This is the full version of a poem created by Scott Farlow with Laurence Payot, inspired by Bracknell Dusk Walkers and giving a single voice to the many stories and memories collected during the project.
FOREST SCENES IN MANY DIFFERENT LIGHTS
Part One: ENCOUNTER
Solitary spirit that I am,
and The keeper of your trees,
How I ride the ancient rides
Through distant memories.
Leader of the Wild Hunt Blasting through the leaves, Echoing the wild winds From ever distant seas.
I race across the night sky,
I chase the setting sun.
I am that strange phosphoric light – I am the only one -
Flying and scattered bright
Above your forest crown,
And woven through primeval depths That interlace your roots. I am
The elemental gown
Of your home
I am the antlered ghost.
Betrayed and cursed, dismissed
Banished to the four winds and left alone to die.
Now, enveloped in the eerie mists And cloaked in bark and hide,
I ride the ancient rides
And take refuge in that Mighty
So, my stranger friends,
I roamed amongst you then. And you wandered through The known unknown
And unfamiliar throne
In this familiar
But not alone,
I came to be at one.
To hear the heartbeat of your place. To feel the warmth of your womb, And to listen to
And at dusk
We walked together,
You and I, and
In joyful companionship we Bathed in the wonder
And the beauty of your forest.
And by the ever-changing light. Always there, as
The Moon came and went from view, And Venus,
With her love and beauty too.
We journeyed together You and I.
Gently through the layers Of time and trees,
Of lives, love and our landscapes Of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
From afar – here, but there -
I weave together these words for you.
Words recalling the essence
Of our connected experience.
From the memories of those three moments. Moments within moments,
Memories of memories
And the magic of our encounter.
I came from afar, yet near,
To hear, to see, to smell, to taste
To touch the dreaming feeling forest
For the first time
I came to see your place
And for you to see your place
And for us to share that which lies here, there, everywhere, And within us all.
I came to walk with you. To talk with you.
To exchange life, love and Little stories
To hear your special voices
As footsteps through the forest.
I came to be immersed with you, To listen to a different silence. To learn of lives lived
And those to be,
And to absorb the fragrance Of our wandering scents.
I came to seek a new sense of it all, To feel and comprehend
And the trees,
The life and the souls.
And that which makes your forest world and you
Part Two: FOREST
From three starting points
To three different worlds
Together, You and I.
Within the same world.
Through three different woodland worlds At three separate moments in March.
Three different landscapes at dusk.
Different in space, form, scale and light,
Different surfaces and soil, shapes and shadows, sounds and silence, Different souls searching, ghosts dancing,
Stories sharing and self-discovering.
We didn’t need to march in March
Yet beguiling and unfamiliar places, With familiar
Yet unfamiliar faces.
And illuminated by joy.
In a host of smiles emanating warmth And curiosity.
Yet all different.
That layering of experience, connection and sensory perception, That layering of place, time, history and space,
That density and lightness
In the darkness,
Amongst the defiant trees and gentle leaves With your stories and memories
Shared three times over.
The same, and so different.
But we knew we were here in your place, Not there, in their strange place.
That asks for nothing in return
Except respectful exploration
In this unfamiliar light.
That asks for nothing in return
Except for love, self-love and compassion, Every day and every night.
That asks for nothing in return Except yourself.
Three woodlands. Connected.
Three parts of the whole.
Integral to your place, if not your life. Three elemental moments
Of collective contemplation and self discovery. Three treasured gifts
Amongst the most natural gift of all.
Sharing stories of picnics past, Of kicking leaves,
Of surprise and delight,
Of childhood and growing old, Of sledging.
Of giant gnarly roots,
Of beetles, bugs and bats,
Broom and bluebells
And the first flush of spring.
And back again,
Admire the marks etched in trees long ago Of past loves,
In the present moment.
Of handstands and rope swings and hiding. Of snowdrops silently sleeping.
Of care, compassion and love of
Of freedom, danger and escape
From the hustle
Of the everyday.
And you have this to
Lose yourselves in.
The lucid knowledge of the trees.
No time to lose.
So wonder at the wonder of it all.
The wonder of a wander through it all.
A wander through the cathedral spires
Of converging pine,
Of oak, of ash, beech and birch,
Holly, hazel, chestnut, mosses, lichens and yew; The spirit and magic of
And the wonder of
Wandering and wondering, Lost and found.
Alone but not alone and
At one with the birds and the trees And the earth and the hoots of the owls Borne upon the same wind
That used to sigh through
The old Windsor Great Forest.
As the world keeps turning,
And the distant tides ebb and flow
To the silent tune
Of our ever-present Moon.
She keeps her watch
Suspended in the passage of time.
And the ambient hum,
And the ever-present orange glow.
The seasons come and go
And come again.
Like day and night
Darkness and light
And the ever-present, ever-changing hues, Rich colours and deep delight,
Enrich, entrance and ever change.
The leaves come and go
And return again.
As they do.
And the deer do too.
And the rains fall,
And the sun rises,
Arcs and dips from view.
And a white frost coat
Briefly covers it all.
Then is gone
In the blink
Of an Eye.
Part Three: LIGHT
Wherever we looked There was light That night.
The mysterious essence
Of ever-changing angles of light Upon the ever-changing faces And spaces
Of those ever-changing places. In light and life,
Laughter and love,
Birth, death and decay,
The ebb and flow, re-born and Filtered through
The cracks in time.
Keeping to the rhythm
For a moment, or two, or three, Altered states
Of perpetual motion,
In this place,
At this moment. Now gone.
But still present
A cycle, a dream,
A fascination Within me.
In the trees.
And, perhaps, Inspiring the spirit Of a new tradition Here.
Wherever we look there is light. And now silence.
Can you hear it?
The forest has fallen asleep….
ENCOUNTER FOREST LIGHT by Scott Farlow Artist Bracknell Dusk Walkers March 2016
2nd edit (revisited) 20.05.17