Wye Valley River Festival 2016 - Page 10

Now the river is rich, but her voice is low. It is her Mighty Majesty the sea Travelling amongst the villages incognito. Now the river is poor. No song, just a thin mad whisper. The winter floods have ruined her. She squats between draggled banks, fingering her rags and rubbish. And now the river is rich. A deep choir. It is the lofty clouds, that work in heaven, Going on their holiday to the sea. The river is poor again. All her bones are showing. Through a dry wig of bleached flotsam she peers up ashamed From her slum of sticks. Now the river is rich, collecting shawls and minerals. Rain bought fatness, but she takes ninety-nine percent Leaving the fields just one percent to survive on. And now she is poor. Now she is East wind sick. She huddles in holes and corners. The brassy sun gives her a headache. She has lost all her fish. And she shivers. But now once more she is rich. She is viewing her lands. A hoard of king-cups spills from her folds, it blazes, it cannot be hidden. A salmon, a sow of solid silver, Bulges to glimpse it. Ted Hughes 783 million people do not have access to clean water