Walking through the dark trees,
My steps sending little puffs of dust
Over the small curling ferns crouching.
The faint shine of a white petal
Breaks through the intense darkness,
Until a sudden throw of moonlight
Brings the pale anemones,
The golden celandine,
Into perfect life on the woodland floor.
I hear the soft shuffling of birds in their nests,
Heads tucked under their wings,
Then the tiny bubbling of water running
Down the little, half-hidden stream,
Throwing the odd diamond drop
Onto the yellow primrose.
Here, small brown creatures
Slip in and out of the freezing water,
Icy, from the still snow laden hills so faraway
This wood never thinks of them.
Nor do we, until, we, too, are frozen.
Out of the trees, onto the edge of the fields
That stretch into the darkness,
The small growings rustling an excited invitation
To walk the night
Over ploughed earth and stony frost sparkling
To the far wood, which magic is held to own.
But I turn back, not ready to meet a veiled magician
Of spite, dead things and stagnant water.
And the trees swallow me
As a shadow is swallowed by darkness.
Now the wood shakes itself,
The trees whispering of this returned presence
Walking their quiet and mossy paths.
And I turn for home,
To the lovely fragrance of wild roses
In the hedgerows.
© Gwen Grant