Caught by the River

Pike Stones

Joe Devlin | 9th October 2018

A short story by Joe Devlin. With illustrations by David Mackintosh.

At the lake edge, two distinct, inky, cruciform shapes perched on neighbouring rocks; both facing the midday sun, drying out after the subaqueous hunt. A deceit of peewits shimmer by overhead >>> >>>and blown tickled ripples move across the expansive surface<<<<<.

In the shade of tree cast shadows on the opposite bank, a motionless, grey figure poised, standing in the shallows, s-bend neck stretched, intent unbroken stare, eyes down, awaiting the prize.

We kick the dust as we walk on the sabulous path that circumnavigates the water, round to join the route out up to the coppice and the Pike stones. The gorse and broom a golden snagged blanket in the luminous afternoon.

Past the low ebon brook and the waterfalls, on towards the bowl barrow, distinguishable in form and colour from the surrounding terrain, an oval mound of fern green, rising up out of the moorland scrub, a tumulus with paths seeming to emit from it, compass points etched into the land. Unbroken views all around.

Grooved rocks, strata within the beds of grit indicate the direction water once flowed through here. In the quarry below, fine layers of silver mica, remnants from the ancient seabed, seem to pulse in the light.

Now on the path to the Nab, the highest point, that once climbed reveals the spectacle of the setting sun over the widespread west.  We amble down in the gloam, through woods that lead out to the moss wetland.  Silhouetted Nightjars silently circle in the dusk.


Content to Gather is the first collaborative project between Joe Devlin and David Mackintosh. It takes the form of a book published by Aye-Aye Books with writing from Devlin, drawings by Mackintosh and an afterword by Martin Holman. Limited to 500 copies. Design by Daren Newman. Priced at £10. Buy a copy here.

Joe & David will be selling their books at the Bound Art Book Fair in Manchester this weekend. More information here.