River rushes past the man
who sees it, begins to think
about the power behind it
and how it might be used.
A weir would hold back the flow,
build a head of water behind it;
a cut, sluiced for control, to move
a new stream to where it’s needed.
Idea builds on idea,
translates to bricks and mortar.
The new build, big as a church,
takes shape beside the lade,
and a wooden wheel,
tall as the walls,
seizes the water’s force, ships it inside
where belts and pulleys gear it down
to racketing looms, deafened workers.
Cotton in, cloth out, as the wheel turns.
Colin Will lives in Dunbar. He has had eight poetry collections published, the latest being The Book of Ways (Red Squirrel Press, 2014). He does readings, runs workshops, and chairs the Board of the StAnza Poetry Festival. He runs the pamphlet publisher Calder Wood Press, and the poetry zine The Open Mouse. Website: http://www.colinwill.co.uk