This video is a shortened version of the poem. Like many people I’ve become almost incandescent at the liberties taken in our name, with our money, paid regularly to the UK’s water companies. This poem is the first verbal shot across the bows of their boats, cruising nonchalantly through mess of their own making in our rivers. The full poem follows.

Stop all the locks – River Thames

  Stop all the locks, and stem the River’s flow Stop the frogs from larking in what they cannot know Silence all the warblers, choke the roach and bream Fill it all with sewage now, the tributary and stream Restless birds are circling, with nowhere safe to feed All of this to satisfy your Corporation’s greed Nature now is watching you, as she slowly dies The water vole and curlew, can you hear their cries? Stash the boat and fishing rod, the water wings, canoe This water, once a haven, not safe, for me, for you The children cannot paddle here, dip water with their toes And in the silent shallows, water boatman no longer rows The reed mace, and the rushes here, now wither far from green As browny sludge and algal blooms now dominate the stream A dragonfly’s mistaken what’s sticking out of mud And lays her precious tiny eggs upon a cotton bud The shallowness of gravel once filled with fishes eggs Now lifeless and particulate, a mess of floating dregs The food chain has been broken, the caddis fly’s no more All that’s left is greyness, we lay this at your door Though every household pays you, to manage, clean and fix Our water, waste and outflows, yet still you play your tricks Financial orchestration, the substance of receipts To move our funds to dividends and manage your deceipts So who are your investors? Where is their domicile? Do they live next door to us within this Sceptr’d Isle? We think that so unlikely, more that they’re all off-shore, Extracting too much profit, to leave our Rivers poor It’s time for some accountancy, perhaps an AGM? To give us explanations, from where decisions stem Let’s meet your truest shareholders, and have them take the floor Let them ask the questions, they number by the score Up first, the water-crowfoot, her flowers like a mat The most diverse of fishes enjoyed her habitat “I need the freshest water, why can’t you keep it clean?” The bed where all my roots should lie – the dirtiest I’ve seen” The mayfly and the caddis, the flatworm, midge, and mite The water shrimp and damsel, are here to join the fight Invertebrate ecology, it needs the clean, the fresh Not soaked with fecal coliforms, bad filtered through a mesh Let’s not forget the creatures, of feathers and of beak They all deserve protection from persistence of your leaks Heron, Coot, and Mallard, the names of just a few How can they breed and multiply amongst this rancid stew? Wind whispers in the willows, about a corporate thief And Ratty, Toad and Badger now share collective grief Whilst Otter’s gone a-hunting for non-existent fish, Mole no longer burrows, and reeds no longer swish We can’t splash about in shallows, E. Coli for a friend You claim all this is ‘Legal’, the ‘Rules’ for you to bend Wild swimming isn’t sensible, because to our dismay We float along with pathogens, Hepatitis C or A Dendritic networked freshness should feed into our Thames Map-drawn in lines of blueness, a thick, wet thread of friends: “The Cole, the Leach and Windrush, the Evenlode and Pang The Cherwell, Thame and Kennet” the gathered naiads sang Each join and add their offerings, fresh sky-fall and the rest The Mole, the Rythe and Hogsmill, should be amongst the best The Wandle now meanders, and Tyburn’s underground, Why ruin this potential when richness can abound? But rivers are not wanted now; so squander every one Pack away the willow trees, dismantle all the fun Pour away the chalk streams, scrape water meadows clean For nothing shows that’s pleasant now, in fabled lands of green The limestone and the chalk stream, the trout that gasp for air Every single life form, deserves your greatest care So time to issue notice, however much you howl We’re side by side with Nature, and standing cheek by jowl