POEM: The Rivers Aire and Worth

by Patricia Farley, Keighley

Give me the air of the Yorkshire Dales
And wind, be it gentle or wild.
Show me the moors and the heathered banks
With their distant heights darkly profiled.

There’s proof of the worth of Keighley folk
In their industry, commerce and trade,
Innovation and grit and damned hard work,
And a pride in being self-made.

Long ago yarn was spun in the solid stone mills
From the wool of the hardy flocks,
Which found a mean living on bleak, windy hills
Widely scattered with bracken and rocks.

Two rivers converge near the centre of town,
And both played a part in its growing,
For cleaning and dyeing of threads for the cloth
In their waters continuously flowing.

But the spinners and weavers no longer work
In mills that once clattered so loud.
Small businesses now fill those skeletal walls
With new talents that make Keighley proud.

The rivers still flow and the town will flourish,
Its future assured long ago
By the workers who tended the noisy machines
That were served by the waters below.