Rec user Sandra puts feelings into verse

Poet Sandra Brown SpringerWhen the Brixton Rec Users Group urged supporters of the Rec to tell Historic England why it is important to them and the community, they got a response that was a lot more than expected. Avid Rec user Sandra Brown Springer (above), who has been writing poetry, stories and essays since she was a teenager, put her feelings into verse.

Historic England is considering an application to list the Rec because of its architectural, social and community significance. Lambeth council has guaranteed its life until 2022, after which its future is not certain.

Sandra grew up on the old Angell Town Estate and now lives on Loughborough Estate. She has three children, works full time and swims daily at the Rec. She also runs Afro Hair Care workshops when she has time. A bookworm, she reads voraciously, recording favourite reads on her blog:

The Rec and I

I love this place

Where I rush to meet

Myself every day,

Where I learned how to

Defeat myself

Love myself…

Carving out this fit future

From that fat past

She has aided me in

Discovering a different life –

Abetted the development of

Old muscles and new abilities,

In her depths I’ve

Reclaimed childlike agility,

I love this place…

The exterior seems blockish and brutal

But the interior is graced

With so much light and space that

It’s as if all the Gods

Smile upon me

Down through the atrium

And then through the glass roof

Of the jewelled pool

Concentrating the distilled

Benevolence from above

So as to pass it on to users

Spreading the love

Here in this water is my

Favourite place of all to be

Fast … free … graceful … strong …

I can’t stay away too long

She pulls me back

Magnetically and

I’m always ready to be

Dazzled by her glittering beauty …

I enter reverently

and she is faithful, she

Always accepts me

She carries me

Covers me embraces me

She heals me

And envelopes all into

Her level playing field indiscriminately

A space that’s worth more than money

I pay the toll gladly

I revel in this therapy

As she bleeds

My sweat and tension,

My anxiety my pains

My roaring rage to tame

My shame my guilt my blame

She heals me …

And releases me into the world

Shower fresh and baggage free

Feeling lighter righteous hungry

For the day that will build tensions anew

But I know that early each morning

I will pilgrimage to the Rec

The magic’s always here –

She hasn’t failed me yet.

© Sandra Brown Springer, 2016