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All images and text on this site (c) M. Maiden 2006 - 2018

 

Spirits of the ancient wildwood, the undisturbed primordial forest, anthropomorphisms of the life force within nature.

 

In ancient Greek myth the Dryads were female spirits of Oak Trees.

 

Nature Spirits II: Of the Wildwood

 

Crossing the Water

 

We descend the valley

To the cold stream

Meandering

The cool green glade

With damp mud banks

And smooth river stones

 

Exploring, we meet

An ancient hawthorn

Moss crowned

Roots twisting

Down to the streambed

Suggesting a crossing

 

Behind us, the familiar

Our kin, our home, our hearth

Ahead, over the stream

A secret path, a crooked gate

Into the wildwood

The mystery of wilderness calls

 

Crossing the water

We enter an otherworld

Up the rugged bank

Feet stumbling on marshy tufts

Crimson skirts lifted

We follow the narrow path

 

Into the leafy passage

The setting sun glints

Through tree form silhouettes

Dark against the sky

Lichen encrusted gnarly boughs

Impose upon our way

 

As thorns scratch and hook

Our unbound hair

We push onward

Bare arms raised high

Through seas of nettles

Spiteful and lush

 

Until we meet

The Lady Elder

Silent witch in the gloaming

Sweet scented flowers

Haunting the air

Eerie bright in the fading light

 

Then perception shifts

For a moment we glimpse

A face of leaves

Old as time

Eldritch and curious

Primeval forest sentinel

 

Then she is gone

It’s only us here

At the paths end

With evening encroaching

Its time to go back

Through the tangled wildwood

 

Back to our kin, our home, our hearth…

 

 

 

(c) Michelle Maiden, 28th June 2015. Poem inspired by a walk in the wildwood with a friend, weaving together the actual experience and imagination…