Monday 20 April 2015

It's a cold wind blowing along the cut

There is much that is good about the inland waterways. However, there is also much that's bad.  The level of public relations is grim, distrust amongst boaters is dire and is about to fall even further. The actions over the unnecessary changes to licensing do not bode well for the future. Yet the trust keeps on plugging away with various puff pieces. Fluffy voles are a favourite as are stories of how thing were in the past. Yet the biggest story remains studiously ignored by the trust. That is the funding shortfall, which is like a huge but invisible elephant in Canal and River Trust Boardroom.

There is a cold wind blowing along the cut:

In a steady gentle breeze, the water surface is never still;
canal and river is hemmed in, by the nearby verdant hills;
quiet is the needed solitude, that my waterways bring to me;
something that many folk in towns, could never ever see;
as the springtime ray of sunlight, will warm you through;
my words inspired an image, only for your mind to view.

The canal and its industry, was once a place of heavy toil;
why the river is a leisure park now, for no one to despoil;
a myriad of buds and flowers, that only spring time brings;
amongst the waterways most attractive, and natural things;
heady scent of bluebells, a memory that our senses hold;
the sound of the hedgerow birds, inside our heads unfold.

However this vista is sullied, for the future is looking grim;
as corporate megalomania, new unwanted rules brings in;
boats can't stay any longer, so move along your time is up;
the peaceful tranquillity gone, for we have been sold a pup;
a waterway run by accountants, maintenance cut to the core;
the future tipped beyond the brink, the ends in sight for sure.

The towpath life now rushing by, as peace has been replaced;
no longer a place to walk with child, as the waterways defaced;
turned into a high speed cycle route, the towpath's no longer safe;
now its just a time trial location, for a cyclists high speed race;
decades of dedicated restoration, to improve what had been lost;
towpath now given over to cyclist who don't even share the costs.

Partnerships promoted as saviours, an extra burden they now create;
a new level of empire building clap trap, is this to be the ultimate fate;
trustees are well out of their depth, their outlandish targets are set;
but just like a mythical cheque in the posts, neither can clear the debt;
a million pounds a week is the shortfall, the gap continuing to grow;
both with heads buried in the sand, how could we expect them to know.

The Alternative Canal Laureate

Evan Keel.
"The events depicted in this poem are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. No person should without the prior permission of the author assume the identity of any character. These poems are a story that could be based on actual events. In certain cases incidents, characters and time lines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters may be accidental composites, or entirely fictitious. I was helped in my creative endeavour by my friend's telepathic cat named Huxley. Huxley assumes all responsibility for any mistakes and errors."

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