Kate Pottinger is walking the woods

Deep Woodlanders       

I do not see the ancient men
I feel their eyes upon me in the undergrowth
where foxes bark at night
behind the trunks of trees
half blackened by the rain.
The birds are silent here but
hidden in the canopy they watch
the fusion of the present and the past.
Sensing movement I turn round to see
the tangled ropes which gently swing
in glutinous, grey light
where bodies thin as air and dry as dust
have nudged them passing through
and I would like to know
if they see flesh and bone          
and footprints on the muddy track
and in another thousand years from now,
if I, as thin as air and dry as dust,
will peer from undergrowth
where foxes bark at night,
and watch the flesh and bone and footprints
on the ancient, muddy track.

* Kate Pottinger is one of the co-founders of an arts cafe set up by one of IS&T's regular contributors Mandy Pannett and says this poem “rather came out of nowhere one damp afternoon in November when I was walking my dog in the woods.” She adds “I have been working on a novel for the last ten plus years and finished the final draft earlier this year amidst great celebrations and sighs of relief from those who had seen me through the very lengthy labour to the birth! Now the question is, what do I do with it?”

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