river song

she sings to me, gentling the slow lap of the years,
softly, moon held in her cup with sighs of love,
ushered in on breath tides rippling liquid whispers,
half heard histories washing pier head stone
to sand, to sea, to memory.

a city. the pool full with masts of merchant ships
and money flows like blood, is blood,
but held more dear by many.
a surfeit of spires appease grandees pious guilt,
spear prayers for a christian ships safe passage home,

taking afrikan to field,
taking cotton to the loom,
taking linen to the altar,
singing praise be to God.
building docks for the landing,
banks for the blessing,
churches for the glory,
singing praise be to God.

gold guilt on a cross wrought of greed laid over fear,
on which we hang the martyred body of our love.
Christ's tears fall salt in mother's milk
washed downby simple rain with duke st sweat
and seel st scourge to course her body,
and she is life, and she is soul to this city,
and she sings to me a song of passing
in which my place is told.

and she sings to me a song in which her call
becomes my answer, and she sings to me,
gentling the slow lap of the years.

By martin daws