Sunday, 7 October 2007

Sparrows by the old canal

In the early daylight hours
By the bridge of the old canal
Sparrows in the hawthorns
Herald in the morning new
In this town, once small
But thriving, bustling busy ......
Pursuing its daily living
The way that small towns do
Now the old canal, long since filled in
Its path leads only to the subway
Which takes you to the centre of a town
The soul of which has long been sold.
Gone to the highest bidder -
Small town no more, mocked and ridiculed
For its multitudinous roundabouts
On route to retail parks
But the sparrows still remain
To remind us yet again
That the ordinary around us
Can be seen for what its worth
Only when the disappearing barges
Carrying what we've long discarded
Have slipped stealthily and silently
Under the shadowy bridge of time
And will the sparrows follow -
Flying to the echoes of the old Swindon canal
By: Thelma June Simpson (written for the Swindon Spirit poetry competition - 2004)
The Kingshill canal is the only section of the old Swindon canal that remains. Walking along the tow-path is a tranquil experience. Today, I encountered many contented ducks and other wild-fowl including a family of swans. There have been sightings of water vole and kingfishers but I afraid I have never been lucky enough to see either of these. From the tow-path you can get onto the Old Railway Walk along which the Wooton Bassett-Old Town-Chiseldon-Marlborough line used to run.