In the moving gloom we saw
snatches of some lost secret
snagged by a twig. There was
a snapping and a hissing
and the hunting cry of an owl.
Ay ay ay, we should never
have been so deep in that place
where the past is buried in
leaf litter and fleshless lips.
Alas, we were carried by
squirrels in their game of chase.
Dropped in a pokey hole,
we stay still as bones,
and wait for destiny.
We missed by one idle moment
the autumn oak leaf held aloft as faerie cup
soon dew dashed, splashed and spilled away;
a gluttonous thrush throating scores
of red rowan berries, dish of kings
one paltry clue left upon the path;
pink tongue of parched rock salt
drinking in the evening air;
a well travelled magic lantern list
and burst still burning through the leaves;
the excitement of ripe Russula mushrooms
but there is just time to hold one long finger
of the mother of all sunshine
as she combs the trees
bringing burnished heaven to our hillside.