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October 30th 2022 - RIVER

malevolent slug



brown and bloated

just below the rocks now

lurking lapping

seething with intent


gurgling discontent


bald inked vigilante

with a shottie


engorged and venomous

python poised to strike

coiled to slither

brutal force

deadly river

what fun it had last week!

what joy

what chaos

and what rapture

broke free it did

went mad

went apeshit

drunk on power

rolling over footpaths

to the meadow

surfing to the road

to the traffic

to the fence

‘here’s Johnny!’

in the light of dawn

surfing up your driveway

pushing wide your door


puddling your floor

and filling

like a bathtub

swirling churning

spewing forth



pissing loss up plaster walls

dumping mud in your sad face

uneasy calm now

almost all the wreckage cleared

I crest the hill

and see the creature

glistening still

loitering with intent

in ponds and lakes

where there were no lakes


see the serpent

course upstream


at the Heights

double-backing to the bay

controlled now

but not really

this lethal weapon calls the shots

not you or me

or any levee

or some wall

the river was here first

before its depths

were poisoned

by us

stacked with stolen cars

and fridges




and bones

and pus

I grew up on the Rhine

I picnicked on the Wye

the Thames

on rivers where you paddled


went boating

fished for minnows

jam-jarred tadpoles

this is not that kind of waterway

this one will take your life away

it rools

this is its domain

and how dare we

park our sorry house-like arses

on its treacherous terrain

last week showed us

where we stand

up to our necks

in dark brown


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