by Steph Spiers
Springing up at Hyde Lea, by sacred hill fort ring,
Rushing headlong down bank, while grazing cattle sing,
Whistles under M6 gully; sending winging bats all a scurry,
Trickles under nettled slopes, where water voles are in a hurry.
Forced under graffiti footbridge, to skirt the fence by Highfields’ Club,
Sings alongside the football pitch; wide-eyed vixen hides her cub.
Darkly under West Way, squeezed by pipe and drain,
Bubbles into sunlight, lets the allotments ease their strain,
Plays seek under school lane, dapples to glimpse the daylight.
Plunges under the four four nine, murky black as any night.
Whipping downhill, picks up speed, tumbles through Brook Glen,
Railway embankment looming large, culverted by ancient men,
Emerges gushing fierce, races into Silkmore Lane,
Bank bursting torrent, laughs and chortles o’er the man-made plain.
Spills pell-mell to water meadow, gushing with a new found glee,
At the Radfords begins in earnest its journey to the far off sea.
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It was fascinating walking this water course from its source; seeing its moods. How it was hidden away, how it chuckled as it was flowing through allotments and was abused by rubbish thrown into it from a bridge. We take streams for granted, perhaps we shouldn’t.