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The River by Catherine K, Year 11 Ripley St Thomas

Children use to chime,
As birds of all sorts used to rhyme,
While the weightless water danced,
Across the rough rocks,
As animals of all sorts scurried through the white water,
Swimming swiftly away from yapping dogs,
And joyful cheers echoed across the river,
From the busy golf course aside,
But now all is still,
No children in site,
Birds whining eerily,
As murky water drifts across,
Plastics of all sorts,
The only sound,
Is the busy road aside,
As few lonely animals,
Swim rapidly away from litter,
Which was left by children,
who use to chime

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See Life, Sea Life by Justine W, Ripley St Thomas

When I visit the countryside, I love the dark skies,
No light pollution and can see all the stars
If you follow them the lead you to Morecambe Town,
Which I love also, and has lights of its own
Many bright lights, neon colours, flashing,
The stars disappear, all but a few and my eyes a draw downwards
Mind my footing on the ground
In one shop, then another, scanning the pavements to continue forwards
The Bay air is salty and smells of wet stones
People are everywhere, cars driving home
Bus stops as frequent as streetlights, street life, pedestrian chaos
The sea, the Sea Life metres away, secretly busy a life of its own
I’ll travel by train to Lancaster City, drenched in history, a thousand year pretty
I can shop ‘till I drop, meet friends, go for lunch and watch people
Doing the same without pause, pedestrian chaos
The medieval Castle, The Cathedral, the HUGE river
River Lune fuelled by the Sea power, from cumbria to Lancashire
Did I see the river today or the sea or the stars?
No not really though I journeyed as far
But The Sea saw me, and let me breath, let me eat, let me shop, kept me warm
I’ll see the sea next time, its coming to town,
Morecambe town, The Eden Project, bringing a Sea Life centre
Sea Life above ground, more people, long journeys, no stars
To See The Sea Life, via trams, trains and cars.

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Oceans and Beaches by Amelia L, Year 9 Ripley St Thomas

Oceans and beaches,
Places we love to go.
Once used to be home to many,
But that number has now reduced to be so low.
Once used to be lively and clean,
Now not as much can be seen.
Plastic pollutes the ocean,
And covers the sand.
What has happened to this wonderful creation?
Was it made just so fish could get stuck in tin cans?
Once the animals and organisms thrived,
But now many of them have died.
Though there is still some hope.
Reduce your waste,
Reuse what you can.
And protect the animals,
From the old way of man.

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The Anthropocene’s Picnic – Pier Head, Liverpool by Debra Williams

If you go down to the waves today
For peace and quiet, a mindful
Meditative moment,
You’re sure of a big surprise
Because the Anthropocene’s in town.
“Roll up! Roll up!”
Get your synthetic ice-creams
From the diesel-belching vans
Lined up on the harsh concrete –
The heat island effect is strong here –
Dodge the darkly speckled
Dirty-looking juvenile gulls
Bin-dipping in the junk food
Effluence around the benches and steps –
The tin cans and plastic bottles
The takeaway cartons and cups
The cigarette butts and wet wipes –
And feel ashamed.
If you go down to the waves today
You’d better go alone
Because the things you want to say – shout – scream
Are better off unvoiced –
So maybe it’s safer to stay at home.

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Living in circular harmony by Jules Telford

The wild and rugged cliff plunging north west tip of Orkney,
We wander here to visit not live,
To be entranced by endless power of white rolling waves,
To listen to pounding sea and shrieking gulls,
To taste the saltiness on our lips
And watch the seals gambol in the sea.

We search out the desolate and untamed,
And look in awe at thousands of years ago dwellings of invaders from other shores,
Who also gazed on this and knew of no other way to live
But in circular harmony with who and what is still here.

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Documentary by Ian Seed

It’s about a man recovering from mental health issues. We watch him as he opens the door of his sheltered housing bungalow, blinking in the sunlight. Next we see him attending a course at the local college. He waves cheekily at us through a classroom window, as if to say, ‘Look! I’m trying to get better – all those taxes you pay for my treatment are not wasted.’ But now he’s walking on a sort of sea of crushed forest, formed from dead trees over millions of years. The sea heaves and swirls. He could be swallowed at any moment. Yet his smile radiates confidence.

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Morecambe on a winter’s day by Rose J, Year 7 LGGS

A dog runs on the forsaken beach,
The sea is distant, out of reach,
The sea and sky meet in a symphony of grey,
This is Morecambe on a winter’s day.

