The Mill

Cutlasses and hooks hang in the tool shed
relics to be stolen or resurrected.
Tench, old pike lurk in the pool.
Chains, churns, lie in need of removal.

Hauling hessian sacks of wheat, one by one,
above the Ham wall with Latin inscription,
the watermark record, to the uppermost opening,
shaky boards and quaking views.

It is something I hold in my eyes,
my head, my fingers, my bowels.
Cocks, dogs, children, all scatter below.
Muck and labels sink like lead shot.

My pain began with sudden summer rain.
A bachelor tapping his pipe, tut tutting my ruse,
and the Mill lies still. Roots become me,
in their timeless thrall, their delicate shoots.

I have the thumb, can work the hopper, mesher.
I have the steel to fill these tenant boots.
I listen to those harping, shapeless vowels,
something skulking at the back called Will.

Rooms for baking, adding to the whole.
The arguments against restraint boil over.
I hit home too hard. I hit him too hard.
That was the moment. That was the Mill.

Those Blue Remembered Days Run Away Like
Wild Horses Over Hambledon, Hod, Okeford,
These Words Keep Me from Alan Hannah’s
Home Made Fudge, Hills.

Johnners and Aggers crumbling leg over
lines from my grandfather’s Pinter,
miPO podcasts, incubus, 9.84, film
was made never shown Phelan, Griffiths,
Monstrous Regiment, young Harriet,
hidden by clerks Courbet’s barricaded
Milou en Mai, Menzel’s Closely Observed
Betjeman’s ‘I wish I had more sex’ Trains.

Monas, icons, tenth house memory, zodiacal
standings Dr. Pasternak-Slater no here, let’s
erase text, history, navigational, mathematical,
erotically charged minds, serpentine women
disabled fallen angels, puzzles, momentary
paranoia, Prospero booze as a warning
to future poets, not so Subtle, never mix
with bureaucrats. Tempest Tempest.

Joan, Shura outside the French with Bacon
tut tutting Potter in hot pursuit. Younger
each year, m’dear. Drink up. Drink up.
Dersley on the Cockroach Poet at the National
with Berkoff, Inzy falling over his stumps
hitting Freddie for six over long-on.
Well hello, Othello, Wren Chasen, left
hand down a bit Bess, Ralegh, held at the Tower.

Evangelical English teachers fingering the ring,
relevant, informative, naughty, giggle, Anona Wynn,
creativity with, Locklin tap dancing, delineating
eco-friendly cat litter smells. Protest and survive.
reason against tyranny. Eucharist of humanity
to weep for all our pains and laugh for all joys,
many a slip, all the world’s a Caroline Overdrive,
Frost’s ‘Home Burial’ philosophy testing, testing.

davidcaddy has published six volumes of poetry, including most recently The WillyPoems (Clamp Down Press USA 2004). His next book Man In Black is due to be published by Penned In The Margins this fall. Co-author of,  London: City of Words, a literary companion (Blue Island 2006). He has edited Tears in the Fence, international literary magazine, since 1985, and also directed the Wessex Poetry Festival 1995-2001 and the Tears in the Fence Festival in 2003 and 2004. He writes regularly for The Use of English Magazine and Terrible Work, an online review journal (www.terriblework.co.uk). He lives in Dorset, England.
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