Cumbria

Updated: Jan 5



( After W.S. Merwin )


Mist devours the hills

in the middle distance

red alders sway

like stalks of wheat

the breathless morning

moves toward the sun

I cannot tell where

the clouds begin

and the sky ends

where I begin

and the lakes end

I ramble through

a world apart


The clay darkens

in the rain

limestone crumbles

into dust

white swirls of smoke

climb heavenward

I have yet to learn how

the evening fades

how my life gives way

to pressure points

my room was spring

yellow and clean

the ground so moist

foot steps carved deep

imprints in the grass

that filled with dew

each dawn


Between the rocks

I swept cobwebs

from the world

the brook bathed

a bed of small stones

holding them in the sun

calling me to blue air

as light poured

through me

alders rose

into the sky

the emptiness

around them

I see sheep

marked red and green

in the meadow

I had forgotten

everything

in the mist

and then

they were there


(Cumbria is a region in northwest England famous for its stunning lakes and beautiful countryside full of hills -- or fells -- that offer popular walking routes. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in Grasmere, one of Cumbria's charming villages. )

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