Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Midnight Witch

The Midnight Witch
The Witch Trials

Now close your eyes, and picture the scene
I was holding my breath, not wanting to scream
With the sun going down at the back of the hill
Long shadows were cast, and a short time to kill

There was a breeze that was drifting, cool through the trees
On the edge of the forest, I was down on my knees
It was nearing the time and almost midnight
I had heard of the witch, but it still was not right

To my right was a valley, and at the end was the coast
To my left there’s a house, in the window a ghost
I could see the clouds moving, travelling fast out of sight
Pulling behind them, the dark, lonely night

Inside the wooden porch I could hear the doorbell
The sound being echoed by the one on the well
Leading out from the door was a path made from white stone
As the slow minutes passed I felt fear and alone

The wind whistled through branches of trees up high
While the gate hinges screeched in an unearthly cry
It was then that I saw what would soon be my fate
A heap of dead branches in the centre a stake

What would take place I would know very soon?
But it would not take place until the light of the moon
Far in the distance I heard the screech of an owl
Dancing on the wind, that sounded quite foul

I glanced at the shadows that were moving about
The moon playing tricks, with my eyes there’s no doubt
I then heard the crack of a twig on the ground
I lowered my head as my wrists were now bound

My naked torso had the cold sweat of fear
I knew that the Witch was standing quite near
“Lift up your head, Ian,” my name slipped from her lip
It was spoken quite slow, and with a whispering hiss

I looked at this phantom and feared for what was in store
She looked wicked and evil and bad to the core
It was all hallows night with the moon I could see
She had come for a victim, and I knew it was me

With the wave of her wand I was tied to the post
I was standing looking back at this cold, fearful, ghost
The form that captured me was a frightful sight
Her eyes glowing green, and lit up by moon light

I pulled at my bonds but they held me quite tight
The heap of dead branches would soon be alight.
I was there for her pleasure to be burnt at the stake
I opened my mouth, but no sound could I make

The cloak on her shoulders was touching the ground
Blowing in the breeze without making a sound
Her hand was exposed and resting down by her side
With her long fingers curled around the wand she could not hide

From inside the forest I heard a wolf cry
This sound from hell brought a tear to my eye
I heard laughter and screaming from the bowels of the earth
The Devil’s Inferno was sealing the curse.

She wickedly laughed, while the wand’s sparks gave a crack
I closed my eyes tight when the flames touched my back
The pain was unreal, as I screamed into the night
I cried out again feeling the heat start to bite

The fire at my feet was slow burning at best
When I looked down at my body, there were burns on my chest
When the heat finally stopped, I looked up in fear
I got a surprise, she was standing quite near

“You have served me well, Ian, being here at midnight
I’ll return your wicked gesture, and make it all right”
With a wave of her wand the pain disappeared
Along with the burns on my chest that I feared
My wrists were now free, and my head feeling light
I watched the Midnight Witch, fade into the night.

Be well Ian

There is a copyright on all of my work.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A walk in September England

A walk in September England.

A view of the South Downs England from near me

Are schools doing their best for country children in the UK? It might seem like a question that is a little selective, and it is. I remember as a child in the 60s when I was in an infant school in the country, we were taken for walks into the country side by the teachers. I grew up in the fields, meadows, and woods surrounding my house. I was lucky that my father worked on a farm, and so did my best friend’s father.
Haws, the red fruit of the Hawthorn bush.
Edible raw and has a dry dull taste, but very edible

By the age of eleven years I was armed with the Collins book of birds and bird’s eggs. My friend Christopher and I would walk for miles most nights along hedges and banks looking for the signs of a birds nest. At the age of twelve I could tell what kind of bird owned the nest by the eggs inside. I knew every tree and plant, even where to find edible fungi and berries. It is no good saying well that was fifty-five years ago and farmers will not let you do that now. Yes most farmers will as long as you respect their fields, close gates and don’t walk on and destroy the crops they have sewn.

The Blackberry Edible raw, sweet and morish 
Good for Jams and preserves.

At the same age I had robbed a squirrel’s dray and had a baby squirrel as a pet. He earned his freedom when he was a year old and escaped into the main house. I found him just after he had got into the budgies cage and killed my mother’s favourite bird. She gave me an ultimatum, either the squirrel was released or I would end up as dead as the budgie. So that night me and the little grey tree rat parted company. He got his own back on my mother for throwing him out into the wilderness by eating the food off the bird table outside when my mother topped it up.
The Sloeberry. Edible raw. Sour/dry. 
This fruit will test your taste buds to the very limit.
Not to be eaten raw by the faint hearted.
Good for Wine/Gin 

The point I am making is the country children know nothing about the countryside.  A large amount of children have moved there from the big towns, with parents that are no more country wise than their off springs. These children only know how to ride a bicycle in heavy traffic safely, and cross a busy main road. These pieces of knowledge are fine in town but they will not keep you alive in the country.
The Elderberry. Edible raw when ripe
Sweet tasting. 
Good for preserves, Jam, Jelly, Wine

I took a September walk yesterday and found food to eat in abundance, but most people walk past these trees and bushes giving them no thought. Even my daughter never knew that you could eat the little red fruit off the hawthorn bush. It can be boiled with sugar to make a paste and then into a jelly. It will make a jam or syrup that is just as good if not better than cranberry for meats. At ten years old I was picking them along with elderberry from trees and bushes eating them.
The Rose Hip
Un-edible Raw
Good for Rose hip Syrup.

All children should be taught how to survive without the luxuries of supermarkets and chemists. They should be taught not just the foods and fruits that will keep them alive, but also the fruits that will poison them.

Be well when walking in the country, but read below to be safe.


It would not be right after writing this if i never put one danger that all should know. The WOODY NIGHTSHADE. This is the sister of the DEADLY NIGHTSHADE and just as dangerous to man and beast. It is found along hedgerows in strings entangled with the Blackberry and other fruits. It looks nice to eat but don't touch.  
Leave well alone, don't touch 
RED with this berry means DANGER and DEATH.