Beauty weaves from ugly threads
and back again to mud.
Who would have thought clay is oh so fine
knowing sand is oh so coarse?
Mining for gold is a not a pan full of guilt
and a pan full of silt. This is an ancient guild,
heading upriver to lowlands
where chalk streams rock spring,
of where we were just now,
not of where we’ve been,
wading the watercress beds,
tangling our ankles. We shouldn’t have been there
then. But now, when the catkins flower
and seedpods on top sail downriver, we can remark
on how this one shakes and this one shivers,
spinners crazed, the fluff dancers dizzle,
the wind to them a blur of noise – and of those
that glide, awe and grace on their silvery tipped backs of down -
it is time, to tell of The Mimram and The Bean,
reclaim all vocabulary that had run dry.
When it is too early, hunger-stone warnings
sing gravel voiced about poverty and disease – but
when our Cinderella rivers bloom,
the clearest train of thought flows through the chalk walkways,
receding inwards or moving on,
making the path of least resistance seem easy.
Is it then we should talk of slicing rock, of mud; of settling?
For what damage could these new words do
if not used before the gush of rain?
The clay beds lift with the slightest ripple,
the catkin are surrounded, like new-born chicks tugged under.
Flocculation weighs too much,
that sticky grip of clay ancestor, efficient as pike.
There may be time later, when spring rivers run dry in Summer
to discuss the efficiency of the hexagon, and its resistance.
Reaching an equilibrium early,
when there is so much left to say before the fall,
is the unsettled matter, and the rock.
Sitting by the river, panning the silt,
when it is time to say nothing at all.