Friday, 8 January 2016

First mystery pic of 2016

 What are we looking at?  Some of you were pretty close - it is in fact the wallow of a wild boar!

On a wonderfully wild December day we ventured into the fantastic Forest of Dean and found signs and great hoof tracks and wallows scattered everywhere. Most of the wallows were centered on an old stump or root so they must like to have a bit of a scratch. In the thicker parts of the forest it felt like at any second we might have stumbled on a herd of ten or more wild boar giving me a feeling of something quite primeval, timeless even. And this subtle sense of timelessness opened up a shift in my perception, in my consciousness of the forest: for the forest was now no longer a plaything, it was something far larger than my understanding, an entity to be enveloped in, where I began to search all around me, alert for flickers of movement in my peripheral vision, watching for the watchers of old.

Ivy-clad trunk with a wallow at it's base.

Looking into the forest


Another place, another forest, Newfoundland and an encounter several years ago



Eventide gushes in dark as blankets of squid ink.
Now they are stirring,
legs unfolding, joint after joint,
mounds rising from the earth,
great forms that move and breathe:
breathing, breathing.

Their bodies drift upwards, now held aloft in the thick evening fug,
long legs so thin they seem inconsequential,
moss and needles dripping into slots:
each new-pressed slot filling with a dark water that oozes quietly in.

Forty-five yards away my eyes are two small moons,
a great breath is captive within me
and my heart is thumping out the rhythm I’m tree, I’m tree loud enough to convince myself, almost and yet,
I am of moss and mud and air
and only wish I was of antler and bone and tree.

Within that vast cloak of spruce who’s edges are frayed and worn
they stir, they are restless
they appear and disappear at will and not of my choosing
I watch as the slow drift of a moose passes and is no more.

Within that vast cloak of spruce who’s edges are frayed and worn
they are like ideas, hundreds thick
rustling across the threshold of my understanding.