SALLY JAMES The best POEM in Standard English - subject matter open
The winner of the President's Cup
The Old Mill Stream
I love to walk by the old mill stream
where the Rose Bay Willow grows
where catkins weep and bluebells peep
and entwine the Briar Rose.
I love to hear the cuckoo call
near the crumbling dry stone wall
yet that rippling stream isn’t all it seems
near the flowing waterfall.
For I hear the voice of yesterday
babbling through cold waters
echoing words tired fathers said
to mothers, sons and daughters.
They talk of hours long and hard
and the meagre lowly pay
of children’s laughter turned to tears
in the early hours of day.
Half-timers juggling work with school
too young to know the shame
of crawling under lashing looms
oblivious of who’s to blame.
Those days are gone and glad I am
that the old mill stream still flows
rambling on in the same old way
where the Rose Bay Willow grows.