april 27

sudden sunburst and bubbles light and symphony of sheep being called in, fed, gathered, we hid- in the pool of the sunken pond hoping for concealment, at the end of the pond that holds old skulls comforting now like the bone we are and they are, water in funny rhythms around my feet shifting and sussing it all out but there is a horrific sheep carcass turned inside out ribs ripped its head a mutilated ingrown lump whether defined or mulched I can’t tell. We wait beneath the roar of sheep and lambs disturbed and called, distressed no, bellowing, I leave my feet in mud feeling slow gain of cold. C looks like a seer our sunken pool feels like a strange hidden hopeful place where we will pass unnoticed maybe not today, feels like a watershed a farmer is so close we wait hunched and still- the silouhettes of sheep and lambs just looping around us if we escape being seen it will be a miracle. Held hostage by sheep, lambs, feeding, farmer we hope for a sort of sanctuary that we can be here much like the bones, unseen, blending, becoming part of the place, I can only hope –

there is a large new sheep dead and disfigured lying on the far edge the start of another long process back to the bone but it is not the long sleeping of our first returnings these are brutal deaths, after births, manglings, a different sort of death and devouring. I ache a bit from smalling up and being inconspicuous, still the loud chanting goes on around us one lamb looks at us expectantly everything begins to deepen – a long call slightly piercing as a searcher ambushes others to find their own or not to find

I feel this is  could be the death throes of our being here, if we are found can we come back

april 8 2013

finally hidden, feel so exposed in this muckend of a stream huddled near the edge of a field, one white clean vertebrae on the grass then own to the orange silt water humping out of ground, deeper more full and over rounding the top

a gasp a cry one black furred leg red end of bone not wet reminds us of our lamb deaths

probably dropped by a fox it lies alone on the edge of the orange mulch we move downstream to the stream meet and sit and talk our anguish at the raw deaths after our weeks of accepting bones and death we are alarmed and sickened and had no thought of sheep here – and after sitting c walked upstream on the Y and another gasp it is the other black wooled leg tossed openly – were they dropped because we arrived – did we disturb no they have been there longer than that but again this unnatural death these limbs paired away like  – is more sickening than the whole destroyed body and here where there are no sheep a fox or dog has dragged these lambs unattached and blast red marrow still maybe warm –

I have gone downstream through holly that scratched my scalp so much I regret having to go back but right now I am hidden from the faced houses that overlook this dimple water and yet I remember our sinking  in here our pleasure in the tiniest of waterways and where I am hanging on the bank close to white light water is a base to fly with I actually love this place – for our visit for our return and for my returning and my one ot two words that polish up and yet I feel colder than I remember in the frost

there is a peace born of the hidden out of sight, just,noises of all so close humans all around and in this tiny mossed bank I really can repeat the lying down into this tiny curve with its trickle of water the upside down reflected trees move it deep and on the wind breezes it my hair, the trees and an endles water sea carries me endlessly down – it has no edge I layer my vision seeing nearly as deep as bone this water layer after layer of skimming reflection and mind imagination i layer i layer myself in sheets of reflection each as porous and sliverlike as each other just this skin upon this skin but lensed into the deepest pools bone deep reflection spongy and filled and unfilled moving and disintegrating, sticking and sticking to each other like flake pastry too common a thought like sheets of eyelash thin ice that is not solid

a glider over and I rise up from lying down – a lying down where my mind wandered most unusual – a cover of bird bones discovered on the ground under our hands a delight a wish bone, and back through branches I catch my eye, a real jab and I cut my face right through my eye  and i feel liquid slowly draw down my nose it is blood, a blood tear sun so bright and feel the bright red out of the corner of my eye and with it the orange of the stream and the blood in the end of the bone I need to bleed to cover the stream yet in the sun and we crouch again like two tiny kneeling birds close close to the ground hips curved in and sun warms our backs and we return again and again our experience surprising us even a nettle sting to go with the cut

