National Poetry Day: Water – Stroudwater Springs

Names on a Map

So what is in a name?
A rose is a rose is a rose?
A spring is a spring by any other name?
What poetry is there in the vowels and consonants
That litter our landscape with their litany?
What secrets of etymology and topography are revealed
When we tramp the land rather than drive the road,
When we disconnect the sat-nav and navigate
By the tracks that connect our ancient springs?
Cherington Springs, Seven Springs, Toadsmoor Brook,
Blanche’s Bank, Baker’s Pool, Frogmarsh Lane,
Snakeshole, Puckshole, Derryhay,
Tankard’s Spring, Dimmel’s Dale, Hell Corner,
Be-Thankful Fountain, The Combs, Severn Waters,
Well Hill Spring, Bubblewell, Troublewell,
The Bubbler, the Blackgutter, Spriggs Well,
Springfield, Springhill, Bulls Bank Common,
Sweetwater Spring, Stanfields Spring, Millbottom,
St. Tabatha’s Well, Cud Well, Gainey’s Well,
Then Verney Spring and Ram Pitch Spring,
Farmhill Well, Double Spout and Turner’s Spring.
Every name a history, every spring a name:
Reclaim the names and etch them on your maps,
Keep the traces of the past as lapidary reminders,
Of otherwise forgotten traces of sense.
Underneath the Pavements, the Beach!