Swinging High Over Faversham Creek

This poem is a Pantoum. It is a difficult classical form where the 2nd and 4th line of each verse become 1st and 3rd in the next and so on. Each line must hold the same key words and can either be totally repeated or the meanings manipulated and context altered using the same words. I felt this an appropriate form to use when we are seeking change and continuity simultaneously at Faversham Creek. The Swing the Bridge campaign is raising funds to replace the bridge. The area is beautiful and has lovely walks, wildlife, homes, boats, birds, places to stop and picnic and lovely skies with the smell of Shepherd Neame’s hops toasting the air. This pantoum poem was created on a wandering walk with the Wonderwords group. The end line of a pantoum needs to reflect the first line. This echoes the theme of protecting and nurturing our environment for the next generation. There is ‘hidden’ creek terminology in the poem: redd (yes with double d), riffle, rill and a few more!

Clementine sun shy peeps a crackled duck-egg sky. Downy

terns paddle sleek creek: reeds tangle tiny feet. Pond rush tips

gold, beating back kissing wind. Parting willow waves, swished

with ozone cleaving hair:we leave the new mothers fussing.


Terns rush silt pond: tip tiny feet. Reeds tangle puddled creek. Sleek

fledge birds alight boat masts, breasts ablaze, high sail. Dream, seem

to cleave: clip the ozone. Leave fussing mothers weave new hair – like

clouds to placate now inclement sun. Who would think, as brack-dizzy


birds sail high and dredge the dream sky, so must our boat alight? Bridge

hugs tight both brackish sides but will you swing or stay locked forever?

Who would think you inclement now as I placate your clouds? Oh to soft

stride your lengths: to kneel redd riffled sides, moor your barging boats,


hug rill tight. You will swing. Both cannot stay locked forever. Side, side

with me. Can you think as I do? Can you steer the churning, turning tide

striding strong at your keel, unruffled? Peer boat lengths? More barges

lilt and lull and creak and speak as terns swing and creel singing skies.


Can you steel the turning tide with me? Think as I do? Can you churn

unlock your heart to turn? Reel warm gold to gild burning bridges. Hear

salt creek speak and lilt, loll under cruel skies. Terns swoop: swing wing

down. Ducks peep crackled eggs, quack creakily to shining clement sun.