Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Finally, after working on a long walking/writing project all summer (watch this space), here's a new poem for the blog. The river here is, in fact, not one river, but four - where the Derwent and the Ouse combine with the Trent and become the Humber. This area has recently become known as The Humberhead Levels and has attracted a big lottery grant for its conservation. It has an atmosphere that is totally unique.

The River

Full moon;
no clouds or wind.
Odours from the river;
sea-mingled smells
carried on the tide,
thirty miles inland from the coast.
Seaweed, the smell,
and river weed,
between the beds of reed;
banks of mud,
submerged when the tide is high,
where sea and river weed
are left when tides recede. 

Now in the moonlight,
(the fullness of the moon),
the surface of the water shines,
still as ice
until a heron stirs.
While, thirty miles downstream,
the beaches are washed clean
and curious stones are rounded
with every salty surge
and gentle lapping;
slow, insistent slapping,
persistent motion
reducing stones to sand
with which
the sea renews the land.

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