This is your time, after the fall
Of winter’s rain, the rushing call
That lets your gushing goodness flood
Over levee’s landlocked brood.
Not for you, now, in this place
To show summer’s most serene face.
The skinny green skirts that you wore
Have melted to your brunette core.
Now a naughty bloated boatrace
Is at the highpoint of this space
Whilst lower down your spreading gown
Does leave the mead ripe for sow’n.
You aren’t a giant gorgeous
Ganges goddess. Good gracious
No. Manic masses bathe in it
But you’ve a smaller spirit.
A reserved style, set with no guile
A torso short, not long like Nile,
A frizz of fronds, unruly streams,
Now thick with alluvial gleams.
In the lower tidal reaches
The gushing flow changes beaches
And passing migrants reap rewards
whilst Luna leash’d the seep seawards.
In the deepening brooks Sea-trout
pearls, from which Sussex-Salmon sprout,
begin their gradual wander
to the deeps, the wide blue yonder.
Down they swim past Smuggler’s Manor,
On to Norman Bramber Castle.
Down past port Shoreham; a mystery
Was it the Roman Portus Adurni?
The westwards strands, of your bands,
through Shipley where Knepp Castle stands
and Coolham too near Dragon’s Green
where Willow bank’d streams are seen.
Your eastward horns, the Alder bournes,
entwine Wineham, Twineham with pontoons
and in the midst plays the Chess Brook.
At damning weirs you cock-a-snook.
For this is your time; winters flood.
Your skirts arise and spread your good
across your land. Our summer’s food
grows better after rain-juice stood.
This Adur, the plain befriender,
Is a spirit small in splendour,
But still we turn and thank her thrice
for gushing forth sediment spice.