Vandals smash poetry artwork designed to inspire Longridge during Covid crisis
Vandals have smashed a piece of artwork intended to lift spirits during the coronavirus crisis.
The poem Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye had been written on a piece of reclaimed roofing slate and positioned in Townley Gardens, off Berry Lane, Longridge.
It was one of around 30 dotted around the town by Clare Hyde from Knowle Green, who wanted to share the positive power of poetry.
In fact it was a replacement piece after the original was broken in Berry Lane last year.
>>>Read more about the work here
On Thursday, locals were upset to find the second slate smashed into pieces, with parts strewn all over the footpath near the youth club.
One local resident, who asked to be anonymous, said: "We are a proud town and the fact that someone has ruined someone’s efforts to boost morale out of nothing but boredom is disheartening."
But Clare Hyde was more sanguine.
"I did it to lift spirits, and I was aware that some might get broken", she said.
"In fact quite a few of them have been broken, either by the wind or people, but I try not to be too precious about it.
"I do replace some of the ones that have been broken, but I have to look at where they're positioned and whether it might happen again."
Clare, who is involved in environmental work, said she has always had a love for poetry and choses excerpts from her favourites, or from those that had struck her while watching television or reading the paper.
The poem Kindness was from a book called The Poetry Pharmacy Returns.
Clare said: "It's prescribing poems for courage, healing and hope -.much needed now!"
The first poem Clare put on display was from Benedictus: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue. She positioned it carefully at a crossroads in Knowle Green.
She said: "I felt a bit silly about it at first, but then I saw people stopping and looking and it gives me great please to see people engaging with poetry.
"One person told me that after seeing some of the poems, they were inspired to go out and buy their first ever poetry book.
"I have enjoyed contributing during the last year with this."
Lancashire Constabulary have been contacted for a comment.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the
Indian in a white poncho lies dead
by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night
with plans and the simple breath
that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness
as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow
as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness
that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day
to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.