march 27 return to blackhurst Ghyll

the first time I was here I had a broken big toe and I sat in rain while C explored, today a fresh light day we returned –
I am in literature, the borrowers, toad, little men, as well as spring and primroses, moss and greening
pollarded trees divide and reach up and give my fairyland, not quite narnia or lord of the rings to slight for that, puck of pook’s hill, borrowers on their raft small down the big river into sweet stream- another sunken cathedral with all the trees going for the upside down perfection of reflection, the straggling up to sky it is a dark pool of flatness deep for the time of year, a small skin stretched over and over flat and shallow holding carcasses of trees like caterpillars up turned legs or tiny rib cages or viking ships well their skeletons, or mini loch ness monsters, shadow and murder filmscould personify the trees imagined at night it would be nightmare now a hidden lake – I leave and have lost my companion a strange time loss, feeling like a hundred years, that fairytale, have I moved shifted in time – then I see her red scarf- but it was a strange moment imagination stronger than reality and I had just been mocking it

march 23 Charlotte’s birthday

IMG_8501the skin beside my thumbnail bleeds red, as I stand over the dead lamb, caught running, laid down in stream, legs downstream, lying pooled and held, frozen to the running life as it does not live
a cycle starts again
a pecked eye already, green markings, fur black legged still looks soft and furry to touch, in fact except for the pecked eye it could be lying down and sleeping, no untrue,the spark of life is gone its just the body so fresh and moving because the water moves around, cuddling and cradling in flanks of circles, curved edges, it is a burial slab of movement and the water roars as the full stream towers, bowers and cracks above and below, the lamb is between two orchestras by a mossed tree, making its own riverlets, its own moving drapery, its own mourning song, is quiet, careful, and life is ever more affirming of life living and this beloved lamb gives me more life and blesses a birthday, its a blessing not a conundrum or a curse, as I write the blood from my thumb nail shines, the rain drops on the page and makes it hard to write, I mourn and sing, I observe and feel, I hold and let go, I cradle and dream, I ache and fold in
I slump, haunched ,and feel its innards still full – soon it will flatten and smudge and either be swept away by more water and tossed apart, rent by animals, hard to imagine it could stay beached mid-stream, running till it dissolves – it will be gone by our next meeting, and yet…

march 13


foam bones
snow melt
bubble rush
swirl delicately
whirlpool slow change
ribs, pelvis,teeth, ribs
all linger and slide around in white bubbles, spongy too
just like the real thing
eyed and molared
floating ribs are just that
all with the drawing by water
a tuck of land
a switchback
a melt, a rush and it
whirlpools into moving form
and we see bones and feel them enter us
one can watch hypnotised for hours once one starts the turning miles two different speeds
the open line
through the different speeds
faster more like feathers
slow like skulls
insides of bone-sliced bones


red inner lining
red along the start of the snow
and just behind the next tree the sheep with one whisp around its neck sees us and moves off, for a moment we do not notice the stammering wet lamb that has just been born, then the sheep moves off and this tiny wet, stumbling mess moves off as shaking as you would expect
and now now we have been at birth – now we have savoured the beginning of this cycle
the sheep has moved across the field its tiny cargo now footed and following and lives continue and start and sun illuminates this leaving, this blood red holding in the mud and snow
witness of birth we have seen the whole life span and sources fall into sources water into life liveness and sun and snow and ‘our’ lamb looks up and sees the sky, its world enlarges
and more evidence
this mother has got as close to the stream as possible to give birth near a tree and up to a fence, but it has drawn near, no one tell me that this is just imagination this water called to give birth, hear the sound of a stream, seems proof, proof enough for me
this was our first source search – to return many months later and witness birth seems an unlikely spring
it is a gift of attention
of being in the right place in a single moment
so returning becomes a new life and a re-sourcing over again
will it demand a life-long returning, a lifetime resourcing, a knowledge that streams will lead us on into our different ages and that our lives are beholden as they are
beholden to allow us in if we find the doors and we have found doors,
each door an inch of water, a stick, a shine of mud
a sliver of grass, a bubble, a movement, a movement, movement
and maybe I will die sooner than I think so at least there has been preparation, nothing better