april 5 2013

and what is under our feet and for each of us its two skulls have surfaced
where our feet treads I hear live lambs explore with their voices, comes trembling over curious upright squeaking seeking these sunken bones contain their beauties their slow management back to the ooze- another squeal clear but hidden just above the pond not knowing we are here unknowing who we are and the words ….in the sleet snow and….return…the mustard all stand at the churned…mud pond was here walked to…into water bones two skulls melt air…feet so long..invited..much moved, burned in water – just noticed a pen of mine left here long ago C remembers something falling my glove now…
not mine now I am happy to leave its disintegration to the pons too somehow it has journeyed away – completely different place
another lamb cry another lamb curious
we are twisted with mangled bodies blood held in coils full of water bits and pieces all parts twisted and mashed and clumped over the field just left, deterrent?, too new, too cold
my feet in boots are deep in this mustard mud I look at the jaw bone and eye socket of my near skull and feet juggled – too many mangled sheep on the field, a great sadness not our fundamental joy this wrenches this almost does not want to be captured some deaths are too violent, too unjust that questions arise again – death is there, death is life today its nauseating sickening as bloody as war, I understand the wrenching of  grief, the madness, the envelopment the sickening unworthiness, the mangling into the twisting , pulling, wrenching, ripping, raw rubbing rage lust   survival
this quiet place is sad today with a long grief the perfect ripples annoying in their beauty today
except raw except awe a pitiless stomach a withdrawing eye a pity
pity that almost makes one withdraw, remove, not want to sink in I don’t want to sink into this lacklustre cruelty worldly cruelty weather cruelty whatever is happening cruelty
I know this is my worship place but today prayers feel bleary and scattered like the innards, like the new flesh, blood intestines still full  eyes pecked twisted hooves blood held in plastic like inner tubes filling up with rain to run a lighter prettier red but manufactured – innards too much colour makes them too close and recoil happens from them and the self for looking except we are here to look to gather to immerse so I aim to, I try too, I keep going, the skull near my foot opening, moving its eye, looking up to the sky – the jaw full of teeth dirty as the inside of an unlocked pyramid, that dust of discovery after many years, here is silt is water made
I actually want to go closer put my face on the water near this skull be side by side with another skeleton share a water bed some sort of comfort that we all remain the same evolving bone inside that needs to go to earth to be buried again
lamb judder so high pitched and the wind moves high and the branch I am on wiggles I am alone with skulls
the voice of a new lamb
dead lambs
rain
sunk deep now into the falseness of my own stupid cries- one thinks one is over and able to be aware then you do the most unaware thinking it is in care but really just insecurity and righteousness – its like today – we are given death mangled early death instead of our beloved home to really be present is endless and changing
do we ever learn to deepen or as we go does it push us back with obstacles unexpected the sick taste in the mouth, the mottled mind that longs for purity yet
another cry close and high, one further away low answers, tucks in its sqreech I have never sat so long in snow sleet rain with my legs up to calves in cold water looking at a skull hearing lamb songs trying so hard to sink and yet held strung up on behaviour
another cry they are like cries though they are the voices

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The wreckage of the ewe hits us first, they haven’t moved the body
Gorged and picked of flesh, bones and fleece shockingly spread in the aftermath of a feeding frenzy. Sleet numbs our skin, as we walk a cold massacre unfolds lamb after lamb, 11, and another ewe, little flat heaps of black and white dotting the fields, decapitated, jawless, eyeless, arseless, inside out baby gargoyles, blood roses, We are silenced by the reaped carrion harvest,
digesting today’s lesson

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Omens
Superstition haunting
the scratchy edgeland
leaking disturbance

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Where are the comfortable old bones now?
Treading the sunken water
I kick the skull I had imagined, into being
I knew it was there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wandering through the silky mire, Composting in watery graves
Submerged souls seep in silt cloudy pools dispersing downstream                             Drinking ancient life through a purifying straw, filtering the wild

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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

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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
whorls
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
flattened

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red inner lining
red along the start of the snow
afterbirth
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
allow
it is so simple yet gets lost in a
flash

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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

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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
again
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

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