Bedford

I was born and raised and live uplands
on rolling hills and open moors,
bare and edging wild and comfortably worn,
but sought connection by the river side:
a sweeping flooding lowland drain
crewed by 8s 4s pairs / and single sculls.

I stood alone and open / below
the crossing of the broadening reach
that stretches left downstream
and lives and scares in equal measure:
deep and swift and rising / to encompass
rowers, swimmers – and the drowned.

I walked in the rain, I stalked along
the auburn decked embankment,
a yellow flecked containment
of an autumn season’s flow;
I played my part, to arouse sorcery
with a tall and slender southern belle….

To join / in brief intense encounter
to fall / over the river’s edge
to reach / across the riverbank
to touch, as one / who’s swept away….
…. coursing with the rhythm of the cycle
that marks out who we are….

Swept free! By currents welling from below,
sourced in vein-traced clear chalk aquifers,
fed through downland confluence / swollen
by the month’s run-off, today’s rainfall
and what else lies beneath / remote
from what’s reflected on the surface.

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