Tuesday, 15 September 2009


One More Windmill*

Don Quixote and Pancho
men of iron
in winter's iron grip

and stopped

before the Windmill
of Retz
the tale to tell

pickaxe footed
with an old gate shield
on a mountain of pipework
and milk churns
angled iron
nuts and bolts
boiler wheels
a shovel
and a spade

a smooth brass doorknob
and a worn out shoe
the latter
from a worn out carthorse
out of Moravia
where the travellers now gaze on the plain
in the whistling wind from the Steppes

two horsemen
blankly looking
into the lore and lie of language

close by the river
that is merely a convenience
and a border
for the insecure
secure in the knowledge that knowing where they are in time
and space
like moths on their flights to the stars
is the be
end of all

witness the Plough
that signpost
circling the faint North Star
or the Big Dipper's directors
aside the dim Polaris
(in another way of saying it)

ten miles above the frozen landmark
of Retz
the sky was more than once too wide
and the space beneath
was always going to be too small
for man

gw 2009

*the Retz Windmill, these days a prominent landmark, stopped work in 1924


  1. My favourite bit is about the river being a border for the insecure - and the reference to moths on their flight to the stars. I love this, poet, you have made the windmill and its stopping into a metaphor for our journey through life - at least you have for my reading. BTW - dare I say that we are not red wine drinkers - it is white, rose or nothing I am afraid - does this exclude me from your coterie?

  2. Hello Weaver, Yes, you'd like the Retz! It's a wine growing region! A good loamy soil, it was at the bottom of the Pannonian Sea.
    It's strange how wines are suited to the places of origin. I'd never dream of drinking a rose´ outside France. When in the Czech Rep I always go for beer and bravado (coterie or no coterie) and in Tuscany a full bodied red. White? Probably favour a cool fresh Hungarian from the Illmitz region mixed 50/50 with sparkling water. That's me. Cheers, Bottoms Up, Good Health, Prosit! In Yorkshire I'd be a whippet and CAMRA man. I think it's compulsory ;-)

  3. Not compulsory in NORTH Yorkshire Poet (we aspire to being a bit "posher" up here - although the farmer does wear a flat cap (and would wear it in bed if I would let him). Dare I tell you that I drink rose mainly because it is such a beautiful colour and I revel in holding the glass in my hand and watching the play of light on that beautiful colour! (Hang the taste!)

  4. Thanks again John!
    Best of bardic,

  5. Weaver, I reckon there's a whole countryside series in your last remark. Postman Pat & co. better look out!

  6. Good one. Like the detail:"a smooth brass doorknob/and a worn out shoe ".

  7. Many thanks, Dominic! I'm just going for a run :-) Have a Half Marathon race in a couple of weeks, hope to get under 1:45. My M60 best is 1:47. Hope your Snowdon training still on course.


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