Welled up through chalk; clear and bright
Mixed with floodplain mud
Strained through reeds
Her gentle curves
Restrained, contained within lines
Corsetted by stone, steel and concrete
She spills down the neck of Southampton Water
Runs to the welcome arms of the silent sea
Washed clean again on the double tide
n.b. The port at Southampton has developed over the centuries at a site that enjoys a double tide. 17 hours a day of rising water have long made it a home for commercial shipping.
The top of this coastal inlet is fed by two rivers, the Itchen to the east and the Test to the west. Both originate in the chalk downland and have stretches populated by rainbow trout that have historically thrived in the clear water.