Linda Knight's Poetry about Belper, Derbyshire.© Copyright Linda Knight.

Reflections on a warm day.

The river reflects grassy banks,
overhanging trees,
small white wispy clouds
and inquisitive faces, searching for fish
swimming underneath the glass like surface.
As people row along to Ambergate,
small wooden boats break up the smooth river,
with ripples running out sideways.
Ducks with their tails in the air
search for food on the riverbed.
From the trout spawning in the Spring,
small fry dart in black clouds
just underneath the waters surface.
Canada Geese ruffle their feathers and call to each other
as they ward off other family groups.
A female swan glides past
with four grey cygnets in tow.
Long grass-like weeds sway around in the gentle flow of the river.
The water quickens its pace and deepens
as it nears the weir.
Spilling over into a crystal clear waterfall
it ends up in a white turmoil at the bottom
to continue its journey onwards towards the sea.


High speed trains
with high class carriages
and long distance travellers
go flashing by
in the twinkling of an eye
as fast as they can.
Not stopping at Belper
on the iron track
there and back
there and back
as fast as they can.
Small trains
stop at Belper
and short distance travellers
travel much slower
from Matlock to Derby.
Clickerty clack
on the iron track,
there and back
there and back.
Stopping at stations
along the way
compared with the fast trains
they are in slow motion.
Clickerty clack
on the iron track,
there and back
there and back.

The wier at Belper vibrates sometimes caused by specific flow rates setting up standing waves in the waterfall. The resulting rumble can be heard or felt some distance away.
This phenomena inspired the following poem.

The Belper Dragon.

In days of yore people told stories
And I'm telling you all of a tale
That may be passed down through the centuries
And may turn you exceedingly pale.
And just like the old Chinese whispers
It may expand and become real,
It's all about the Belper Dragon,
Now listen and I will reveal.

By the side of the mill near the river
There's a gulley so deep and so dark
Where a dragon is sleeping the centuries
Deep underground, close to the park.
Sometimes the old weir is vibrating
And makes a deep echoing sound,
But really it's due to the dragon
Who's sleeping and snoring spellbound.
Now back in the times of the dragons
When folks were afraid to go out,
And sheep disappeared from the farmland
When dragons were flying about,
A young man named Barnabas Henri
With strong heart and nerves made of steel,
Decided to challenge the dragons
With potions made from apple peel.
It tasted just like apple cider
But had a kickback like a bear,
And when all the dragons had drunk some
They dropped to the floor from the air.
One dragon survived the experience
So whilst he was laid on the ground,
They buried him deep near the river,
And to this day that's where he's found.
He snores and he sleeps till the potion
No longer remains in his veins,
And one day he'll wake with a vengeance
Until then, that's where he remains.

© Copyright Linda Knight 2000-2010,