His Story II: The Last Act
We talk at last: the last talk.
Spooned, on borrowed bed,
casting minds into time
like fly fishers
we share memories as catch on the line.
Decades dissolve, and our bravely-primed hearts
make old barriers crouch so that love can leap over.
Gems from the island of childhood are conjured,
ice-cream days melt in our gaze:
at seven, “Your new yellow dress,
like sunshine, you lit up the world!”
Then eleven, “Prize sketch of a miner,
and interview with the press!”
Who would guess
you were proud after all?
Wish you’d said.
Swaddled in scraps of atonement
we, consciously, are dad and daughter:
clutching the edges of life which are tearing,
nursing what shreds are remaining,
stretching the moment…
Posing the ultimate: why?
My, “The chrysalis knows not of the butterfly!”
“But it’s not dead,” you sigh.
So none of us lie.
Absorbing the choice we adjust to the fact,
mentally align, and prepare,
with the pact
for when you are ready.
You take the reins.
And with that, the clarity of closure lassoes us.
Till aching release.
Raising brandy shots in the hospice night,
we threw wide the windows and toasted his flight.
Our final great gift: peace.
With an Honours degree in Fine Art and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Brighton (and later an MA at Leeds Beckett University), experience of working in a variety of industries and with teaching experience at all age levels, Angie joined Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) as the first full-time Arts Administrator in 1983.
Bringing this wealth of experience to the post enabled her to work alongside the founder, Peter Murray, to develop strategies for developing the regional, national and international profile of YSP implemented through pioneering exhibition, learning, fund raising and sponsorship programmes. Being central to the daily running of YSP meant she participated in all tasks: from overseeing the office to helping site sculpture, organise private views, lead school tours and workshops, speak to the artists, liaise with the media, publish catalogues, head security, organise transport and customs et al, in addition to anything else that working with an historic landscape might also require; as she says, «Everything from ambassadors to trees!».
As a founding member of staff she later became the first Curator of the YSP Archive (in 1991) which she continues to lead today. As a part-time post this meant that Angie had time to re-visit her practice as a painter and she has since contributed to group exhibitions nationally and internationally, with several solo exhibitions in the region.
Having a keen interest in live music, Angie has been an avid supporter of the famous local jazz club; is a member of the Civic Society, chair of their Awards Judging Panel and member of the Dining Club; is a member of the Historical Society, the Film Society and Arts on the Run, a group which supports migrant artists; and more recently, the Black Horse Poets.
Though being included in the Poetry in a Box touring project in 2009, it wasn’t until winning the Black Horse Poets open mic at the Wakefield Literature Festival in 2013 that she started to write poetry seriously. Since then, she has been featured in “Da Terre a Terre”, a twinning publication by the Red Shed Readers and Margutte Poets of Italy, and on the CD Wakefield Voices produced by Black Horse Poets to celebrate the 2014 Wakefield Lit Fest. To celebrate the centenary of Dylan Thomas, Angie had a piece selected to feature on the specially commissioned Shedloads of Work website, commissioned by the 2014 Sheffield Literature Festival, Off the Shelf. Additionally, she has participated in several spoken word events to support Wakefield’s bi-monthly Artwalk.
British Nurses to Serbia, a poem.
Angiede Courcy Bower has contributed to Margutte with YSP Sculpture in Landscape