Looking back towards the town,
Chip shop litter, strewn around,
A chip become a seagull’s prey,
This is Morecambe on a winter’s day,

The setting sun casts a fiery glow,
On the bare beds where spring flowers will grow,
And an empty playground where no children play,

This is Morecambe on a winter’s day.

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Gurnal Dubs by Leila Platt

There’s the walk up to where you’re going
A little trepidation
A warm glow appearing as you trek
Chat about what the temperature might be
Then you arrive
Then comes the dance
Hopping and stumbling into your costume
Pulling on neoprene socks and gloves
And the obligatory woolly hat
No one does it with complete grace
You have a sense of practicality
But yet again you chat about the water temperature
Even on your own you have that little natter
You might be sharing your tarn with others
Those with the technical stuff drop in a thermometer
Gently you move forward
To the edge
One foot then the other
Tippy toes
Testing the water step by step
Up to your knees and then your hips
Shallow breaths and whoops as you remember to breath
A quick turn to the shoreline
It’s still there
And a swan like first breaststroke
You are in
Head fills with emptiness
Concentration on your limbs
Gentle strokes
And with time you’re out again
A quick dip
Your head feels different
Ever so careful tiptoeing in and out
Your carefulness homage to the water
Only a fool tests the depth of water with both feet!

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My Environment Poem by Millie O’C, Year 8 LGGS

The depths of the sea,
Animals and sea life swim free.
Although beautiful, vast and blue,
The innocent creatures are dying because of you.
The ocean is full of plastic,
Things like bottles and elastic.
Easy enough to find its way into a creature’s mouth,
All animals, even in the south.
Are dying this tragic way,
Almost every single day.
Our amazing sea,
Where people come and leave.
We swim in its lovely waters,
With our fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.
We have cared for the ocean many times,
Now its time for us to stop polluting the water as it seems as if it was a crime.

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In an Intemperate Climate Rocks become Light by Catherine Marina

A child bites my hand, wrapping it over his
and catching his feet on unstable sand.

Looking back smoke rises from the shore.
Open fires and cigarettes divide the beach.

With ogre energy, laughing and cackling
the child throws a rock, splitting it in two

current breaking and reforming through it.
Inclement layers exposed to oxygen and salts.

His screams disturb the grown-ups on the shore
looking up from their personal spaces

places marked out by expensive kayaks
and bodies of wetsuits prostrate and idle.

His rolled up tracksuit bottoms are starting
to get wet and he hasn’t noticed the samphire

wrapping around his toes. Salt fingers
binding him in the water until he feels

and screams and giggles and razes his hands
God like against the incoming tide

that threatens to wash everything away
and asks to go home. Relieved, the adults

on the shore relax back behind their wind breaks.
Watch us tip toe over unexploded shells.

Exhale cigarette smoke. Lick the salt off their lips.
Resume their positions.

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This River (After Jennifer Lee Tsai) by Karen Lloyd

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

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Pathway to Paradise by Mary Hodges

Once children walked on this country lane
Free from fear, safe from traffic,
Watching ducks on the river, lambs in the fields,
Gathering wildflowers from the hedgerows.

Now the narrow lane is heavy with petrol fumes,
Cars roar around blind bends,
Tractors trundle along, dragging heavy trailers.
Children no longer walk here.

Local people were determined to fight
For the right to walk in safety.
So they made the Millennium Way.

To the outsider it’s just a footpath
Raised on a flood bank beside the Wyre.
Lovely views, wildlife a-plenty
Ducks, geese, the occasional heron,
Swallows and swifts in season, seagulls too.
Primroses blossom, then cowslips
Then daffodils in golden hosts.

The perfect place for a quiet walk
At a pace I want to go.
Seats where I can rest and dream,
And contemplate cows in one field,
Lambs gambolling in the other.
The bow of Bowland hills in the background
The River Wyre, brown and sinuous, flowing to the sea,

More to me than a footpath, a link to life.
Friends wave as they pass my window;
Acquaintances exercise their dogs,
Strangers with walking boots and poles
Set off for a day’s hiking.
The Millennium Way – my pathway to Paradise

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Window by Mary Hodges

I gaze at the view as I sit by my window.
The snowdrops are over, the primrose in flower.
The riverside footpath is busy with walkers
Enjoying spring sunshine, dodging spring showers.

I pull up my scarf as I sit by my window
It’s dank and it’s chill and the rain’s beating down.
No-one is passing in this bleak November
The river is rising, a torrent of brown.

I watch the bright scene as I sit by my window.
The snow on the ground gleams white in the sun.
Children rush out to shout and throw snowballs
Sliding and sledging and snowmen are fun.

