In the depths of night the sky is sulky
walkers set out for the brow of the hill.
Around British Camp and down, down Shire Ditch,
where ill-willed faeries live love fly and dance.
They avoid Waum’s Cave for fear of the witch,
who lives alone, low deep down in the dell.
A crossroads appears, with pointing way stones,
to north, to south they direct the unwary.
No one can vouchsafe their accuracy,
no one knows it will pay to be chary.
The ill-willed fae move the markers so the
wenders’ and walkers’ strong boots go astray.
The witch steps on twigs and rattles old leaves
and the sky darkens more, charcoals to grey,
turns to pitch black and torch batt’ries are flat,
the walkers now feeling, stealing their way
over hillocks and humps, bracken and bumps,
in the depths of the night at the end of the day.
Polly Stretton © 2013
I’m linking this poem to dVerse Poets OpenLinkNight. Please join us.
29/01/2013 at 19:18
This is so vivid. I love it when you write about the fae.
29/01/2013 at 19:59
Thanks Susan, the more I write about them the more I want to write about them! I find them quite addictive 🙂
29/01/2013 at 20:06
What you come up with is addictive reading too!
29/01/2013 at 20:16
What a cool thing to say … thanks Susan
29/01/2013 at 19:20
A very enjoyable story. I like the tales of mystery and the unknown. Thank you.
29/01/2013 at 20:01
Ooh, thanks John, nice to see your views 🙂
29/01/2013 at 19:29
You can never trust the fae. They’re always trying to deceive!
29/01/2013 at 20:02
Well, Joe, with what you’ve told me about the little critters … that’s true for sure! 🙂
29/01/2013 at 19:49
Very clever – I have been on some night walks – a bit hairy! k
29/01/2013 at 20:02
You’re right k. Night walks are spooky 🙂
29/01/2013 at 21:41
I like this a lot Polly; particularly your use of local Lore.
29/01/2013 at 21:56
mmm … good of you to say so Mikel 🙂
29/01/2013 at 21:44
nice…love what you do with the rhymes …The witch steps on twigs and rattles old leaves…enjoying the sounds and feel on the tongue when read out loud…nice…and yeah..the fairies…sigh…smiles
29/01/2013 at 21:58
I think poetry has to be read aloud to be meaningful … unless it’s a poem that really needs only one audience …
Thanks for your thoughts, Claudia 🙂
29/01/2013 at 22:06
i rather like night walks…there is an element that is def not there during hte day and our senses are heightened to all going on around us…unfortunately so is our imagination as well…smiles…def a nice sound within your own words tonight….
29/01/2013 at 22:12
One night, many years ago, a young mum and her boys scrambled up the side of The Beacon to see the Queen’s Jubilee bonfire ~ it was spooky, frightening, the young mum was scared but couldn’t show the boys … yes, Brian, senses and imagination are heightened …
Good to see you like the sound of my words tonight 🙂
29/01/2013 at 22:13
You set the scene quite well with the ominous tone.
29/01/2013 at 22:16
An interesting comment, Laurie … thanks for visiting 🙂
29/01/2013 at 22:23
I enjoyed this, Polly. I remember mistiming things on a mountain in Snowdonia once and having to come down in the dark – so scary! Thir poem evokes that feeling. But ‘my’ fear was more physical – a broken ankle, where on earth was I putting my foot?, the sound of rushing water close by and not able to see it – and definitely not fairies/fae. Interesting.
29/01/2013 at 22:26
mmmm … the prosaic becomes something different in a poem, perhaps? 🙂
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments Lindsay.
29/01/2013 at 22:44
I particularly like the “sulky” sky in this one Polly. It’s a wonderful description and I knew at once exactly what you meant.
30/01/2013 at 01:57
Ha! It works for me, too! Thanks for that, Holly ~ glad you picked up on it 🙂
29/01/2013 at 23:01
I too love the sounds when reading aloud…
30/01/2013 at 02:00
Hearing aloud is the acid test for a poem ~ glad you enjoyed it.
Thanks for visiting and for your comment.
30/01/2013 at 04:06
Love the names of the places…Shire Ditch, cool… and the magic of witches and faeries. A totally entertaining write, Polly. I can almost see them outside now under the light of the moon…
30/01/2013 at 07:37
The Malvern Hills are wonderful to write about, Gayle. Shire Ditch inspired Tokien, he uses the name in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings ~ cool ‘eh?
Nice to see you so enjoyed it ~ lovely that you can see them all 🙂
30/01/2013 at 08:33
Polly, there was so much to “see” in this poem. The night brings a heightening of other senses. Didn’t know about the Tolkien history, which makes it all the better. I swear I could see it all and hear it in my mind. BRAVA! Amy
30/01/2013 at 08:49
There is def something creepy about walking the wilds at night … makes the mind boggle.
Cool that you could see and hear it in your mind ~ thanks for comments Amy 🙂
30/01/2013 at 12:27
Nice! This wonderfully vivid! I felt I was there!
30/01/2013 at 12:41
Ha! One day when you’re in the UK, we’ll take you for the walk Charles 🙂
30/01/2013 at 13:15
30/01/2013 at 13:01
I loved the magical/ mystical feeling of your poem. You wrote the scene so well it (almost) seemed real!
30/01/2013 at 13:02
Mary! It may well be real!
Thank you for visiting 🙂
30/01/2013 at 16:29
You are a fantastic story teller, Polly — I am wrapped into the place with you. The woods of northwest Us where I haunt feels young when I read this. Not as many faeries and I have not yet seen a dragon here.
30/01/2013 at 16:35
Ha! Keep looking for the dragons Jane ~ they’re there somewhere 🙂
Thank you for your kind comments.
31/01/2013 at 10:11
Reblogged this on poetry, photos and musings oh my! and commented:
Magic is in the air!
31/01/2013 at 14:25
Thanks for the reblog 🙂
31/01/2013 at 20:15
31/01/2013 at 10:16
I loved, loved, loved it! It has been forwarded to a who walks with the faeries and of course I re-blogged it. Hope you don’t mind? 🙂
31/01/2013 at 14:25
Glad you liked it so much Lea ~ nice to see it reblogged 🙂
01/02/2013 at 05:47
Nicely rhymed and a wonderful touch with faeries, fae, and wenders.
01/02/2013 at 07:30
There’s a whole world of fae where we live, Jamie, and The Malverns are but eight miles away. I was brought up in Malvern. My mother took us walking on them frequently and told tales of Giant’s (Waum’s) Cave. It was later that I started to learn more about their history, but to me, never mind the facts let’s go for the fae 🙂
Thank you for your comments, the Old English words are faves 🙂
01/02/2013 at 07:34
That appeals to me too; but, you have given me another research project – a thing that I love.
Thanks, Polly! 🙂
01/02/2013 at 07:36
Ha! I thought you were a gal after me own heart! You find out a little and want to know more ~ the internet is a wonderful research tool for peeps like us 🙂
07/02/2013 at 15:39
08/02/2013 at 09:47
Thanks Wendy ~ glad you enjoyed Night Walk 🙂