With Lockdown2 nearing its end, I have finally found inspiration to write and aptly share my walk near Benson lock on the River Thames.


Autumn Sun Elsewhere

Overtrodden paths, we’ve circled

home in our Lockdown wanders.

Sudden speed as we drive away,

so, arrive at Elsewhere,

too busy routes, yet joy of different

in sparkle of crisp November sun.

Long drawn shadows pull across

the muddy boot-printed, winding lane.

Beyond high walls and dark hedges

we hear the water’s triumph

It’s power crashes and churns, butting

then flies from concrete confines.

While an inky mirror of water is held

silently by aged black beamed lock gates.


The view stretches, open with stark trees

silhouettes against a watercolour sloshed sky.

Wide rump cattle stand, hooves buried in mud,

Reminiscent of an Old Master, at the river’s bank.

All around a minimal palette of glossy dark evergreen,

browns, and grey of dry weary grasses.

A welcome occasional shock of deep red berries and

frayed blossoms, grey rinsed pinks or brash yellow.


Our own shadows pull us, the cooler wind’s bite

pushing us to return, the sluice gates quieter now.

With fellow booted walkers, we laugh across the pot holes,

Rinsing mud, we recognise our urge to splash

and jump, to own the puddles like toddlers,

free in the moment.

Folding back into vehicles, leaving elsewhere to return

with chapped cheeks and stiff cold fingers but bright eyes.


Hazel Faithfull

22 November 2020 Lockdown2


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