Sunday, 22 April 2012

Day 22 - Over The River

I watched human planet on the bbc today. There was a piece about a father in the Himalayas taking his two children to school on a six day journey across a frozen river. There was also a piece about another father teaching his daughter to make a 'living bridge'. Essentially controlling a tree to grow over the river. In tribute to rivers (no pun intended) this poem uses a similar style to 'Kubla Kahn' with iambs of varying meter  and non patterned rhyming.  


The youngest mountains of the world.
Hold many rivers broad and wild.
And through them pathways are unfurled
where hardened trekkers feet are hurled
mainly in weathers mild.

But in the winter few are found
for then the rivers turn to ice.
And you must walk on frozen ground
beneath which raging river's bound
and where you walk could crack and splice
and kill you in a trice.

Far from the nearest town or school.
A father looks up from his stool
and knows his children have to make the journey
A hundred K along the perilled brook
should take six days and not be lightly took.
But school is goal enough for it brings learning.

With son fourteen and daughter eleven.
He starts the trip from height of heaven,
down to the far off town and hence to school.

He taps his stick upon the ice
to find out if its safe to walk.
And if unsure he taps it twice
and hears the thickness in it's talk.

And in the nights they sleep in caves
with sleeping bags to keep them warm.
They need their sleep for each one braves,
by day, new dangers of some form.

The Chadar path is what its named,
for ice walking it's rightly famed
along the frozen river of Zansker.
But what it shows is just how far
some people go to reach their destination.

Their perseverance should be noted 
and we should be just as devoted
to efforts spent in bringing education.


The living bridge is made of wood
not chopped apart but still a tree.
It takes some lifetimes to make good,
so knowledge to your children should
be passed down thoroughly.

And on  this bridge shall people walk
over the unforgiving river.
And on their way to work they'll talk
of the bridge building knowledge giver.


With these poems it feels apt to mention one of the charities I'm raising money for. The National Literacy Trust which also perseveres in bringing people to reading, writing, speaking and listening


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