The silence of an old mill

The grinding of stone upon stone
grain ground with gratitude
flour, powder, dust in the air
wood creaking
wheels turning
water churning
hatchways opening and closing
some silently
some slamming
as sacks move up and down
empty then full.
Voices and shouts
lost amongst the tumult
bodies bending and heaving
spreading grease on axles
hefting bounty on shoulders
bent beneath the weight.

Now silent
but for the running of water
and chirrups of Kingfisher and Dipper.
The stillness of the water wheel
still with potential
though never to move again.
Preserved
wowed over
gazed at
it’s past pondered on
as the eye flows
from one cog to another
marvelling at the power
the wheels and belts used to wield.

Like when standing
in any industrial place
that no longer throbs with life
there’s nothing so quiet
as the silence of an old mill.

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