The Ballad of Windmill Hill
The man clambered to the windmill, blunt pencil in his hand;
Head empty as his notebook: as nothing yet was planned.
But he sat down on his jacket: spine cold against the stone
Where the bread had once been moulded; the seed had once been blown;
Where the stooped-back miller once had toiled for hour upon hour
To turn the labour of the harvest into finest golden flour;
And he soon began to scribble, as the wind began to call
From the houses far below him; from cottage, church and hall.
And this is what he registered – inspired by what he learned –
Never passing any judgment on what his neighbours clearly yearned.
All we want is something simple, that we all can understand:
Nothing complex or beyond us; notions rooted in the land;
A village with a future; where each to each is known;
A place which folk find welcoming; that is everybody’s own;
Where, gradually, in union, with corresponding power,
We spread this presence evenly, and remember well that our
Stay upon this well-tilled soil means little to time’s sprawl;
Though man is one of many visitors whose impact may be small
Next to heaven’s mighty globes and the voyages they’ve turned;
But that yet we must be wary of the furrows that we’ve churned.
What wisdom can we manifest; who amongst us will take stand
To garner our agreement; stop our wishes turn to sand?
How will we ever vanquish those who want to reign alone:
Whose voices shout much harsher, whose only word is sown
On fallow ground, whose every thought is selfish, sharp and sour;
With no empathy or sympathy: their lust set on the tower
Of ruling over everyone; of leering over all;
Of meeting our petitions with an egoistic bawl?
Are there those amongst us brave enough – whose regard we know is earned –
Who will help us stand together; guarantee such fools are spurned?
And then the breeze veered westerly; and light glowed on the hand
Of one, then two, then several more, until a mighty band
Of villagers of every class who all had always shown
Great steadfastness and loyalty to the place in which they’d grown
Stood strong and straight in unity – no longer would they cower:
This was the land they loved – each tree, each bird, each flower –
And they would hold forever, brought together by that call,
To ensure that all three Tysoes could never ever fall;
Would from here deal right and fairly with each resident concerned;
Would from here shine bright with passion that in every heart now burned.
Upon the hill, the man awoke; his blank pad on the grass;
Yet sure that all he’d seen and heard would shortly come to pass.