This river’s a constant talker carries gossip from hills
Can tell you anything you need to know about rain.
Rain as a gift or a burden. This river blethers with oakwood
accommodates the chicanery of bridges. Is the submarine narrative
of stones and soils. Is minnows bullhead, crayfish.
This river is walking the dog is lovers, swimmers
and indiscretions dropped from crookback bridges.
Is kingfisher’s jade-tipped spear, is heron’s crankshaft
swallows, martins swifts.
This river is mayfly nebula bat motorway. Is eels.
Once, when the rain said too much
this river wanted out wanted nothing of riparian clichés
climbed up out of itself swallowed
fields roads factories
took to joyriding abandoning cars in strange corners
broke and entered houses tested the weight of itself on stairs
occupied cellars declared a manifesto of unclean things
This river needed to be made an example of
so they cut down the trees
did for the birds t he fish
restrained it insid e walls
put this river firm ly back in its place
in public this river has nothing to say about this
to itself this river says, bide your time
the slightest of weeds cleaves concrete