Richard Rintoul is a second-year student of English with Creative Writing.

From the baking bank

of an African delta,

where an old god

watches with a Nile smile,

waiting for the thunder of a yearly migration


to the waters of the Ganges,

choked with humanity:

that holiest of rivers

where the water-monster

mingles with the ashes of the dead –


or the outback throwback,

the estuarine giant who gave

Irwin a challenge and others far worse;

dogs, cattle, a human or two;

devourer of many, sparer of few -


or the coffee-brown curve

of the Amazon, where black caiman

battle against unlikely foes;

bull sharks, serpents and spotted cats

each pressed together in the chaos of the floods -


or the ever-hungry alligators,

wallowing in their Everglade gloom

or eyeing up poodles

from the artificial blue

of a back-yard swimming pool.