BOWLED OVER

OIL ON BOARD, 2008

High up at the bottom of a bowl

Rimmed with ridges and cusps

Seeped through by blue rippling

Descending from ice-cap

A vast, steep-sided arena

Roaring with waterfalls

And fast-flowing river; Laced with low woodland

Filled with flowers

And rocky outcrops. I’ve never seen such a scene

Except in dreams

And imaginings of Lothlorien. A trail of enchantment

Moist, mossy and silvered with birch

Calling to continue

From rapture to rapture. Until a howl of foreboding

From a wolf

That turns out to be dog

Standing sentinel

But tethered beside the path

Warns to turn around

Before the ice is reached

Falling short

By a hundred or two metres

But never mind. The return seems longer than the coming

Even walking at the double

To carry clear of unknown trouble

Where wilderness strains at the leash

To make itself felt

Beyond the din

That begrudges mortal sin

For venturing so boldly

To invade its privacy.

[Inspired by a visit to a Norwegian glacier]

Share this Post

MORE TO EXPLORE

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.