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WAKE UP YOU RIVER

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:56 pm
by Catherine Edmunds
Sometimes you have to accommodate your poetic style to circumstances. Hence the 'over-written' feel of this poem, compared to my usual output. This was written for an audience of people who quite possibly rarely if ever read poetry, so I felt a need to fill it out more than I usually do. It also reads like a travelogue, which is weird as I've never been to any of the places mentioned. However, a conservation group who are restoring the canals around Maidenhead wanted some poems to put on their website, so a group of us over at UKAuthors had a go. This was my effort. The client was happy, and will use them all.

At some point, I'll probably write a version that's more 'me' (and therefore most likely entirely incomprehensible).



WAKE UP, YOU RIVER!

Wild river waterway, unkempt, unwelcoming
waders steer clear of your streams gone awry
silted with litter where four arches rise above
dry Cliveden Reach and Maidenhead Ditch
strewn with chip wrappers and bottles of bleach.

Emergent reeds rustle through sedges and nettles
Green Lane’s locks hide, tight wrapped round in bindweed,
brambles, jack-by-the-hedge, dock leaves trod, flattened
sycamore, hawthorn and green willows weeping
winding their branches through torn Tescos bags.

Maidenhead Moor remembers the Thames
Windsor’s fine waterways, mill leats, navigation.
reeds cut for thatch not left long to moulder
timber gone, ghost barges wait at the wharf
with skeletal trolleys and nine traffic cones.

Bray Reach to Bourne End, waterways follow
across Cookham Moor to far Fleet Ditch Strand,
Widbrook diminished where once streams flowed rapidly
deep into Summerleaze lakes, sunkissed grasses
sinking to sludge beneath rainbow oil slicks.

Old flash lock weir pools, Laggan, Cordwallis,
deemed danger to children, so clogged up with filth.
‘Cored Gwal Llys’ mansion by weir pool…
ah, words lose their meanings where once withy windles
and wildfowl seek water and solace in vain.

Chapel Arches, dried out by root sucking
lombardy poplars past old Grace’s Timber Wharf
drowned in silt, filled in for building. Remember?
Brunel was once here. Left his mark building bridges
where weir pools held drama of flash locks and flooding
washing their cargo of boats to the next lock
and there they stay, waiting and fading in twilight
silted and sunken, forgotten and gone.

Wake up, you river!
Water, resurgent, resound through your ditches
silt sink no longer, be dredged, willows watching
waders and skippers, damselflies, nymphs,
swim things return and be welcomed back home.

Re: WAKE UP YOU RIVER

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:12 pm
by Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
delph_ambi wrote:Sometimes you have to accommodate your poetic style to circumstances. Hence the 'over-written' feel of this poem, compared to my usual output. This was written for an audience of people who quite possibly rarely if ever read poetry, so I felt a need to fill it out more than I usually do. It also reads like a travelogue, which is weird as I've never been to any of the places mentioned. However, a conservation group who are restoring the canals around Maidenhead wanted some poems to put on their website, so a group of us over at UKAuthors had a go. This was my effort. The client was happy, and will use them all.

At some point, I'll probably write a version that's more 'me' (and therefore most likely entirely incomprehensible).



WAKE UP, YOU RIVER!

Wild river waterway, unkempt, unwelcoming
waders steer clear of your streams gone awry
silted with litter where four arches rise above
dry Cliveden Reach and Maidenhead Ditch
strewn with chip wrappers and bottles of bleach.

Emergent reeds rustle through sedges and nettles
Green Lane’s locks hide, tight wrapped round in bindweed,
brambles, jack-by-the-hedge, dock leaves trod, flattened
sycamore, hawthorn and green willows weeping
winding their branches through torn Tescos bags.

Maidenhead Moor remembers the Thames
Windsor’s fine waterways, mill leats, navigation.
reeds cut for thatch not left long to moulder
timber gone, ghost barges wait at the wharf
with skeletal trolleys and nine traffic cones.

Bray Reach to Bourne End, waterways follow
across Cookham Moor to far Fleet Ditch Strand,
Widbrook diminished where once streams flowed rapidly
deep into Summerleaze lakes, sunkissed grasses
sinking to sludge beneath rainbow oil slicks.

Old flash lock weir pools, Laggan, Cordwallis,
deemed danger to children, so clogged up with filth.
‘Cored Gwal Llys’ mansion by weir pool…
ah, words lose their meanings where once withy windles
and wildfowl seek water and solace in vain.

Chapel Arches, dried out by root sucking
lombardy poplars past old Grace’s Timber Wharf
drowned in silt, filled in for building. Remember?
Brunel was once here. Left his mark building bridges
where weir pools held drama of flash locks and flooding
washing their cargo of boats to the next lock
and there they stay, waiting and fading in twilight
silted and sunken, forgotten and gone.

Wake up, you river!
Water, resurgent, resound through your ditches
silt sink no longer, be dredged, willows watching
waders and skippers, damselflies, nymphs,
swim things return and be welcomed back home.

Stunning work Delph. Absolutely stunning :D ...

Your notes up above on this piece inspired my next request:

I would love to hear this one performed. Do you have a minidisc / mp3 recorder at home? If so, would you please consider recording it? Alternatively, you could get in touch with a performance or voice artist from your region and then send me a copy for upload. You're under no obligation but it would be a real pleasure to have this poem recorded and made available to the world through our domain. Precise and very much on time both environmentally and politically.

I salute you pal :D ...

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:30 am
by Catherine Edmunds
It's a nice idea Lugh, but no. This is not a good poem. If I want stuff made widely available to the public, with my name attached, it needs to be of much higher quality. It will do its own little bit for the environment by being publicly available on the conservation website (I'll provide the link as and when they upload it) but that'll have to be all. I don't want it being used further.

Thanks for the offer.

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:34 am
by Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
delph_ambi wrote:It's a nice idea Lugh, but no. This is not a good poem. If I want stuff made widely available to the public, with my name attached, it needs to be of much higher quality. It will do its own little bit for the environment by being publicly available on the conservation website (I'll provide the link as and when they upload it) but that'll have to be all. I don't want it being used further.

Thanks for the offer.

No worries Delph. That's cool ...