Water – three poems

Stream

I used to fish that beck for trout
where it flowed thinly down a weir
to a dark pool beneath.

Below the fizzing damsel flies,
the shards of splintered sunlight
lay gravel beds and pebbles
strands of weed
green banners streaming.

Trout lurked there, hovering,
winnowing the flow
for nymphs and water bugs.

One afternoon I took a round half dozen,
the line twitching between my fingers,
rod tip dipping to the water.

On this grey morning, frost
sheathes every blade of grass,
the brook runs sullen
under dirty ice.

All things are withered
and stilled
under a crust of cold.

Lake
Late October, when the world
shifts towards winter.
Trees stripped, leaves slimy underfoot
and the lake, jittery with wavelets
slopping and sucking at the bank.

That’s when they come, riding
the cold rivers of air-
Canadas and Greylags in their tribes
chattering like children
as the land unwinds below –
matchbox roofs, glittering windows,
the slow uncoiling roads.

Then a splash of spilt metal
silver in the low sun.
They turn, tipping the wind
from their wings
as the lake leaps upward
brushing their wide webs
with a silky hiss.

 

River

From the rock, a miracle.
Water, the colour of sky,
cold as the caverns
it came from, glittering
into the morning world
and down the hill.

Wily as a cat, it twists
and splits round shingle banks.
Shape-shifter scooping deep
still pools for trout to loiter in.

Gathers to itself the becks and burns,
the brooks, the runnels and the rivulets,
puts on muscle, hurls its berserker howl
against the valley walls then
cleaves a crack, a man might leap,
and bludgeons a way through.
A sheet of sliding amber takes
the evening light, transforming it
to gold, imparts a fine polish
to wet stones and fronds of weed.

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River

From the rock, a miracle.
Water, the colour of sky,
cold as the caverns
it came from, glittering
into the morning world
and down the hill.

Wily as a cat, it twists
and splits round shingle banks.
Shape-shifter scooping deep
still pools for trout to laze in.

Gathers to itself the becks and burns,
the brooks, the runnels and the rivulets,
puts on muscle, hurls its berserker howl
against the valley walls then
cleaves a crack, one man might leap,
and bludgeons a way through.

A sheet of sliding amber takes
the evening light, transforming it
to gold, imparts a fine polish
to wet stones and fronds of weed.

The Lake – late October

 

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The geese are back ! I couldn’t believe it. Look at the way their numbers shot up, and then declined:

10/10/14 20
14/10/14 73
16/10/14 78
17/10/14 200
18/10/14 227
19/10/14 23

Of course, it’s all to do with the weather. We had a week of very late summer – warm days, no wind and no rain. That brought the geese up from town. I’ve never see the lake so crowded.

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Our geese are not migratory- unless you call a journey of three miles migratory. They are a local population who spend their summers at the lake, feeding off the surrounding fields, and the winters on the banks of the river which runs through the middle of the city. There they have a river, and the warmth of surrounding buildings as well. Food is readily accessible- all they have to do is go round the back of the local supermarket and take what they want. They are first rate scavengers.

It’s strange, but they have no fear of people. They step out into the road and the traffic stops for them (often for minutes at a time) until they get safely to the other side. They go into shops, they blag food from passersby. You don’t believe me ? Look here.

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