This is the first that has resonated in a more personal manner, evoking very specific memories because Keswick was a favourite haunt for many years. My unexpected response reminded of the subject of 'photo-elicitation' that I researched whilst studying for my post-grad diploma in Advanced Practice during my nursing career some years ago.
Of course in the absence of pathological memory loss it would be pretty much expected that a variety of things would evoke personal memories but I was surprised that simply viewing (someone who is effectively) a stranger's photograph immediately transported me back to the minutiae of actual conversations and experiences that I hadn't even thought about for years. This is the poem that I wrote in response to 'Derwent'.
Catbells and Iced cakes.
Catbells, Claire said. Easy. A little hill - a stroll.
We saw she’d lied again
as it rolled above us like a cliff face.
We five try our best to pace ourselves, but still,
half way up we need to rest.
Tess wants those things that climbers use,
-Tampons she says.
Crampons tuts Claire.
and laugh some more.
We laughed a lot then.
We’re scrabbling near the top on hands and knees
when Swiss family Robinson catch us
and pass us,
And eight year old Henry in Meindls
skips by, carrying his compass,
the weight of his rucksack surely double
that of ours.
Wordless and breathless
we begin to giggle
Purple faced schoolgirls with crow’s feet.
Along the ridge we stop.
on top of the world.
We sit there on black plastic bin bags
sipping hot coffee
in cold, cold air.
Sharing French Fancies
my friends gently mock me
for bringing Mr Kipling’s to Keswick.
Time passes, tides turn.
Laughter seems less these days.
And way down here
at sea level,
your Derwent shines from my screen,
and carries me back
in cold,cold air.