Saturday, April 20, 2013

In The Forest



In The Forest




In the shade of a mushroom
she reached for his hand,
the woodwose, the elfman
with a cobweb command.
His fingers were cold
as a bowl of straw soup.
The bright moon showed up
his barked back and stoop.

But his eyes beaconed out
like two falling stars
that bracket and blister
the edges of Mars
and his voice when he spoke
the long incantation
was bells and wild wind
and a prickling sensation

that began in her ears
and rang to her toes
and no one saw her again
where the black rose grows.

~April 13





posted for    real toads
Challenge: The Lark and The Toad: Storybooks
and the illustrations of Virginia Frances Sterrett
Kerry asks us to pick one of these evocative illustrations and write a story-poem to go with it.






Process notes: Woodwose: "The wild man (also wildman, or "wildman of the woods", archaically woodwose or wodewose) is a mythical figure that appears in the artwork and literature of medieval Europe, comparable to the satyr or faun type in classical mythology and to Silvanus, the Roman god of the woodlands." ~via wikipedia  .



Image: The Forest, by Virginia Frances Sterrett,  via Art Passions



20 comments:

  1. My goodness, she should have chosen her escort more carefully! I love the description of his eyes; he would seem to be irresistible in his way, though not attractive in any conventional sense. This piece strikes just the right tone to go with the storybook picture.

    I wonder what became of her?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Poor girl! I hope her enchantment is not eternal. There must be a way to break through this spell!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ahh! Such a tale should be told in ballad form, and yours sounds so poetical (while my earlier attempt seems to hit every false note). I love all the little details, the cobweb command, the straw soup cold touch and the black rose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't have seen the one you mean, because nothing I've read of yours lately has sounded any false notes to me, but I do know bad ballad rhyme in tetrameter is the easiest thing on earth to write--really can be a curse--I try to avoid it except for things like this, and it still is easy to mess up--if I'd had more time, the toes line would have been gone, for instance.

      Delete
  4. Agree with Kerry. i especially love the wonderful slowdown of the last line. k.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh so mysterious ... and with a rhyme too! Lovely writing, as always.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "cold as a bowl of straw soup" doesn't sound very attractive but the bells and wild wind, and the prickling sensation that rang to her toes sound irresistible. I also love the ballad rhythm, always my favorite, always irresistible, too.
    K

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am the "lone wolfwoman" here, who sees the woodwose as an enchanted being. Though the book may be a bit ragged, the text within is magical. Like a battered horn, picked up by Louis Armstrong.

    I think this is love at its best: Unconditional acceptance of one another. I am in love, in LOVE with this poem, Hedge. You've always had a finger on the pulse of mysticism, but you have outdone yourself here. It's as though you met your muse in Sterrett's artwork, a perfect complement. Sorry to gush, but DAMN! Amy

    ReplyDelete
  8. I sang this as I read it and I can imagine singing it to Rachel, wonderful

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am impressed!!! Your magical words took me "where the black rose grows"

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this fairy-like story,,,the tender beguiling of the young maiden,,a melody to remember,,

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, I love it. This literally sings. But I imagined I would come here and find your words singing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This sings a dark song, Hedge! Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh yes! My goodness, your ending speaks volumes. I love the illustration you selected.

    Your opening line grabbed me immediately. And these descriptions of his eyes and voice held me fast:

    But his eyes beaconed out
    like two falling stars
    that bracket and blister
    the edges of Mars
    and his voice when he spoke
    the long incantation
    was bells and wild wind
    and a prickling sensation

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love this: it's measured telling and rhyme highlights the spell, and her disappearance is cold indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So many great lines that ring true about love - how eyes can draw us in, love takes over our body from ear to toes. Thanks for the lesson on Woodwose!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Enchanting from start to finish. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. yes, the ballad form so pleases this tale! er, your command of its rhythm, that is.
    i especially like your use of the words "barked" and "bracket" in this poem, very original.

    ReplyDelete
  18. this feels like an escort-to-death tale. you really make it quite bright with the wild stretch into the solar system. my favorite aspect of all, though, is the audibility. beginning with "barked back" and "the long incantation" all the way to her ears and the ring in her toes. incredible.

    ReplyDelete

'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg