When, in the past, I've wandered in the woods,
That still remain upon these western lands,
It seemed a lurking, phantom figure watched –
And when I turned, would hide behind a tree.
At times, it seemed to be a wandering child,
Who still was looking for its parents, gone –
At times, an elder, slow to move away,
At times, a furtive woman – or a man.
And were they real – or my imaginings,
The workings of a conscience not yet stilled,
I do not know – but since we're spirits all,
Perhaps I sensed my fellow beings past.
I even found, by chance, beside a stream,
A footprint – shaped like a moccasin's sole, it was.
And feathers, I have found – and shells on strings,
And bits of cloth with patterns faded, worn.
But all of these might be explained away –
But not that sudden prickling of the skin,
That ancient warning from the times when we
Had still such hairs as could enlarge our size.
And in my life, in things more personal,
With those I cherished soon to pass away,
I've felt a warning, strong and clear like fact,
But which I still, from reason, had ignored.
So there are organs, that we still possess,
That sense, like present, future things and past –
And plumb such distances, as senses five,
That we acknowledge, simply couldn't span.
But though we've parts connected to the whole,
Those parts are not possessed of human speech.
Like mutes, they warn by gesture and by touch,
But disappear, like phantoms, when we turn.
But surely, we can hear without our ears,
Be sensitive to subtle messages –
And those so clearly strong, which logic says
Cannot be right – and yet so often are.
In Iceland, people still believe in elves.
Perhaps we too should hark to spirit folk,
For what they whisper, fading in and out,
If each would hear, we all might profit much.
2013 December 27th, Fri.