Caught by the River

Letter From Arcadia

Dexter Petley | 26th March 2010

Waiting For Blossom


as your season ended with that stillness in the pool of a pike’s eye, i stood behind winter’s barricade when the flesh eating winds of march came over, carnivorous skin-strippers from the east. planting an orchard and keeping the beacons alight with the hand slashed brambles of a new and promised land:

the trees holes filled with water, the spade still in my hands, the land a clay pig bleeding by the slice. by next day the water had frozen into twenty kilo plugs. elsewhere i dug for sand, broke tea-cups and collected stones to line each hole. at night the wild boar played billiards with my divits and half the holes had to be re-excavated. but now, in spring rain and a more vegetarian breeze, 24 saplings await the mixed fruit of my labours: cherry, apple (cox, belchard, reine de reinette) pear, peach, almond, plum, the bees already going stick to stick attracted by the blue of plastic protector sleeves:

back on arse pit the sun is now a glint in the eye, a sparkle on the rims of your reel spools. the plovers have quit the fields, the tree lines thicken with bud and green spills of tadpole leaf. the margins are a catkin regatta and the grebes are courting like torvill & dean fallen through the melted ice. tea in a t-shirt, polaroids under the beanie. are the carp of darkness stirring at the bottom of their wells? to find that out it’s bait up or shut up now the sun is about to set after 8 o’clock:

yesterday, a half flask session at penelope pit where spring is a new pile of green beer bottles on the bank and another old tree cut down. flooded banks and a southerly off the wheat plains. my pockets stayed empty but it was good to be back.

fat bats plucking spiders off the lines at dusk, two house martins scouted past stopping only for a map reading chatter. irises poking through frogspawn, newts in my pond warm their legs in a spate of sunlight. spring but for the carp crashing like summer cars in an M1 pile up, still a long way off in the fog.

daffodils on the bird table