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‘This stinking water contains everything it needs…Aqua est, quae occidit
et vivificat – the water is that which kills and vivifies.’ Jung CW 16, para 454
Facing the flow
we wriggled and followed
the path upstream,
coigned in its armbends, whinsill, lime,
humped heather, deer grass,
to the hidden place
where rain is held,
where it holds the moss,
where it smashes the peat, where it smooths the tracks,
asphyxiates decay -
76 inches of rain per millimetre.
Say the age of the cow brought rain,
the age of the ram and the fish put life in it,
only now as we carry in our minds
the weight and clarity of our knowledge
we are one with it, in our element,
as the black fig in the Seville waterseller’s glass,
as the frog that sits watching us in the lustral water.
Copyright 2021 Josephine Dickinson
First published in Haggs and High Places by Laura Harrington.
Josephine Dickinson is a poet and shepherd who lives in Alston, England. Her books include Silence Fell (2007).
Cauldron Snout, a stream through the bog country of Moss Flats in the Upper Pennines of Northern England.