The Impossibility of Worthington Lakes
Let’s say I was there.
In a hotel near three reservoirs for Wigan.
Let’s say I slipped out back on an unexpected walk,
on a circular path, where all I saw were
three men – two old, one young (ish).
Walking widdershins, counter to my clockwise,
just them and the grey heron, winging twice,
some ducks, some trees, the lakes themselves.
And that’s your lot, a shallow topography of a place not mine.
But then, that’s not exactly true, not really,
they’re my selective highlights – flâneur flannel.
There’s all that other out there, the
unobserved, the edited, all those outfall pipes,
fallen apples, mulching leaves unnoted.
Decanopied Sycamore, Beech and Ash,
a million drop outs,
with a tumbled hissof water running off.
Draining ditches edging fields,
lost things, unseen microbes,
signs warning not to fish or swim
Beneath deep water,
discarded drinking flask,
leaking plastic bag, emptied can and carton.
Too much to calculate,
too much to fix
on a speculative jaunt
around a reservoir in Standish.
Still they come: Bramble,
A choice of path,
A noticeboard spells history
Iron fences, worming pipes, buried then emerging,
the industrial architecture of 19th century water,
jumbled rocks – not your stepping stones.
Ferns, a golf course, a folly and in Arley Woods,
the wrinkled skins of November oaks
accompany a fingerpost to somewhere Off.
Red Rocks, the lake or the Leeds Liverpool canal.
You makes your choice, on dark afternoons like these.
Not to mention the rot, the damp, the wind, the light.
The inability to detail the details,
in a snapshot of partial remembrance,
in a place unknown.
Here is the impossibility of everything.
Here is Worthington Lakes,