Hot on the tail of that wily, elusive beast
named ‘inspiration’, I travelled north.
North, where colours mute
and transformative shadow
bends in darklight,
revealing the world as it really is,
as it once was.
Hundreds of years pass,
rolling back time, boiling clouds
rushing over peaks in reverse,
a tiny tornado ***** in on itself,
and hundreds become thousands.
Rain blackens the babies of volcanoes,
engorges forces with greater purpose
and cleanses every shred of vision
from my grasping, desperate mind.
Thousands become millions
And I am stripped of incentive to try.
There is no ruination, here.
No furious nor frantic need
to imagine past lives
in this manicured, managed place.
High-vis’d toilers scuttle on mountainsides
carefully placing and re-placing rocks,
funnelling feet and discovery
on a prescribed and sensible path.
Only the rain
wreathing a secretive misted ribbon,
creeping in glacial cut-throughs,
is possessed of fanciful virtue.
Nothing shatters but the slate
and the landscape does not turn inward
to eat itself
in gnawing, atavistic need.
It says more about me,
than it does of the Lake District
that I would wrench out and offer
my super-heated heart
to see the mountains fall.
I know the Lake District attracts millions of visitors every year who gasp of how beautiful it is, but beauty is subjective, after all, and I simply found it too clean and almost Disney-fied in its smug majesty.
I need desolation, an unsettling sense of melancholia, and to see the broken bones of a place, jutting sadly through the earth, before I proclaim it 'beautiful'.