Nightlines

Walking through the woods at night

nightthe most familiar becomes strange;

favourite trees are looming shapes

with many arms extending long fingers

reaching, touching,

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

A vixen?

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.

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