Ullswater Requiem (7)


VII Libera me A Prayer  

Let me drop a pebble to that surface

and watch its ripples run out perfect

and see a fish rising from the depths,

a pebble cast by water into sky,

and thos two rings meeting, interfering,

intermingling, intersecting but still perfect,

each still unbroken in its way:

A criss-cross message of place and time.


Believe. We ...

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Ullswater Requiem (6)

  VI Lux Aeternum A Celebration

The sky's sheet ice, the blood of sunset drained away.

Clouds are gatherd in like nets at the horizon.

Rose petals of last light are floating in

an awkward angle of the bay. Crows are

litter, whirled in a corner of the air.

The steamer's wake has met itself returning.

Some say this is the old day's dying, as if

no dawn will break; ...

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Ullswater Requiem (5)

V Lacrimosa Weeping


I did not witness this. I saw the lake.

Ripples run towards me every day.

I cannot read them all. The steamer makes

eight beats per second by my clock, no more.

Yet I must speak or what’s the watching for?

My words must face you square and eye to eye.

We are each other’s strangers of goodwill.

Tears bind us; the sky; mountains, and fire...

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Ullswater Requiem (4)


IV Quid sum miser The Bereaved


Crossing a mountain stream once in bare feet

you could not keep yourself from crying out,

sliced by that scalpel cold, burned by its ice.


An avalanche of cold enfolded them.

Only an inch or two beneath it’s cold

as graves. Stone cold where the sun can’t penetrate.

Rivers of cold run deep along the lake.



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Ullswater Requiem (3)


III Recordare Memory


You remember once yourself slipping off

the narrow shelf of Ullswater.

You were no swimmer at all and had waded out like them

beyond the glimmer of sunlight on rocks below,

walking on a cliff edge in a mist,

and only when you felt the stones begin

to slip and shift knew you were on the lip

of some commencing underwater fall.


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Ullswater Requiem (2)


II Tuba Mirum The Bringing of the News


Whatever moves above it or below

disturbs the surface: Writes its passage:

weight: speed: bulk: hull: body: keel and fin:

the changing pressure of the wind.

A drowning man will tell his tale

as clearly as a fishing heron can.

Today it’s briefly mute: What lives below

is motionless. The wind is starved of breath...

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Ullswater Requiem (1)

entry picture


I Dies Irae The Anger of the Water


Here’s where I stand. I read the lake each day.

Beyond our reach it changes endlessly.

Sometimes it's dark as ice. Sometimes it's broken glass,

Sometimes like metal streaked where boats have passed,

Sometimes with ripples regular as sound.

Sometimes it’s like a sky: Sometimes a pit.

Sometimes it’s white capped, rough.


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