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Up the Creek

Though yet kids mingle in the street

below the North Kent railway track,

our daily destination norm,

The Rec, for playing, growing up,

both learning give and take a risk,

for muscle stretch and helping hand

short trouser-knees me, they in dress.


But superseding, longer haul,

permission granted, ‘off you go’,

The Rec to Creek at Faversham,

the mudded clog of hulks congealed

in Swale, bleak trail of brick and brew.

The tide when low is slow recalled,

sun glance on water, briefest show.


I never once saw bright sails flap

or business done, or engine run,

or squirl of gull scream, spilling air,

but grey brown ooze in black and white.

To dreaming boyhood, pirate wharf,

at least the barrel’s roll on sward,

and sense of smuggle, misted sludge.


They buckets worm, I walk the plank,

or point the sword at foggy back,

the Sunday thermos, brandy flask,

perhaps the man from revenue.

Then ludo calls, so homeward snail;

Creek held for hours of fantasy,

for fun and frequency, The Rec.


Previously published by Literary Yard

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