Hunchback hills of cobblestone
Split by the stooping spine of the river.
Brisk steps and scuffle pulse within,
Tapering over the stretch of bridges,
The flex of stone arches,
Spanning the river rush,
Or the river hush.
Ripped up by an oar’s plunge – brush,
The beat, the crack, the oars creek back,
The boats slit through the stream
And glide between its fissures.
The rhythm trips into chime
As cathedral bells strike the time,
Rising and swelling through the sky,
Snagging spire spikes,
Grating gravel that crunches riverbanks,
Before flaunting the foliage
Into a spring, sway, sheen,
Flushing leafy bushes and trees,
Tickling blades of green.
Illustration by Jessica Rushton
Photography by Imogen Davies