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Stroud Valleys Natural Flood Management Poetry

Adam Horovitz has written three poems as part of our work to reduce flood risk using nature based solutions in the Stroud Valleys.

Appeasing the Waters


A river lives to creep through pools, delve

under fallen trees. It rises and sinks with the days,

the weeks, the seasons. Shifts shape, shrinks, grows.

Shivers through dams and chuckles over stone.


Its waters always return; they cannot be destroyed

or made. A river just is: older than gods or mammals;

a force for change that carves wayward paths through soil,

stone, brick. No structure can resist a risen river.


Nor can a stream be tamed; merely appeased. Offer it

a broken tree, another. Stones tumbled from the bank

to push back water, slow the stream down, divert it

under a water-bridging tangle of root and trunk.


A stream should make patterns in the landscape,

mirrors framed in fallen leaves, gullies, rushes, lakes.

Let fish gather in pools draped in the arms of trees

and insects burrow deep into their rotten wood.


Work with water. Let its fingers play tender

through the lives of human, beast and rooted thing

so life can build and burgeon. The slowness of streams

strengthens rivers. Prepares them for the coming of a flood.



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