At Douk Ghyll Cave
I have returned and shall return again,
Summoned by whispering waters to the door
In Penyghent-side whence Douk Ghyll is born.
Hundreds of million years peine forte et dure
Have pressed to crush the life from solid seas –
Still living water flows out, cold and clear.
It trickles from the limestone layers that squeeze
Out of their own dead hearts the elixir
That smears them green. The muttering water flows
Under and over stones, through grassy hair,
Stitching together our green world, its thread
Appears and vanishes to reappear,
Shuttling in this secret weaving shed
Where life is spun from stone, and waterfalls
Unravel pools, and comb and card the flood.
This is the source, enfolded by rock walls,
Where trees gather like old wives at a birth,
Of consciousness itself, the voice that calls —
‘Though made of stone and rain I’m more than earth’.
– originally published by Peterloo Poets