Bestridden and below, the letted vein
twitches and judders towards not an end
but a beginning neither; we meet at
a confluence of something and nothing.
How it engulfs those above, that other
blighted stream: the barter and traffic of
consumer junk and hurried ferried souls
heedless of all but the Poundland shuffle.
Where once the stuff of Empire swelled and flowed,
and now, the smear of headlamps and brake lights
dragging the river’s muddied silt pool, whorl
of a moment washed under in a breath.
Limping quietly on, the Ship Canal
unkinks the river’s troubled story like
a bandaged splint; but the view from The Bridge
is of nothing that anchors the gaze.
M a e r e – s e a
Say it slowly and it’s pleading you hear,
say it fast and its gone in a puff of
diesel; ‘border river’ in ancient tongue,
but aren’t they all, in their own different way?
The Bridge gathers its supplicant stream, arched
to the heavens while below slips unseen
to depths none but the wretched can fathom,
for the view from The Bridge is of nothing.
That anchors the gaze.
© Les Roberts 2016. All Rights Reserved.