Songwriter Virginia Astley’s poetry debut, The English River, records The Thames from source to sea in poems and photographs.
The Singing Way
We took the long route home, edged
the tree line browsed by deer, past wild
orchids and betony, and on we walked,
deeper still, until coming to an uprooted tree,
we leant against its horizontal trunk
to study woodlice and harvestmen.
Closer to the ground, bans of wan light
caught ants shuffling beech litter,
moths unfurled on half-dead logs,
a money spider was waiting-waiting,
one foot pressed against the silk
as the wind out-sang the chaffinch
and through the distant trees we saw
summer spread across the fields.
Virginia Astley, The English River: A Journey Down the Thames in Poems & Photographs with Foreword by Pete Townshend (Bloodaxe Books, 2018). Available here.