When it’s wet in Grisedale, the water flows
in torrents down the fellsides,
silvery white slashes on the rocks,
glimpsed through the grey sheets of rain,
travelling horizontally with the wind;
bogs overflowing, paths become streams.
And I? I am not just an observer here:
I am wetness too, rain gear soaked,
feet squelching in boots,
boots splashing in water,
sweating from my walking,
water dripping off my bare hands,
the world seen blurrily through
smeared droplets on my glasses.
At Ruthwaite I share in silence the shelter of a wall
with a father and his adolescent son;
as they move to leave, they pause briefly
while the son, awkward, gangling, shy,
wrings the water from his gloves,
his father standing by, a loving presence.
I share the brief intimacy of this moment,
and when they are gone,
his simple dignity, his beauty waiting to be released,
the potential of our young men,
which we try and nurture within this difficult world
floods me with feeling unexpectedly,
and small drops of water emerge from my eyes.