As if it were a living being it forages in the forest.
The next step taken takes me out of the present
into history into fantasy
as if I have become a fairy story.
Tropes trooping through the clearing.
The huff and puff of a bad wind rising.
The silence broken.
Inside the belly of the forest
where green is the only colour seen
lies a partly digested house.
Vines snaking through its empty windows.
Its roof thrown upon its floor.
Its wall crumbling back into nature.
I sit and read my Richard Jefferies.
A finger of frond reading along with me
eager to turn the next page.
The silence deepens.
Richard Jeffeeries...he of the beautiful nature writing that influenced the nature writing of poet Edward Thomas. Jefferies's novel, After London (1885), can be seen as an early example of "post-apocalyptic fiction": after some sudden and unspecified catastrophe has depopulated England, the countryside reverts to nature, and the few survivors to a quasi-medieval way of life. The house gone to ruin that nature takes back is my memory of numerous houses I have come across including even one on the island of Lampedusa