Sitting at the river's edge
With Mistley at my back
Looking out across the estuary
To Suffolk - on the other side.
The sky a deep and cobalt blue
The air so still and calm
Not a breeze to stir the leaves
Of the trees lined up behind me.
The summer tide is in and high
The water clear and flat
Stretching - like a pane of glass -
Towards the northern shore.
Up beyond that shore are spread
The colours sharp and clear:
The cornfields, dry and dusty-drab
Form a backdrop to the view.
Woods and trees and hedgerows too
In every pastel shade of green
March across the countryside
Firm fixtures on the gentle land.
Parked like toys upon the river
Boats tied to their moorings
Lie peacefully - upon the flat
Still, surface of the water.
A line of swans sails in to view.
Gliding smoothly and serene
Their strong, firm paddles underneath
Drive them east - towards the Quay.
Traffic passes on the road behind.
But even that intrusion cannot blight
The peaceful pleasure to be had
Looking out - across the view ahead.
Two small rivers, Box and Brett
Meet the Stour at Higham.
And thus combined they softly roll
Through Dedham - to this estuary.
These lands were formed by ice and flood
By rising seas and constant flows
To lay the countours of the hills
And plot the river's certain course.
This land, this river, both unchanged
From ages past until today.
I know that I'm just passing through
Privileged to linger here.
My life will leave no lasting mark
Upon these perfect ancient lands.
The tides of life will ebb and flow
And wash all trace of me away.