On Water xxvii

bent double by grief

sadness enough to birth rivers

path shadowed by tears


CLP 04/05/2021

On the Road xxviii

Before roads, rivers

Tip your cap to sailors, crew

Who followed the flow


CLP 30th August, 2020

The Test

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.


CLP 10/08/09