|Worth stopping for - autumn tints along the Wharfe at Hebden...|
Amazingly, the session that felt easiest was a
|Wet through, but happy.... Theo and me|
|The Ribble in spate,,,but it didn't stop the salmon...|
Among many bits of memorabilia adorning the walls of my study is a framed certificate for achieving 1st place in an Open Poetry competition way back in 1989. It was the centenary year of this prestigious event which made its winning even more memorable. I reckon the adjudicator, a gentleman called Norman Howlings, was likely very pro-Scottish, and most probably a fisherman, which contributed to my success. In fact, I can think of no other reasons! As I read each line I could tell by expressions on his face, and by his audible "Yes" at the final stanza, that the poem had found favour. For what it's worth, here it is:
Late July, the parched hills
|If at first you don't succeed......|
The Sealga burn a cobbled gash
Scarring the strath from An Teallach
Past brooding Shenaval.
Beyond the rowan tree a mossy step
Seeps the last dregs of the last storm,
Damping the scales of a migrant salmon
Stranded, a drip from death.
His red back is all too conspicuous
On the granite pebbles
As he arches and bends,
Thrashes and thrusts,
Eyeballs out and mouth agape,
Striving with resolute fecundity
To gain some high predestined pool.
I can picture him days ago,
This ecstatic rainbow torpedo
Ripping through the flash flood,
Bending against the cataracts,
Then the long grovel
Through receding shallows
To the final emptiness
Of this dank, desolate spot.
Even now he would climb
If he could, his compass set
To seasonal bearings of A to Breed.
No devil-fish could lure him back
To enticing estuary
Or bright, gleaming loch.
He would swim through fire,
He would die for love.
But here on the moor
My cold knife
Grallochs the silken belly
Onto bleached stones.
Let the world mourn
While the king dines.
That's enough of the serious stuff. To end on a much lighter note click on this Fellraiser link for a very amusing video which Fellephant describes as 'an off the wall take on fell running' accompanied by his own music. Some people are very clever!