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Poetry Pleases: My River

Marjorie Upson presents two poems which feature the Yorkshire river which flows through her home town - the River Calder.

Change

The ice that spawned me
Drove me onwards.
Round rough rocks and Pennine grit
Rushing down the endless valley
Searching, for my sister
And the sea.

Swollen, swift running,
Bursting out upon the land
And wreaking havoc.
Could I but speak, such tales Id tell
Of battles fought,
Death and destruction,
Centuries of farms and people
Using me and my offerings.

Industry a dirty master
Using me, then spewing out
Filth and waste.

Gone now the dirty mills
Destructive, diseased decay,
Sweetly I go the age-worn way
Through pleasant parks
To seek my sister
And the sea.

**

Upon Reflection

Beneath the bridge, double images of boats and barges
Moored where once proud colliers passed with coals,
Or wool and cotton.

The Calder running parallel,
Its weir broken and overgrown lets
Chilly waters run their weed=filled way
To greet their sisters, and the sea.
Once the ford ran red with blood
When young De Eland church ward bound
Was set upon,
Thrown to the ground
And slaughtered
On Palm
Sunday.

The silent stones where water hastens
Could tell the ancient story.

Now pleasure boats abandoned
Await their owners quench-ed thirst.

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