Caught by the River

Letter From Arcadia

Dexter Petley | 15th June 2010

The Blossom Wars.


the mayflower sailed without us. i’m more overdue than a victorian library book. apologies, winter’s ashes still in the grate. even fishing was a snatched pastime between overwhelming odds. as you know, i was building a new jerusalem with a blue dexta of dagenham, top of the charts in 61:

only france is the vichy of the e.u. fascist village mayors who don’t know the war’s over. communes where the national front happily vote in the left. their tea dance spies, algerian war heroes, human pesticide, scour the lanes every afternoon looking for signs of resistance. detector twingos, hearing aid snoops, housecoat denouncers. the registered letter came. sarko’s bloody thumb print, the black spot, the dancing men, the five orange pips of nationalism inside. summoned to gestapo hq. the mayor in his hunting sweatshirt, pink nylon collars poking over the top. the sweatshirt for me, the pink one for the ladies. one for each face. he stood under the president’s portrait and with reference to article N1 of the PLU state code ordered me to remove all traces of my existence from my own field. named and shamed on the village notice board. obliged to uproot 25 fruit tree saplings, 50 fence posts, 100 yards of fencing and 4 rows of potatoes. i am forbidden to put down chickens, orchard, garden, pond or hut. the chicken palace of ozymandias sits unfinished in the barn. the hens were murdered by the police fox before they got to see their promised land:

appropriately, the fields are full of poppies. and civil war blue:

one man & his cat and a confederate tractor, i’m on the barricade. manoeuvres by autumn; a gypsy caravan, a camo net and a wall of hedgerow hops. rogue male beside the candlestick; spud crop in the foxholes.

meanwhile, the carp defy all eviction. actual war heroes, passing through the lines undetected. unstable temperatures, spawnings abandoned, a good spring for naturals. they don’t need anglers right now, and there blow pirates in the swim:

three bites in three months; all three fish came off on one carp a year waters. hook points turned over, leads too heavy, hook links too short… it’s a long wait to find out which.

then the good life began this weekend in june. cherry picking, summer mushrooms after a thunderous deluge, the pushy ceps, the girolles like boat people drifting on a sunday sanpan:

just remains for me to bid you quills away for the 16th as the cuckoo fades out.

sandbags round the birdtable