Excerpt from “With trolls through the mountains” by Lady Emmeline Graham-Jones.

We had followed the two trolls for several days. It was hard work – resting by day, tracking by night, following them mainly by the noise they made as they pushed through the forest. The native guides were unhappy about the whole thing. They don’t follow trolls, they told us. Trolls can be dangerous and unpredictable.

I have heard this so many times. In fact, there are hardly any reported cases of unprovoked attacks by trolls, either in central Europe or in Scandinavia. They have been known to crush unwary sleepers, but there is no evidence that this behaviour was deliberate.

These trolls were a pair, but they were long past breeding. They moved slowly, and were relatively easy to follow, as they left a swathe of flattened vegetation behind them.

I believe I am one of very few field researchers who can say they witnessed what came next. As the sky lightened above the forest canopy, the trolls embraced, and then settled down to wait for sunrise. From my hiding place amongst the tightly woven bushes, I watched the petrification spread across their skin as the sunlight moved over them.

We set up camp quite close to them, and I was able to examine them. I could see the vague outlines of the larger troll’s facial features. Was this the male? The female had curled herself next to him. You could imagine he was standing guard over her sleeping form.

That evening we broke camp, and waited for the sun to set. Night fell, but the trolls didn’t move. We waited quite some time – two hours by my chronometer – and eventually I approached their sleeping forms. By torchlight they appeared to be still in a state of petrification. Eventually, I reached out and touched the surface of the female(?) troll. Stone. The process of petrification had not been reversed by darkness.

I believe that I was priveleged to see the last sentient moments of an aging troll pair. That they chose to enter a state of petrification side by side is not in doubt. This is one of the strongest arguments I can find to justify the description of the troll as a sentient, feeling being, not unlike ourselves.

I was very moved. The following morning, I made a wreath of woodland flowers and laid it between them, where the stones touched each other. I’m not ashamed to say that I wiped away a tear as I did so.

 

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.  I continue my exploration of the natural history of the troll. Obviously.

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Summer water – haiku for Colleen

Still harbour waters

Mirror movement –  white bird sails,

Boat flies, cloud drifts, peace.

 

This is for Colleen’s poetry challenge. The words are harbour and mirror. I’m sorry. I have to spell in English or I get antsy.

Constellation – a 50 poem for Jane Dougherty

Forgetting foolish rows and crazy fights
And all our fractured days and shattered nights,
We hold our breath and watch this secret sight –
Fireflies copying stars in dancing flight,
And stars that mimic fireflies, sparkling bright –
Hoping we can re-light each other’s light.

Just last week I pointed out that Wednesdays wouldn’t be Wednesdays without a prompt from Jane Dougherty – and now she’s decided to take a little break from doing the prompts. It’s a shame, but she has been so helpful and supportive to her group of poets over the last few weeks, and I can’t begrudge her a break and some time to work on her own writing. 

This is a slightly whackier image than the ones we usually use. It gets a bit wilder every time I look at it, and I don’t think I’ve really done justice to the craziness, but there you go. Jane has asked for a poem of 5 lines, each with 10 syllables – do you see what she did there?File:Constellations1.jpg

Pain – for Jane Dougherty

I will not write about my pain:
The sharpness of a cut
In the skin, simple hurt.

I will not think of days of rain
And the dull, dragging ache
That bears down in heartbreak.

I will not sing that same refrain,
Burnt child in all but name
I will not fear the flame.

I will not show you them again,
Those healed scars that I bear –
Pretend they are not there.

I will rise up in my disdain
Of that sharp, second dart –
The fear that doubles hurt –

And when I walk the paths of pain
I hope that I will know
Living life made them so.

 

This is for Jane Dougherty’s weekly poetry challenge. It’s a form with no name that we know of, and the subject is “pain”. 

Summer’s slipped by – circle poem for Jane Dougherty

Summer’s slipped by:
I felt a chill this morning,
Warning of coming frost,
Lost last night’s light early.

Pearly mist’s lifting here,
We’re picking the apples –
Dappled with light and shade –
Weighed, each in the hand, with care.

There in the bottom ground
Round the old tree
We gather, wondering how,
Now there is cold beneath
Heat of the sun at noon,
Tune that the wasps hum –
Summer’s slipped by.

Wednesday wouldn’t be Wednesday without a challenge from Jane. This is a circle poem – check her site out for details of the rules of the form. It was trickier than I expected. 

Spring in the park: Tritana for Jane Dougherty

I saw them as I hurried through my day –
Too much in love to notice any rain –
Framed in the springtime blossoms, pink and white

I saw her some time later, veiled in white,
Friends gathered round to share their wedding day
Laughing together, standing in the rain

I sometimes find I think of them, that day,
Sweet-scented jasmine crowning them in white:
I hope that they’re still laughing in the rain.

On days that rain, white jasmine gives most scent.

This is for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. It’s a tritana, with repeating end words in a pattern: 123, 312, 132, and then a final line with all the end words in order. Another lovely picture from Jane, too: Cornoyer’s Early Spring in Central Park. 

cornoyer_early_spring_in_central_park

Stars, night, water – for Jane Dougherty

The moon reaches down and she kisses the face of the water,
And stars shimmer clear in the indigo depths of the lake.
My heart is an owl that’s as silent as midnight in winter,
I am waiting to wrap you in moonlight and starlight and dark

My heart’s a wild hare that runs swift down the lane in the moonlight,
And I long for the touch of your eyes and the kiss of your skin.
And the sky is a tent that is hung round with velvet and diamonds,
And the meadow is softer than pillows and sweeter than sin.

The fox walks the night in a whisper of hunter and hunted,
The moths fly like ghosts of their sisters who dance in the sun
The night holds the sound of your steps as you walk down the garden,
I am waiting, my heart is a flame that is burning within.

 

This was written for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. She’s looking for metre. These seem like terribly long lines to me, but when I read them out loud I can definitely hear the rhythm there, which is what I was after. 

Rain – for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge

The image is by Franz Marc, and it’s called In the Rain. Jane Dougherty is allowing us any form we like this week, and she’s given us some optional words: rain, red, relentless, river, regrets. I’ve done some minute poems. A bit of dialogue, or perhaps trialogue?

 

She Says
This rain falls so relentlessly
It lessens me
The world turns grey
I turn away

He says
I wonder what I should have said,
Or done, instead,
To make her smile
And stay a while?

The dog says
Humans do make life a muddle
Jump a puddle!
Rain can be fun –
Who needs the sun?

Franz_Marc-In_the_Rain(Im_Regen)_(1912)