Tag Archives: eerie

Wolf

The other side of the story…

Are you frightened? You do not need to fear me – I will not harm you. Well… not unless you give me reason to. Threaten my family, my pack and I will not be held responsible for my actions. Otherwise you go about your business and I go about mine. Mutual respect.

“But…”

You don’t say it but I see the question in your eyes. The things you’ve heard about wolves. The stories that are told about us following people, misleading people, carrying them off and tearing them limb from limb. Tricksy, nefarious, dangerous wolves.

You shouldn’t believe everything you hear. I did not eat the grandmother or destroy the houses of the little pigs. As for the girl in the red cloak… I did not lure her from the path. She sought me out. She wanted things she could not have.  She is dangerous, that one, a wild, dark spirit that should never have been contained in human form. But she wanted what she wanted and when I could not give it she wreaked vengeance not just on me but on my whole bloodline. Words have power you know. A rumour here, a story there, a pretty young girl with a sad face and a knife covered in her grandmother’s blood well hidden in her basket… no wonder the woodcutter was taken in. And the huntsman and the villagers and so many people since. Including you, it would seem.

What did she want, you ask? My skin. Not just to wear it, but to inhabit it. She wanted to oust me from my own body, to use it at will, become a shape shifter. She thought I had the power to make it so, that I would capitulate for one so young and pure and beautiful. But I cannot perform sorcery. I am just a wolf. A talking wolf, you make a fair point, but a wolf nonetheless. There are far stranger things than me in this forest. And even if I could, I am too fond of my own skin to give it up. So I snapped and snarled and eventually ran, her promise ringing in my ears. That I would regret my choice. That my skin would be difficult to live in for ever more. And her lies have made it so. I am maligned, hated and hunted along with the rest of my kin.

You have heard of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. The irony! The girl, the innocent, who wanted to wear a wolf, just because she desired more power, more control than her looks and her wiles gave her. What big eyes she has. All the better to see you with. What a lovely smile she has. All the better to lure you with. What a sweet voice she has. All the better to fool you with. What a black heart she has. All the better to break you with. It’s her you should run from, not me. She still roams these woods so be sure not to stray from the path…

Corvidae

Late spring and the crows are stark against the pale sky. They skim the church and oak, chasing each other with harsh throated cries and stealing morsels from the ground. I am glad to see them. I thought they had forsaken us, the bell tower and me.

 

crows flying

 

Every year they build their nests up there above the bells and compose a discordant summer symphony as their hatchlings grow. Calls, old to young, young to old, a different peal, corvid campanology. The cycle completes as the fledglings fly, still babies but with ancient knowing in their eyes.

 

 

 

 

Gothic Nightmare

It’s National Poetry Day, so here’s a little offering from me. Sweet dreams!

 

The castle scowled on the hill,

Towers and turrets silhouetted by

Shards of lightning and a clouded moon.

Storm thickened darkness hung heavy,

Dragging on each fearful breath.

I followed the twisting path,

On and on, up and up,

Feet drawn by some other force.

Around me, the forest sighed, shifting,

Creeping closer,

Tired of waiting,

Hungry.

castle door

Photo by Judhi Prasetyo

 The castle waited, baited, dared,

Rain poured in torrents from rips in the sky,

Smoothed the stones but could not wash them clean.

Faint ghost glimmer in the windows

A sorry echo of light.

Fear choked, I tried to turn and run

But my feet betrayed me.

The arched door, old wood, rusting hinges,

One side open, as though I was expected.

I could feel it,

In the shadows,

Starving.

The apple tree and the fairy ring

Apple tree with daisies

The Apple Tree

At the end of the garden is an old apple tree, sacred as all apple trees are. Trunk straight and weather worn, branches reaching in one of nature’s perfect imperfect circles, lichen gilding the bark like silver moss. Now she has her green skirts on but soon they will become a rich array of pinks as the blossom opens. The bees will be happy when that happens. They will rest gently and drink from the tiny cups, loading up with gold before they move on, slow and drunken with sunshine.

Beneath the tree and in the grassy space beyond, the faeries have been dancing secretly, late at night with only the moon to watch them. I know this because everywhere their feet have touched they have left their own tiny stars behind, like glitter in the grass. Except… we humans don’t see those stars in their true form. They look like daisies to us.

Bluebells

Bluebells among trees

Photo by Derek Harper

It’s that time of year when a purple mist appears in the woods and the banks, low over the grass and eerie in the twilight. The bluebells are ringing to call a faerie convention. Listen hard for it’s not easy to hear them. Still, they might raise goose bumps as you pass and somewhere inside, you may feel an echo of the chimes. The colour glows, broken by little luminous white stars and pink shocks of campion. Sit and watch the bells dance in the breeze but if they grow around oak trees be wary of the Oak Men, the protectors and inhabitants of the oak, who are none to fond of humans and their propensity to cut down trees with no justifiable reasons.