Tokens

Trying to grasp a single shell,
Seaweed fronds, to secure the moment
To avoid the flight of time
Stores both infinite joy and sorrow
As if whistling alone in dark woods

But the splendour of the sea alone
Can never prove memory enough
To return the warmth of the day
We shared, hand in hand, and
Of you in the Winter sunlight

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Birdsong in the Early Morning

The early morning sun reaches down
And touches the few leaves that stay
It shines as if it doesn’t know us at all
Then a small bird sings clearly
Far away in the morning hush
And I know you hear it too

Whether or not anyone else hears
Doesn’t matter.  We hear.
We are here.  It sounds our hopes
Our dreams.  Such as they can be.
Invisible to others, real to us
We wait the birdsong to begin again

The Dryad and The Sea

There was once a Dryad sprite, gentle, kind and dressed all in leafy green, who lived in an ancient wood on a hill.  Below the hill stretched a sea shore, long and sandy, where she liked to gather sea-shells to make her woodland glade even more beautiful.

She loved most of all though, listening to the song of the waves as they kissed the shore and drew back with a long sigh.  She would walk the shore on moonlit nights looking at the stars and listening to the waves, and collecting shells.

The Sea saw her strolling by and all at once fell in love with her radiant beauty.  He guided her into the surf where in the moonlight her leafy garments shimmered with a silvery glow.  The Sea caressed her gently with warm waves and drew her closer to him.  Before she knew her silvern leaves shimmered an iridescent blue and turned to scales and she found herself swimming along with The Sea, her mermaid’s tail delighting her as she sped through the waves.

For many nights she swam, caressed and loved by The Sea for she had his heart, and he treasured his beautiful mermaid.  But then one day she realised that she missed her woods with all their changing seasons and she knew Spring was nearly here.  One moonless night while The Sea slumbered she came to the shallows, her scales faded and she stepped ashore and walked back to her woodland glade.

The Sea awoke and knew at once that she had gone.  In a heart-broken rage he thundered and crashed against the shore, pounding the sand and stones and calling for her.  But she was deep in the woodland and didn’t hear his cry.    The Sea returned again and again but she was never there.   Many days passed and at last the hot Summer sun beat down and carried The Sea’s tears up into the skies where they joined as clouds and moved across the land.

Passing over the wood they began to fall as silent Summer rain, splashing down and giving the leaves a shiny coating.  The Dryad felt the tears and knew where they were from.  She realised she missed her gentle lover with his strong arms and soft kisses.  That night when the full moon shone she returned to the softly calling Sea and they became as one.  From that day on, whenever the full moon shines, the woods lose their elfin sprite and The Sea holds his Mermaid love in his arms once more.

Wishing at Christmas

Though I’d so like to have you here in my arms

At this time of year with love all around

It’s foolish to think to add even more

With a lovely new baby all safe and sound

I thought of your voice, then sat back and smiled

At the beautiful emptiness of what I was wishing

The true gift of love is to see what you have

And not think a moment of what you are missing

Star Gazing

I look up into the clear night sky
Hoping to see you amongst unmoving stars
The Plough just above the horizon
Pointing up from Major to Minor
And then Polaris to guide you home
Safely past the Dragon of the firmament
Draco, with his flaming tail; with Orion
As your guardian, with belt and shining sword
Do you fly as Pegasus?  Alpheratz so proudly
Winged with silver mane untamed
But no.  You are Virgo, Demeter’s child
We do not see you ’til the Spring returns
East in the late evening, Corvus as your guide
Your feet on the horizon, bounty still in hand
I still wait, I still gaze, I still miss you so

Companions

DSCF0389
 
When we first saw her
As still as the willow
She watched the bright water
Making songs o’er the stones
 
 
Then she was off, a small
Brown fletched arrow
Skimming the water
And darting away
 
 
But she returned
Patiently waiting
Til sighting more fish
Sped her rapid wings
 
 
We silently watched her
Over the stream
Our own tiny huntress
Our Alcyon Artemis
 
 
At one with the river
As we were for those days
The silent companion
Who shared our retreat

L’ Ombra Della Sera – The Shadow of The Night

A man of the shadows

I liked to walk the streets by night. My only companions rats and cats. They shared my grey visage, my silent movements, my unseen observations of The Folk. The Folk, those clumsy noisy prattling herds whose lives are only half lived, I despaired of them then. I despair of them now.

Where are My People now? Lost and gone. We once held sway over great dominions, our words, our very thoughts, were sought out and taken heed of. Not now. Not for a very long time, even in my reckoning of time.

We were as ancient as the stars. Our path had always been enlightenment, to guide the spirit along its path, to bring the knowledge of the Way to all who would hear. We previously lived within the forests, spirits to all who would see. We tended our duties and gave succour to all. Animals, plants, birds of every variety were guided and lived out their days according to their nature.

It started in the Time of Man. Man appeared. At first a tremulous, pale and timid creature, though curious and questing. They soon began to develop their own communities, at first small and held together for common good, but later the first signs of their malignant curse began to show. Unnatural we thought them then, and feared they would destroy themselves with their greed. We little thought that their way would be to destroy all else before themselves.

Some Folk of course would be guided, all unknowing, and seek the Light, explaining the wonders with their halting words and bringing others to the Way. But many saw the path as just another means to power over their brethren, corrupting goodness into vice, and giving preference to those who shared their views. Great Empires and great Religions rose and fell, each containing within itself the seeds of its own destruction, but another and another soon arose. The virtues of Folk were in their indomitable spirit, their refusal to be diminished despite the awful conditions that were imposed or visited upon them. This grace alone commended them to My People and we continued to guide them where we could or when they would hear us.

All too soon though they began to seek further shores and even to subjugate others of their own kind. Oh, they made justifications for all their actions. This man was less than me because of his belief, this other because of his colour, and another because his simplicity enabled me to enslave him.

They were unable to see that often those subjects contained within them the very path they should have followed. And worse still many subjects when freed from tyranny sought themselves to enslave others as if they had no knowledge of injustice in their hearts. These truths confounded us.

This is when My People began to fade away. The shining spirits diminished along with the Rise of the Folk. Their greed for riches beyond what they needed for a good life started to destroy the very fabric of the world. A darkness began to spread along with every tree that died, with every animal lost, with every plant that flowered no more. Our forests declined, burned not by Nature’s fires but by The Folk. Or torn up by the roots and discarded. We found that where ever The Folk spread their ways nature suffered.

At first the bounty of the Earth could contain all that was asked of it. It had after all lived many millennia and held within it all the treasures of the ages. Eventually though it started to become too great a burden. Minerals laid down were ripped from the earth and crafted into machines of destruction. The Folk outdid the worst of Nature’s disasters and if along the way others of their kind perished they took no heed. The very children became sick and ill and still they did not see the error of their ways.

Because of this My People lost heart. The shadows lengthened. If few believe then Truth dies. If no one listens the sounds become stilled. If no one sees the Light becomes lessened. The guiding spirits of woodland and glade were there no more. My People were lost. I alone now remain amongst The Folk, unheeded and unheard except by a few.

Yes a few enlightened Folk have raised their voices against the Greed. But too few and too late I fear. I say to the few that remain to hear, “Whatever Path you choose to walk, let me be the light that will light your way. Wayfarer that you are, You must fare well along the way with Love and Joy, to be kneaded to be fit for the Divine.”

My words may still be heard. My spirit still is there to guide you. My Light though is sadly dimmed.

Beware. I walk amongst you still but I have become The Shadow of The Night.