A raindrop, unaccountably round,
plunges into Mallerstang;
Eden valley, Victorian dark,
the last great wilderness in England.
People come here briefly;
a monarch, a highwayman,
a thief, an earl, a tramp to see
rivers rise – the Ouse and Eden -
and if this raindrop falls an atom’s width
to the East, it runs to York;
a molecule West, Carlisle.
On and on, the future forks
and this drop will not travel both.
Race into a great valley;
ginger gorse: an undomesticated,
wild, wet second world, happy
when earth and wind decide
what’s right and left, that it’s worth
a surging newborn driving to
a source, a smash, a violent birth.