Copse ‘n’ Corpse (Part 2)

~ Copse ‘n’ Corpse (Part 2) ~ By ~ Dewin Nefol ~

~

When then a subtle single shift,

A lifting of the gloom,

Twas if sunlight reappeared, or

Darkness left some room.

~

I wasn’t sure as I gazed,

Through haze to where he’d stood,

But the hatted scarecrow,

Had left the darkly wood.

~

In his stead a woman knelt,

Knelt weeping on the floor.

She paused to pray but briefly,

Before shedding tears some more.

~

Beside a graveside softly sighing,

In dappled shade of Yews,

Here her hands busied tidying,

Dying flowers, blackened blooms.

~

Weathered headstone granite grim,

Chiselled, grizzled, letters dim,

To one unknown whose body lay,

Six-foot deep in soils of grey.

~

With tender touch thin fingers traced,

Soft lips mouthed a name,

“Nevermore,” she quietly said,

“Come back to me again.”

~

Spilling tears she looked at me,

“I am the Nightingale,” said she,

“Whose love lies lost beneath the sea,”

“Whose heart is lost to melancholy.”

~

“Twas early morn at crack of dawn,”

“When three stole him away,”

“Beat, bound, hung him high,”

“Until first light next day.”

~

“Then cut down, spliced into four,”

“Scattered across the forest floor,”

“But not his heart, for that was locked,”

“Inside a sunken metal box.”

~

When then she showed her palm to me,

Where-in there lay a tarnished key,

Twas old and gold and radiant,

Fashioned most beautifully.

~

“For thee,” said she slowly rising,

“So as to go where I cannot be:”

“Unlock the box beneath the sea,”

“Set-free his heart,” said she.

~

Her words faded upon a breeze,

Short, sudden, moving quickly,

One moment there, the next she’d gone –

But for the echo of a Nightingale’s song.

~

I paused to ponder, to reflect upon,

All she said, all that happened.

What had I witnessed? What did I see?

Everything was complete mystery!

~

I wondered why she’d come to me,

How I’d help her destiny.

“And what of the box found under the sea?”

“Where Nevermore’s heart is bound?”

~

I felt confused but yet quite certain,

I’d find more beyond this forest curtain: or else,

Why did I have eyes to see?

Why else reveal this mystery?

~

Someway ahead a pathway led,

Eased down through forest trees,

I turned towards it with intention,

Of moving-on from this location.

~

I took long strides in that direction,

When something glinting caused distraction,

And there before me on the floor,

A key of gold to free Nevermore.

~

Said key of gold, ornate and old,

Was formed so perfectly,

A polished blade, toothed, well-made,

Its bow inlaid with ivory.

~

With key in hand and curiosity,

Pushing, pulling, impelling me,

I headed down the phantom track,

Decision made, no turning back.

~*~

~ Copse ‘n’ Corpse (Part 1) precedes this post. Part 3 to follow shortly ~ 

~*~

Copse ‘n’ Corpse (Part 1)

~ 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.

~

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 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,

Lifted him from the deck,

Higher, higher, higher he rose,

Body jerking from head to toes.

~*~

~ Copse ‘n’ Corpse (Part 2) to follow shortly ~ 

~*~