Ode to Sluice

PUBLISHED: 13:27 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:48 04 May 2010

I heard the Town Crier shout The Sluice is on the loose! When last seen was standing On the banks of the Great Ouse I raced along the riverbank And found the lonely Sluice Staring in thoughtful silence at the waters of the Great Ouse What is your mis

I heard the Town Crier shout

The Sluice is on the loose!

When last seen was standing

On the banks of the Great Ouse

I raced along the riverbank

And found the lonely Sluice

Staring in thoughtful silence

at the waters of the Great Ouse

What is your mission Sluice?

Why are you standing here?

You have got to have a purpose

But to me it is not clear.

Can you be a radio telescope?

So that we can track the stars

Or perhaps to confirm

That there really is life on Mars

But you may be a NASA vehicle

to take us deep into outer space

so we can ponder in wonder

the origins of the human race

But Sluice spoke not a word

Not a sound did the structure utter

It left me in confusion

to make enquiries at the Cutter

What is this structure stranger

I ask a person standing nearby

Why is the lonely Sluice over there

pointing toward the sky?

He turned away without a look

And deigned me no reply

Leaving me in puzzlement

To stare and wonder why

If Sluice had a pair of feet

it suddenly occurred to me

we could go off together

foot-sluice and fancy free.

But yet to me it is all a puzzle

Why Sluice is standing there

The reason for its artistic existence

Is simply far from clear

So Sluice I say this to you

Tho citizens of Ely do wince

May angels take you to your rest

Sleep tight my inanimate Prince

TUCKERMAN

Bill Conroy

Barton Road

Ely

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