Where water runs

groundwater

Walking where water runs is the saddest thing,
when sorrow seeps from cold burrows
and the mud where no prints betray
the patter and scatter of scurrying life.

No foot has trod where so many have passed
on quiet business, trailing young intent on play,
no fallen feather marks the place
where death was dealt and bellies filled.

They never notice, those who drive and curse
when something moves beneath a wheel,
they never walk where water runs,
nor hear its voice lamenting something lost.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

23 thoughts on “Where water runs”

    1. I’ve been upset by the number of dead toads we’ve been finding up on the lane. They look as though they’ve been poisoned. I’ve been in touch with the local wildlife rescue centre and they have no idea what’s wrong with them but I suspect they won’t want to incriminate a local farmer. I’ve written to the regional amphibian survey to see if they know what’s behind it, but ‘they’ are probably one university teacher who’s inundated with other things. I caught a couple that didn’t show any symptoms and brought them back to our place but it’s so sad.

      1. I’m sure it’s poison, but whether it’s some cretin who decided to pour poison over the slugs in his tomatoes or whether it’s the farmer poured something toxic to kill off all the insects before planting again, I wouldn’t like to say. It’s certainly horrible, distressing and agonising for the poor toads.

      2. The dead ones are bad enough but the ones that are dying with blood coming out of their eyes and their entrails appearing in their mouths is awful. I’ve just been out and I see dozens of those big orange slugs all dead. It’s obviously something toxic.

      3. I don’t know who to ask about it. The wildlife sanctuary doesn’t want to get involved. They’re surrounded by farmland and have to get on well with the farmers. They rule the roost here. If Louis up the road had poured something toxic on his corn nobody will shop him. I’m trying to get hold of a wildlife observatory see if they can help. They’re not local so maybe won’t be afraid of retaliations.

  1. The poison used here to control rats ripples out to affect other creatures–it always does. Birds and also cats, and probably the frogs and toads as well. Of course no one wants a city overrun with rats, but by now they should have devised better ways to co-exist. (K)

    1. A few years ago there was an explosion in the rat population directly linked to tourist activity and picnics along the river. They used a biological poison that supposedly didn’t affect other wildlife like the hawks that were doing their bit. The farmers do what they like here with more or less impunity. Nobody wants to offend them.

      1. The farmers use a lot of poisons here too. Profit, profit, profit, and then they wonder why the land loses its ability to nourish growth. and so they add more chemicals…

      2. It’s not just the chemicals either. They are controlled to an extent, though not nearly enough. But they also rip up all the trees and hedges so get every last inch of profit out of the land. Yet they are among the brutes who take their guns onto other people’s land where the trees haven’t been ripped up to shoot the animals that have taken refuse there.

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