Great bowl of Tarn - overflow
Sour Milk Ghyll
Tumbles and roars
A torrent - pounding fast - downhill
Yet - from a distance
Looks almost still.
Cascading waters - ribbon white
Gleam in dark November light
Resembling some artist?s masterpiece
Nature?s gift to Red Pike
A living crevice - an awesome sight
Spewing forth - froth and foam
Like lava, petrified to marble stone.
On other hills, rivulets have joined to spill
In a network of knurled knotted veins
They span as if across the back
Of some great God-made hand
With fingers spread so wide
Nothing stems this rushing, downward tide.
River and lake are joined as one
Stony, shore, bank and field
Needs must yield.
Drowned in a watery grave - nothing saved
Trees stand deep in waters high and sigh
Bare, helpless, tangled arms reach up
?Heaven help us? they cry.
Land - reclaimed and planted new
With seedlings young and frail.
Nature has claimed back her own.
Alas, man?s puny efforts fail
Erosion will prevail.
But, nature?s built an ingenious dam
As only nature can
And quietly laughing up her sleeve
At so clever man.
She?s mustered all her fallen leaves
With wind at her command
And arranged them all like soldiers
In a most strategic row
And thro? this decaying barricade
She controlled the water?s flow.
When winter rains and wind abate
The basin will recall the lake,
She will relinquish field and shore
Returning it to man once more
Leaving - chaos in her wake.
He will come back, with tools in hand
And begin again to reclaim the land.
He?ll plant and sow and watch it grow
With the yet unborn in mind.
Conserve, preserve this patch of earth
For them one day to find.
Spring in Buttermere
© Elizabeth Anderson 1978
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