Thoughts on a Cumbrian Lad at Bowscale

Even with lashing wind,
Bowscale Tarn is flat,
Carrock on my right, Combe
and Knott to the front.
A Facebook fact,
Dominic and Luce often made this hike,
I hear him call her to heel despite the howling easterly gale.
His voice,
a thousand times sharper than the biting air,
slices to my heart,
my chest,
gossamer thin,
is no protection.
The water, black, bottomless as the myth tells,
two immortal fish,
one given the power of speech.

At the water’s edge I’m drawn to its limitlessness.
In my insanity I call the fish to heel,
again, then again.
I step out
to the first exposed stone, I’m free.
Against the squall, I call, the fish yet again.
I scan the water for a sign and step,
to the next visible stone.

Now a foot on each, the water, still, now invites me,


A Wordsworth’s poem bounces around the fell,
(or in my head?)
The Cumbrian accent slices to my heart. ‘

And both the undying fish that swim,
through Bowscale-Tarn did wait on him,
the pair were servants of his eye in their immortality,
they moved about in open sight,
to and fro, for his delight’.

One more step.

to step to

The storm has dropped,
Wordsworth has stopped.
I could dive into the warm blankness,
and hold onto the tail of the immortal fish,
swim to eternity,
to the bottom that doesn’t exist.
I won’t hear his voice again,
only the immortal talking fish.

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