The City Of Resurrections
Every night for two weeks I have walked the same lane.
I have walked every evening and cut across a particular field.
I find that when I walk there my eye is always drawn,
it is always drawn to the same small patch of trees
beneath which I know can be found prehistoric earthworks.
Flowers grow in the hedges – wild daisies with giant blooms
and wood hyacinth with purple petals that blow their scent
on evening walks as I descend down into the woods.
On the air I could hear a finch’s song and saw a falcon
hover out across the field where I walked.
I could see it all and I had a thought, an idea that
often occurred to me as I walked.
As I brushed past the harebells and turned down through
the field I saw the copse of trees sitting perfectly still as a
manor house may do on a hill. It was just before sunset
and the odd thought occurred to me in the salmon light
of the clouds how strange it looked, how enchanted but
ordinary it made me feel – I felt these things as I strode
to it. I paused as I looked and listened to a stream
of starlings shivering overhead and found the woods
beckoning me, I felt sure of this as I stood. I often thought
that down there dancing bogles and bogies could be seen.
Caught out as I was, with the fading light casting
mysterious shadows, I looked to its edge but saw nothing,
so I pushed aside tall grasses to continue on my way; sure it
was all so ordinary but still aware of how certain I was
that in these trees amid the roots and fallen branches,
down Bronze Age gullies could be found faeries dancing
around buttercups and bluebells. Down there, beneath
branches of hazel and chestnut, I hardly needed to tell myself
what I would find and so I determined to watch them, to spy
and lie among the ferns as they marched across this
idyllic scene and the petalled field.
I was not too far away from the trees and approached
in the lee of a farmer’s hedge along the length of a fallow field,
and then I froze because I thought I saw a movement. No.
There was nothing. It had gone. And then again! I saw
there, coming out of my woods a small form, skipping along.
I knelt and hid and hoped to watch and then, as it came
closer I saw: a small boy, a young lad from the estate.
I stood up and waved over to him to ask a question,
‘Will I see faeries dance in the woods tonight?’ I said so plainly.
‘Faeries dance in the woods?!’ he answered surprised. I told
him how I hoped I would find them there.
‘No,’ he said and pointed off across the field.
‘Over there is where you’ll see them tonight.’