Aside the cut, twisted seat on shaded towpath, slab cold now, yet once
as rooted to the water caught running, kept static, conducted in
trench and pipe through field-green, lime-rich green, earth seam,
algal-covered barge paint-green.
Where once the rope taught horse helped harness the furness fire’s
richness, now today’s dog and bellied Alfred man makes his Buttington
battle stand. There, you can see – see that wild hinge-framed
stoneyard, dust-crusted mossy crag rich book at Llanymynech. Touch it
as your dream, be there aside the spirit of the cannaller, the
puddler, the porter, kilner, roper, bank ranger and coal backer, lock
keeper and the body of the restorer, the community stars of Wales.
Aside the cut of tranquility studied long it’s stone, lime, tiles,
bricks thick on past prosperity, the new cut, deeper slower now this
nature-niche of long-water where snail’s daughter son
sunlight-scavenge purer water flea foods. Food needs time again
pressing as once they drew families to the market hoardings to suffer,
toil, tend and boil in the industrial flames, revolution’s empty tums
who ran at the smell of cash flowing and will run again soon to the
tune of the supermarket piper.
No joy dance, nor fire this time. Hang the buckets dry as the knobs
rust everywhere on lowering tables and the culprits gulp more than
their bellies can. But to the water’s ways we return to earn, its with
child green carrying rotary leaved life almost still but forever on
the turn, churning, the long tall shallow troughs for plants it’s
are all celebrating, I wrote this poem about the history of the Montgomery Canal, and the work that’s being done to preserve it, with Dylan’s Milk Wood in mind.If I find a Richard Burton-sound-alike, I’ll leave a comment with a link to the audio.