound people
The smiling faces of anticipating money spending shoppers
People reducing their carbon footprints whilst travelling together in speed and comfort
Travel with no strain, by an Arriva train

Angharad Hall
Passing by so quickly
There’s no time to see the detail
But wait, we stop and detail is restored
Beside me stands a landscape
View of beauty
Trees of all different sizes, ages and
Colours, just like us
Here we go again and life outside passes again,
Leaving time behind
Many buildings pass us
Some under construction
And some left to age in time
What surprises me is the comparison
Of a journey on the inside of
A man made machine moves quicker
Than the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Ceri Watkins
The snow flakes are falling
The daylight is dawning
The train from Aberdare
Meets us up on the square
I like spending money
I think it’s quite funny
The trees in mid air
Make it easy to bear
Come along with me
And I’ll show you the way
The train is still moving
And we’ll be returning
From a light yellowy sun
And the trees move freely
Towards the breeze
We are travelling towards Cardiff Bay
The sun is streaming through the glass panelled windows
Oh, what a view from a high train
Oh, come to me and we’ll speak again

Brian Mitchell
A sunny day on Arriva trains
Diesel  electric  past Asda the bog
Mountains looking down on us
The flower and berry look well
The leaves are turning the most going by
It seems that the railways are the back of
Everything, untidy Fernhill
The hospital is growing
Mountain Ash all bridges
Penrhiwceiber untidy a steeple shown
Abercynon my wife was born there
Ponty it still could do with tidying
How close my pretty bumble be as the train
Rushes by, does he ever notice
Treforest tidy a Mum and Dad with baby get on
The train gets faster, the wind whistles through the open window
Factory rows of strawberries left after the crop
The river waterfall, Radyr
Llandaf how nice it would be if we could tidy stations
Cathays cleaner
Cardiff Queen Street.