The Tems

Tems Beck streams through Giggleswick,
circulating Earthís cool blood:
water seemingly less thick
than Londonís khaki flood
though related to great Thames
close as Smith to Smythe; its name
differs, but not so its genes.
Warm it up, Temsí water steams.
Buckhaw Brow to Gildersleets:
two miles long and two feet deep,
navigable by duck fleets,
fordable by rural jeep.
Tems has been hemmed in of late;
bridges link its grassy banks:
some are huge flat slabs of slate,
some are arches, some are planks.
Wild as Thames and tame as Thames,
little Temsís dozen bridges
carry mazy village lanes
south of Cravenís craggy ridges
where, before she knew her name,
unformed England broke her spine:
sea-laid limestone bedding-planes
slipped and shifted out of line.
That is where the lesser Tems —
streaming past low drystone walls
hung with wild geraniums —
dreams of raining on St. Pauls.

Anna Adams.