~ Copse ‘n’ Corpse (Part 1) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~
Exiting a bypass, junction 33,
Along a dusty country road,
My strides carried me; further away,
From motorised cacophony.
I dallied, I dawdled,
I lingered here and there,
I listened to the warble,
Of warblers everywhere.
And clacking crows sat in rows,
Gibbering with gabbling gulls,
Yabber, yammer, jibber-jabber
From tops of telegraph-poles.
I flowed along my road
Alongside field and fold,
Up and over hill crests,
Galumphing over wold.
Until a sty caught my eye,
Wooden, worn, well used,
Over which I tumbled,
To be left a little bruised.
Undeterred I wandered on,
But hadn’t trodden far,
When by a hidden siding,
I found a scarecrow hiding.
A mysterious chap grimacing wide,
Top-hat tilted to one side: but,
An ill-favoured look upon his face,
Had me quicken my rambling pace.
Very soon I became aware,
I was walking a different track,
And yet when I looked behind me,
There was no way leading back.
Bracken blocked my brambling path,
Hedgerows had grown taller,
I couldn’t see above or beyond,
Twas if I’d grown much smaller
Troubled, confused, puzzled, bemused,
Shivers ran up ‘n’ down my spine,
My enjoyable ramble, my jolly jaunt,
Twas no longer fine!
Whispered words from close behind,
Spun me quickly on my heels,
What stood there before my eyes,
Made me gasp before I reeled.
The grimacing scarecrow, hessian hooded,
Wooded, dressed in rags;
His topper lent an evil bent,
To robes made from body bags.
But its eyes! No longer cross-stitching,
Were black, bleak, bewitching!
O! How they stared at me!
Eyes full of pain, sadness, misery.
I took a big step backwards,
Pressed tight against Blackberry,
But thorns and barbs and piercing things,
Merely punctured or scratched at me.
Curling a twiggy digit, without fabric on it,
The Scarecrow begged me follow,
“Come, come,” it whispered pleading,
Leading a path towards a hollow.
At first unsure, in fact uncertain,
I stayed pinned to bramble’s curtain,
Not knowing what to do: but yet, curious
To know, where the scarecrow would go.
The Scarer, for that’s what it was,
Shuffled back into view,
“Come, come,” it implored again,
“You must come-on through.”
Such was the pain in saddened eyes,
I left the thorn-bush grasping,
And stumbled-on where it had gone,
Breathing hard, almost gasping.
The hollow, a bowl within a copse,
Twas dark, dappled, and eerie,
Seven trees with branches chopped,
Shielded light, made it dreary.
At its centre the gallybagger stood,
Balanced deftly on fallen wood,
As I drew near, it cupped each ear,
Put a fingertip to its lip.
A sudden shift, a quickening breeze,
Screams and shouts between tall trees,
Cries for help, “No! No! Please!”
“Dear God! Won’t you save me!”
Vaporous wisps along our path,
Words I heard, spoken with wrath,
When then emerged three hooded men,
Dragging someone behind them.
Cloaked were they in blackened grey,
Moving with menace, coming our way,
I had no time to step away –
When then they were upon me!
But not upon me, for they weren’t there!
Merely ghosts, phantoms, dense dank air,
Hauling a man with dark brown hair,
Into the hollow, their deathly lair.
Thrown to ground, badly beaten,
Bound, gagged, to make him quieten,
Whilst one swung rope over a bough,
“Let’s see if god, saves you now!”
Dragged to his feet, stripped bare to skin,
Three set about hanging him:
Symbols painted upon his chest,
Satan’s number carved in his flesh.
The noose loose about his neck,
Snapped taut, lifted him from the deck,
Higher, higher, higher he rose,
Body jerking from head to toes.
~ Copse ‘n’ Corpse (Part 2) to follow shortly ~