Catchment Meeting April 22 2015 /poems 2

local knowledge

I’ve seen the river black with sea lampreys

glide shallow glide

over headwaters

in the river at night and day

once you got a skim of bream

they are all gone

the water is clear, clearer

but lost is that healthy colour

swim backwards depressed fish

over submerged archimedes

over the whole thing clotted with structures

impounded by  the riverbed

electric fishing

pevensey risk mapping

find old maps

with knowledge

of rainwater

one needs a fresh pair of eyes

to capture water

and open landscape pathways                        (we plough the fields and scatter)

where poor husbandry

and soil erosion lead to

scratching the top                                                 (not in Sussex Clay you can’t)

deteriorating water

traces  through soils ,slopes, slugs –

they die underground                                                                   (metaldahyde)

map the stilling basin

where sediment chokes water

bleach washes over watercourses                                (milk strips oxygen out

then water is dead)

groundwater and the

drip drip drip of pollution

what happens if something gives way                                              (firewater)

agronomists, farmers, responsibilities!

people out there!

be our eyes on the water

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