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The Linnet's Wings

Goitside by Julian Dobson

They cut the water. Bent it from meanders

to turn mill wheels, beckoned it from the beck 

to run a rigid course. Tamed, apparently,




it licked the soot from honey-shaded stones.

Like factory hands, it only stopped in corners

where it could hear no orders, shelter moss.




Today foundations crumble underfoot.

Ahead, security fences take a nap,

loll on their backs and rust. A square,




tilting towards the forgotten goit

and framed by wide-eyed dereliction 

might be where magic starts. Shreds of green;




seeds, spores, windblown dust. Roots

tougher than tarmac. One or two summers,

a scatter of thistle. Ragwort. A storm.




Rain runs to this future. Takes blackened spaces

back. Winds sift warehouses to tilth. 

Summer grass sways and stretches, conjures gold.



The Linnets Wings