Nature

Lakes Ignite: Seven Nocturnal Rainbows

Seven Nocturnal Rainbows by Charles Monkhouse, on Coniston Water, part of Lakes Ignite 2016

Have you ever seen a night rainbow? The Lake District recently created one, or in fact seven. Seven Nocturnal Rainbows for the English Lakes, a temporary light installation by artist Charles Monkhouse, draws its inspiration from Turner’s landscape painting of ‘A Shower’ – Buttermere.

I watched the artwork come to life on the launch night from Coniston, where opposite Ruskin’s former home of Brantwood, the surface of Coniston Water produced a floating spectrum of colour and light. (Ullswater and Grasmere are also hosts to the installation-part of Lakes Ignite 2016 – a celebration of Cumbrian culture.)

After the recent flooding in The Lake District it was a poignant, joyful moment to see this symbol of hope appear. It brought together my Lakeland community, battered and bruised by the forces of water, yet still ready to celebrate its beauty and energy. And it made me feel proud.

Tonight the Lakes Ignite

Tonight we ignite a rainbow.
The impossible stuff of dreams.
While children drift off to sleep
unicorns hover, fairies flitter,
princesses peer from puffs of glitter
all crowding in above the deep.

Tonight we ignite a rainbow.
Spirits shift, lift and shake away
the stale clay fingers of the grave.
Whispers of beloved wordsmiths
and snippets of local critics
jostle on the ripple of a wave.

Tonight we ignite a rainbow
that grows from a pale red spark.
Even colossal Old Man’s tears,
trickling down from snow capped crown,
can’t dim this glow or bring us down
as darkness creeps and swells and nears.

Tonight we ignite a rainbow.
The soft brush strokes of Turner
and his enduring Lakeland ‘Shower’
paint layers of light against the boat
create a shadow where it floats,
a contemporary watercolour.

Tonight we ignite a rainbow
a reflection and refraction
of the power of Lakeland rain.
After loss and devastation;
celebration in a spectrum
that will make us whole again.

Tonight we ignite a rainbow
sparked by fishermen of light
a work of art that can’t be sold
contained, constrained or even held
but delivering in diminished sight
the hope of a pot of gold.

Tonight the Lakes Ignite.

 

‘Tonight we ignite a Rainbow’ video poem

Check out my video poem of Seven Nocturnal Rainbows.

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the creative force and chief poet in residence of poetinmotion.org She is available for residencies, as a conference poet and wedding poet. She is also co-founder of The Family Adventure Project and a regular contributor to many online travel communities.

About Author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the creative force and chief poet in residence of poetinmotion.org She is available for residencies, as a conference poet and wedding poet. She is also co-founder of The Family Adventure Project and a regular contributor to many online travel communities.

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