I love this tree,

this hole,

this entry into a whole different world.

 

You can look right insideĀ and smell

the tart tang of fox or badger or something else I can not tell.

I can’t see where the woody cavern goes,

it turns round a corner,

so I imagine, but can’t see, an entry to a burrow, a set,

or maybe another world

where Alice tumbled to wonderland where time and shape shrunk and grew.

 

If there are faeries or Tylwyth Teg they live here for sure,

making rooms amongst the roots

and sleeping in hammocks of cobwebs into the woody roof.

I peer in to find the Welsh elves, Ellyllon,

but they hide to see a head so big,

Every time I pass the tree I peep

just in case something blinks back at me.

 

No luck so far.

Maybe they are sleeping high or low

or maybe they have popped out

to the fields for picnics or walks with friends.

 

Every time I stop I thank the tellers of fairy tales;

Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter and Hans Christian Anderson.

I thank my parents for taking me into woods to play for hours in dens and hiding places.

I thank these great trees, the woodlands, the roots and sky,

the shelter, the nuts we gathered and toasted on the open fire.

 

I am grateful to have been born in a time and a place where woods and fairy stories were abundant,

where imagination had time to play.