Walking through the woods at night
the most familiar becomes strange;
favourite trees are looming shapes
with many arms extending long fingers
laying goosebumps on your skin.
Clearings are dark pools
where mis-shapen beasts
of mystic deep abide. Silken cobwebs
become shrouds, cold but barely there.
A shrill shriek chills you to the bone
Or a death-herald banshee?
Bats flying black are shades of otherworld,
vying for your soul.
The path should take you safely through
but it shifts where it should be certain
ridden with furrows where once it was flat
and the pounding, pounding of the headless
horseman’s fast approach grows
louder, louder as your heart swells
thumping, thumping until the very air
around you is a darkening menace that would
steal the last breath from your lungs
and yet you passed this way before
in the bright of day, when the journey was so much simpler.
Strange how the absence of light on our most ancient fears does play.
Little wonder ancient man so fiercely worshipped the sun.