Once I could run and walk by the river
And climb all the hills and hear all the birds
Now all I can do is watch from my window
And treasure the memories I picture in words.

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Alone by John Hindle

I am left again in solitude
to collect my thoughts
and hear the pattern of peace
running through me
without another person
there is a spirit inside me
a reflection of heaven
against the ripples of tide
in the sea of humanity
golden embers break the horizon
warming the footsteps of a silhouette
out of darkness.

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Sentiments on Rye – A Recipe by Kitty Greenbrown

Take two banks – preferably of a similar size,
and line thoroughly with hazel, willow and hawthorn.
Place the banks side-by-side in a weather-proof valley,
and ladle soft moorland rain on.

Once your liquid reaches the desired height,
stir in some fragments of pottery, an Anglo-Saxon coin and your sister’s shoe.
Add in a tin bath of wild brown trout, a summer’s worth of watercress
and the phone your Grandma lent you.
Mix well.

Once thoroughly combined, spoon on tractor noise and the click of a male pheasant.
Next, fold in the smell of wild garlic and a few drops of the memory of a duck race.
You might also like to bury a broken heart at the cow-crossing place.

If you want to include fishermen, do so at this point.
Wrap each carefully in leak-proof layer and place at regular intervals along the bank.
They work equally well individually or as two together.
Heat with weak sun, soak liberally with strong tea, and repeat until they weather.

Allow the preparation to rise periodically.
When it does, simply spread the excess out across the banks and wait until it reduces in size.
This technique may cause wildflowers to grow and a heron to appear on either side –
this is perfectly normal.
Please note, otters may also occur.

If the liquid begins to brown, remove any debris that floats to the surface and check your mixture has adequate levels of ranunculus weed.
Continue to sieve until the water runs clear,
setting aside any good sticks for making rope swings later in the year.

Finally add a handful of birdsong, fifty toads and some strands of fleece caught on barbed wire.
Crisscross several times with a quad bike
and finish with a den at one end and a small dam at the other.
It’s best to use the kind you built with your brother.

This recipe can be made in advance and enjoyed for millennia.
To serve, sprinkle with paths, bridleways and wild geese.
Always ensure it’s lukewarm before swimming, and feel free to freeze.

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The days I meet Bruce Lee by Ann Grant

I’ve been the rusty bucket
filled with stones and broken shells.
At best, fine grey sand
homesick for a windy beach.

These days the sky knows
saturation is the key to my cure.
Caught in a deluge, cool drops drip
through my once waterproof coat.

Drenched and limping we walk
down the bank, myself and my dog.
She is further ahead, in every sense,
each moment a game for her to win.

That’s when we see him, he is river,
he whispers Be water, Be water.
Flowing with fury, a tide of fists.
Shapeshifting translation of life.

Even in summer, I’m a trickle
a broken hose, spilling without direction
I wade through dampness.
head for the river, he reminds to flow.

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Petrichor by Donna Gowland

Sharp and direct as an arrow
Speckling grey pigeon slate.
Keeps shape like an Olympic diver,
Glides gracefully through the air,
Ripples anticipate its landing.
Disperses, before it is caught,
into something familiar,
tear drops of new hope.
It clings to the air
Like an insult,
Or a kind word.

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Risk assessment by Kelly Davis

Walking along the Prom
I make a judgement about the waves.
Are they licking the edge of the path
or swallowing it whole?

Will my dog and I be safe
beside this body of water
that is sometimes calm and still,
sometimes shuddering, convulsing?

Next to the path, signs of past storms:
concrete blocks pulverised into fragments
bits of metal and plastic
vomited onto the shore.

Above me, the steep slope
has become a cliff,
chunks of earth
bitten out.

We used to build sandcastles on holiday –
make the walls higher, the moats deeper,
then watch, helpless,
as our castles vanished.

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In-between place by Kelly Davis

Strip of scrubby land
just beyond the golf course
with blackened, backcombed bushes.

Between the coast road and the sea,
bordered with chunks of broken concrete,
boulders, twisted bits of washed-up metal.

I walk my dog here
on the muddy track, following
his tail like a flag.

Place where gorse and brambles
cling to life, battered by
Western winds and Solway tides.

In ten years’ time
it will have gone.
I’m setting down a marker.

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Rain Fed by Wendy Davison

The source of the source
An ancient cover, hugging nature’s reservoir
All greens and browns, tufts and mounds
Soft, saggy, soggy
Oozing and moving in a wave of funhouse drunkenness
A medley of tiny islands
Living, breathing, contributing,
BUT yielding to hooves, to boots, to paws, to tyres
Unsupported against the creep of environmental dissolution