on return the whirlpools have gone
this miracle of timing of taking time to receive the overflowing, changing gifts
the whirlpools held us back and then we were at birth
the whirlpools have dispersed

there is a lamb
an owl transcends to voice in day
called by us, by birth, by sign
and this a few inches from Foul Mile Rd
leaning to be timeful
it is so simple yet gets lost in a


march 9

cloudy up edging, bunked ,piled leaves, mud, bone sticks shifting earth, mulch pooling, pottering filling, spading, stick hair, melt fork, layerdown, its almost as if the insides of trees have been to a sawmill all this chumped up tree, sawdust natural, wetted and wiggled down
the stream from where I am standing I can see 8 water shifts down and a tracing of white brown bubbles all the way down and the sound eight tracks too as the water pitches off rhythm the ones further off like wind, neater like conversation and broken harps
a single line of bubbles is trooping down and a curvilinear procession like a mobiles strip or little spaceships domed in water carrying new beings

overtime I move my hair is nagged, twigs scrap and crown, tickle and skin, breakcrack, bend flapjack, tweak -head low I move on, top of the head first, the hole, the fontanelle first either protection or the most vulnerable or the place that needs to be open to be here to be this the stream out, my own kind of trepaning, head forward flow go
bright gene nettlesome the plants and one other water leaf, some of the nettles have holed dated with the presence of others eating through, oh a tiny dock as I lean to pick the water leaf my eye is held by a vertebrae just under my foot, dug in, camouflaged, this basin stream carries so many bones as I rush to C leaving the dip a small vertebrae eyes me held in a square of trees and on the field in from t a semi circle of a rib lying with its mates, the sticks

spreading outwards in the air ( like Cornelia Parker’s exploded shed) my bones could be held between these trees in air as twigs, I await that going, thats our sheep bones our own disinterment, our own unknitting of the bones in preparation


sunken cathedral brown water rises so high flooded flat trees and yellow mud yellow an artefact like a hedged tree trunk lies like a log – it is my mitten from a previous outing – now lolling in the water, taken aback , just as I wished for the bones of the sheep for my own bones I have left a part of me to be buried here and watch its water transformation , we have got it out, placed it over a trunk of submerged tree – I thought to take it to go with our bones but I don’t know the other glove will have a different history will they know each other – this in its weeks under sky and water wooded and silted , animated and birded, alone, alone, and the other sitting in a coat pocket hanging in the hall. Can they meet again, like any deep experience , can you meet again, oh yes you can meet but the weathering, the journeying on a different level

oh low cathedral, submerged and merged cup of a small world a milky lake of polished floor slidy as skin shaky as wind unbearable of weight I lie close down on an iron tank to have eyes level to the waterfloor and imagine tiny creatures dancing over its polished surface to speeded up birdsong, now looking I see the insects or is it rain, probably a multitude of insects crawl this water so I am not crackers all fairy tales rooted in elemental imagination

a fling around and lie head back on the edge of the tank with a swirl of abandon – and see it all helper skelter and bless the world anew I am midpoint as I lie seeing sky tree water all in a muddle something falls out of my pocket into the yellow water beside me, I let it go, when I sit up I check for my car keys, I have them, whatever went has gone and I leave more of myself behind more
ahead of my eyes a yellow brown snail shell zings with colour in this brown mud day and I know my eyes have adjusted to seeing, seeing the things I miss as I go along, this is the presence, this is the beginning and end of the journey hunched over I sit at the source of our stream and know
aliveness, gratitude,
my backwards reverence ( reverons/curtsey)
head held
the tree holds me as I prepare to leave

I gently sway in my hair held way eyes closed
tree guides my dance as it holds my shoulder now and as I swayed in my neck a bone changed and shifted and clunked and the weightless became form and I feel myself holding my own bone inside myself

from my feet looking down
a rib turned away and beyond
a forearm or foreleg for a sheep
in the water a bouquet of gathered ribs lull with the water
then the biggest part the pelvis white and coated with mud wings towards the water two vertebraes attached just beyond some river rubbish mud and slush and on end, most of a spine arches up
the stream and stream’s edge holds them all in their going