Loch Coruisk, by Caroline Heaton

Second prize in our 2022 Open Competition was awarded to Caroline Heaton.

Loch Coruisk

The legends hang a variable pall:
flung peat-broth from a witch’s cauldron
or hollow carved from the black crags
by a giant’s furiously hurled boulder,
haar simmering above the water,
which whispers, sings you forward
to test your mettle on the shifting
slippery scree, till ripples clasp an ankle,
instruct you deeper in. Now shed
your many borrowed skins, let water
ring your limbs, inch by silken inch
initiate of the depths and inky chill.
Each slow stroke through cloud-reflecting currents
translates you and a rising wind urges: Begin.

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