SOMEONE ELSE'S RIVER (after Andrew Motion)
Sunday 12 September 1999
It's someone else's river, this
Not yours or mine, kid
Save your tears
The Knightsbridge Navy captured it
They've held this bit for several years.
And through those bars, in privacy
Where well-appointed lovers kiss
CCTV shall pan that glade
It's someone else's river this.
The cockney convicts left this way
In barges crewed by foul-mouthed men
I guess that's why the gates are locked;
In case they all come back again.
The name's less changed
In fifteen hundred years or so
Than all the wharves your grandad knew
Which saw the merchants come and go.
But luxury apartments lounge
Where dockers hoisted coal and seed
These porticos and intercoms
Are all the new incumbents need.
Walk on now kid, look over there
To Millwall of the seven mills.
If no one likes them, they don't care
But somewhere in the Cotswold hills
The Thames the ancient Romans saw
Meandered, sloshed from Gloucestershire
Before it spewed its mighty ring.
In someone else's river here.
Where shaky sailors stepped ashore
With silk and spice and samovars
Some sod dictates they lock the gates
The underwolves may twoc their cars
What modern walkers can't recall
Is something that we'll never miss
Well that's their line of thinking, kid.
It's someone else's river, this
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