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Water & the Sacred at Gateway College

A group of students studying Literature at Gateway College, under the tuition of Jeremy Grant, were given the photographs of Claude Renaults fabulous Water & the Sacred Exhibition. They were encouraged to undertake a piece of creative writing about the pictures, with unbelievably inspiring results. Below is a selection of that writing and the images that inspired it....


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Woman praying with incense
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Man wading in Lake
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Boy holding bottle of water

See Me, Lord
By Susanna Hobson

Breathe it in,
The holiness.
Breathe it in,
The power
And the powerlessness.
Wear the smoke
Of this wonderful sacrifice.
Wear my prayers,
Wrap up in them.
Use them to entice love,
And something
More pleasing.

Look at me now –
Draped in,
Enthralled by this
Magical
Helplessness.

See me eyes closed?
I am gazing at the stars.
See my hands held out?
I am waiting
To feel the touch of yours.
Look at my heart,
Closed for you to see.
Delve into me
Deep.
Purify me –
Allow me a part of you
To keep.

[This poem was inspired by the photograph of the woman praying with incense.]

Reflections
By Laura Adcock

You can’t see me,
Just my wild reflection,
Burnt and drowning,
In a pool of tranquility,

But if you look behind the image,
You’ll see me fighting.
One day I’ll break the mirror
And your reflection will be free.

[This poem was inspired by the photograph of the man wading in the lake next to a big tree.]

Poem For Life
By Sophie Currie

Colour it, put it in black and white.
Remember it.
Red.
Blood red, and brown, brown skin.
Never forget it.
The light of life is a shaft of sunlight
Shining weakly on fresh, clean, and, above all, safe water.
Feel guilty. You did this.
The first, the last, the forgotten.
Never forget.

[This poem was inspired by the photograph of the boy standing next to the road holding a bottle of water.]