|The River Porter (Porter Brook) approaching Forge Dam|
I wrote a poem today - about a little river that I know well. It begins its journey in the spongy sphagnum moss and peaty terrain of Ringinglow Moor before spilling into steep-sided Porter Clough.
Then it heads past Forge Dam Cafe - once a working forge - before flowing through ancient woods to Endcliffe Park. That is surely Sheffield's most loved park and every Easter there is a plastic duck race there for charity - along The Porter Brook.
Every Wednesday when I walk to work at the Oxfam shop, I look over the park railings to observe the Porter before it flows into a Victorian tunnel under Ecclesall Road. Though its journey is quite short it has never dried up these forty summers past.
With two miles to go until it joins forces with The River Sheaf my little river passes along arrow straight high-walled sections and through dark and slimy culverts. It would be possible to walk it in wading boots though I have never done that.
The two rivers meet beneath Sheffield Midland Railway Station - hidden from view - before they continue - soon meeting the much larger River Don by Blonk Street Bridge.
On Ringinglow moortop
Along hidden capillaries
Water slowly syphoned
Where ovines graze
And red grouse cackle.
At yon clough top
Under stone arches swelling
Over rock steps tumbling
Surging down the valley’s “V”
Incised through ancient history
Drawn onward to a distant sea
Past old Forge Dam
Burbling into suburbia
Where mill wheels spun
Grinding knife and scythe
Under mighty beech and lime
Then scurrying into shadows dark
Cast by trees in Endcliffe Park.
Deeper into the city
In stygian culverts, under roads
That brook of hidden secrets flows
Approaching engine grumble grows
At Platform 5 - while yards beneath
Is where The Porter meets The Sheaf.