The Iron Works

Creations from the community from our Iron People project

A river poem, by Millie (age 12)

I went to the river and the river said to me

The brave step forward,
Follow me to the sea
The weak turn their backs
Afraid of what they’ll see
I am loathed and loved
Hated yet needed
They take from my waters
My sources depleted
They watch as I flow
On to the sea
But no one ever
Notices me
People strive and swim
In my waters
But their hope dies
Like lambs to the slaughter
I am forgotten
Hidden away
Given your trash
Filling day by day
No-one ever sees
What I can do
They watch as I flow
And leave me their shoe
The hope I can bring
The joy I can offer
The words I can sing
The happiness in my water

I am water, by Clare

I am water, wet and drippy
Salt, fresh, brackish, hot or nippy
Wash or splash, swim or dippy
Full of mud, weeds are grippy
When it’s clear, sweet for sippy
Float with rafts, boats or shippy

Flood River Haibun, by Nick

the rain was endless last night and at first light I walk to the river across fields and through woods, over to where the spate has reached. trees stand knee-deep in rushing water, marking the old line of the bank. above the black river cliff, across the way, the steep hillside is littered with fallen trees and stones that have been undermined by the sliding earth, unrooting things. the field has become a lake and river wildlife sprawls across this new territory. the air is fresh now the rain has passed.

rivers swollen with
the rain of days force new maps
new geographies


Tears of spilt milk and salt
fill whispering pools. Wrung-out clouds.
Licked at by mealy mouths 
of dogless sheep.
A whistle circles as a hawk
piercing peachy skies 
with a hung and urgent
The milksop spreads
drowning banked shores in reflection.
The footloose sheep wade
without ripple.
Silted, they bleet out
hollow echoes of leached sentiment
and dip down
to de-louse.
The hawk flies away.
The dogs will not come.