It is no coincidence that people living in Scandinavian countries like Iceland believe in elves and magic. The limited daylight, the shapes in the rock, the silence and solitude all stimulate the imagination. A walk in Cumbria can be a similarly magical experience, if you can clear your mind of the practicalities of life, and open yourself to the atmosphere and the stillness. And you may soon find you have unexpected company on the hills.
The ice queen we all thought was slain
is merely sleeping. See the spindle spinster’s
eyelids flicker as she dreams of ice tower
with pin prick tip. Under bright moon’s grip
view the frustrated daughters caught in sandstone,
forever poised to leap and dance again.
And look at Long Meg, standing alone.
Trapped by folk tale, locked into legend.
Immortalised by lyric and suggestion
this giantess, listening for a beat
of a cold and lifeless heart of stone.
Watch them all hold their breath,
waiting, always waiting for true love’s kiss,
in an empty promise carried on the wind
and a weak beam of tomorrow’s sun.