I spent much of this week stewarding at a Christian festival called Word Alive. I had to guide crowds, set up venues, tidy up etc, and, to be honest, it was quite a draining and difficult job. There was, however, one absolutely wonderful duty. There was a gate on to the site called the ‘Beach Gate’ because it led down to the beach. Every couple of days, I had a 30 minute shift at this gate.
There was a small, one person hut for the on duty steward to sit and and check people’s wristbands as they entered. There was colouring in to do in the hut, someone had hung balloons up, and it was generally a nice escape from the noise and busyness of the festival. I spent much of the time in the hut singing Paul Simon‘s new single Wristband and writing this poem.
Beach Gate Hut
Hut by the Beach Gate, secluded escape
At the nape here of Pontins, the steward’s retreat
A small grey oasis, a warm bottleneck
For the checking of wristbands and resting of feet
It’s clear of the clutter of any marquee
And it’s free of the bustle of crowds in the hub
So rest in the nest of this wanderer’s crib
And inhibit pedestrians not in the club
30 minutes are yours, til the next guy gets here
But don’t fear, you’re in charge for the next half an hour
The authority’s yours, do whatever you choose
Til you lose all control and go mad with the power