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Poetry Pleases: The River Esk

Jean Cowgill writes a fast-flowing poem about the life-span of the River Esk in North Yorkshire.

From a multi-sourced conception
the Esklets absorb rain and snow.
Measured flows join, on the high moors,
to nurture the embryonic Esk.

She slides over rock outcrops
to tumble, pause and rush
in a relentless attempt
to deepen valleys and carve a niche.

A career river intent on capture,
She gains strength in volume
on an eternal water cycle exercise:
youthful energy wasted on the young.

Later, lest she become too dominant,
she is constrained by artificiality.
Debris in solution impedes her progress:
mortgages and pension plans lower her horizon.

She reaches a state of premature senility,
forgets who is prime minister,
forgets to buy tea-bags,
forgets her name,
forgets.

At Whitby the sea embraces her.




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