The Lake at Hollybush, Evening

As days shorten, when dusk drops leaden
always unforeseen, unwanted
but punctual, a dedicated gaoler
the mind, thus confined, is drawn
to tracing tracks of memory, old paths
followed with an index finger.

Often, thoughts fix on a place
where it is still summer; on many-hued
evenings exploring the sodden frontier
the debated province between wood and lake
on a favoured spot for the evening rise
where quiet plashes announce
the trout’s harvest of the damsel fly.

In the dimness of the abandoned boathouse
crawling a neglected punt’s rotting bilges
looking down, the gaze alights on a gem
vivid, suspended in tenebrous, aqueous limbo
alchemical flux of malachite and turquoise
a teal drake, constricted by the pitiless clamp
of a skulking pike, then discarded.

The prospector dips an arm shoulder-deep
recovers the dripping remains and
saves an iridescent pin feather, hoards it
in a bedroom cache, waiting for the time
when it will take up its place in the band
of a keen adolescent’s first fishing hat.

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11 thoughts on “The Lake at Hollybush, Evening

    1. The countryside up there (I’m assuming you mean Newcastle-upon-Tyne) is a delight. Follow the Tyne upriver to Corbridge and you’ll find one of the loveliest villages in England.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a beautiful word-picture you have painted here, with feeling and memory to make it all the more vivid. I love that first stanza, especially the use of “gaoler,” and I also like that you brought it all deeper with the link to the future adolescent. Poignant.

    Like

  2. JB. Ohmy. This poem is stubbornly making and making its point unworried about whether it is universal because it is true. It is natural. So I feel it more than get it. Lovely.

    Like

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