There are no maps to navigate
The smoky horizons of stark parishes

Or to grapple their Grendelian monsters,
Haunted as the sucking fens of infinity.

When clouds lift like a conjuror's trick,
To reveal the hard muscle of distant hills
Flexing in rising light,

Parishes flood with the visions of Hereward,
The English music of curlews,
The booming bitterns of Chaucer.

As black copse, farmstead and stout Norman church
Ride a sudden flurry of rain

The intricate mirage of summer moves downstream,

Great Ouse that nurtures foundered longships,
The funeral hatchments of eel-bitten Vikings,

Curling like a wide meandering fable

Into the susurrant channels
Of The Wash.

Robert James Berry

If you've any comments on this poem, Robert James Berry would be pleased to hear from you.