Moving the meander

I met a man by Meon Mill
Standing in the river.
I asked him why he stood so still?
With spade in hand the wading man
This answer did deliver:

"I'm moving the meander
From one side to the other
And when it's moved from here to there
I'll move it back from there to here.
My meaning is no other."


The sun is strong, the water deep,
His feet are lost in shadow,
And, neither waking nor asleep,
As in a dream the wandering stream
Charms the grassy meadow.

"I'm moving the meander
From one side to the other
And when it's moved from here to there
I'll move it back from there to here.
My meaning is no other."


I stood and watched him hard at work;
He barely moved a muscle.
I saw the stones where lampreys lurk,
The darker pool where crayfish crawl,
And heard the scraping shovel.

"I'm moving the meander
From one side to the other
And when it's moved from here to there
I'll move it back from there to here.
My meaning is no other."


Till once again I meet his eye -
At last the spell is broken!
But still I could not fathom why?
From side to side the spade did glide
And nothing else was spoken.

"I'm moving the meander
From one side to the other
And when it's moved from here to there
I'll move it back from there to here.
My meaning is no other."


We're moving the meander
From one side to the other
And when it's moved from here to there
We'll move it back from there to here.
Our meaning is no other.


© Ivor & Kevan Bundell 2006