Wetland Character Building


I almost drowned once
down near the mill
swimming the current of the Coquet
three quarters of the way across
my legs lost power
against the undertow
I’m lucky Peck kept his eyes on me
as the river reeds
wrapped around ankles
my head bobbing up and down
like a braeburn on bonfire night
and the rest of the boys
jumped back in
like working-class Hasselhoffs
and pulled me to the side
they were much stronger swimmers than me

a quick rest and pat on the back
spitting up some of the river
then swigging back
some calming Carling
the realisation – dawned on me –
I had to swim back
facing a new fear head on
because backstroke was no good
I’m lucky I’ve got such great mates
we swam back together
like geese fly
    – in formation –
reaching the riverbank’s safety
and although my swimming didn’t improve that day
my character did.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem, an autobiographical piece of my younger days.

Hope you liked it and if you did, feel free to leave a comment.

Take It Easy

Paul x

An Early Date

A cornflower sky
littered haphazardly
with spluttering wispy pearls
housing an effortless sun
watched over us
as we dangled and dropped
twigs of beech, ash and elm
into the dawdling waters below
our knees planted
porous
on the sandstone bridge
absorbing some of its history
our eyes followed
the branches ferrying
along the river
stroking and slapping
against limestone and basalt
we were quiet and thoughtful
wondering where they’d end up
wondering where we’d end up
and although sometimes
silence can be deafening
on that day
the silent moments we shared
only spoke of our serenity
with each other.

Like the river
we’ll continue our meander.