Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

The River

by David Swan

Tired and brown the river winds down

through mudflats and derelict houses.

Its steady stream gazed upon by lovers , thieves

and untainted children.

Its water courses through cities and towns

and abandoned waterways.

Sounds of modern distractions

held back by un-tamed brambles.

These ugly banks hate clean living rooms

and tidy shelves .

The river reflects hands held to faces

and absorbs the tears of young men

returning from Afghanistan.

Sometimes the shadows of flies

twirl unpredictably:

as is the nature of things.

The river runs for miles and miles

and passes no judgment.

All are welcome to gaze upon

Its hypnotic surface and try

to fix an eye upon its movement.

But the river moves on from mountain to sea

and it has no story to tell.

Added: 26.04.2010