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Wood Sprites
By Linda A. Copp

It is twilight and the sun is slipping 
into its nightdress,
Yawning across these woods.
Wood Sprites whispering 
we are the beings of lightness.
Whippoorwills answering yes, 
but, we see you, hear you
none the less.

They who are like Feathers, 
barely there yet,
revealed within the contours 
of the fading, waning light, 
Etched and enfolded 
in the advancing night ...
Wood Sprites!
Shapes Half cast in shadow and shade,
where they hide, reside all day. 
Wrapped in the amber, sun burnt, haze.
They leap to life, uncoiling from malaise 
to frantic and amazing 
and are in turn amazed.

Autumn their harvest time, ritual time.
The Solstice Gathering.
These sprightly folks,
faces with many moods,
smatterings of smirk and whiles,
half smiles 
and crinkly, wrinkly laugh lines, crows feet. 
HA, HA, HA ... hilarious, 
laughter their favorite treat.

Bitter sweet.

They sigh and repeat their giggles, 
chuckling too. 
We sees you all, we teases you all,
 in our own kind of wood honed voodoo.

Wood sprites slumber in morning light
nodding in and out, only half awake.
Lost in their own daydreams and disillusions,
the stories they star in and create. 
Vague by day, defined by night.
 They come alive to all their senses 
at this hour,
Twilight.

The blue is deepening, 
streaking across the heavens, 
azure fading into dusk. 
The breeze has stopped playing hide and seek 
and has hushed and calmed itself.
It stops to ask us
if we are sleepy, 
waiting for its arms to rock us.

Or does it mock us, 
for our need to rest, to dream?

Woodland critters no longer scampering, 
hurrying on.
They have dragged weary feet along
looking for a place to night time nap.
Crawling into tree trunks, branches, caves,
Mother Nature's lap.

Crickets are heard to begin their song 
and the owl has settled on his favorite branch.
Awaiting the Moon's sweet providence,
given half a chance 
they would sing their song
acapela all night long just for him.

Ah! But, wait, listen harder, hear! 
See, looking over there, 
it begins.
It is the Dance of Twilight and her spirits.
Some chanting, some whistling.
Their own music 
made in their own sacred way.
A mix of what they know 
and what they'd like to say.

The Wood Sprites are coming, 
slipping out from their branches, 
limbs, over their bogs, 
stepping out of their logs, 
homes of leaves and vines and twigs.
Magic of the Sigs and Figs.
Mischievous, mirthful
merriment on their minds
but walking that ever constant line
between frolic and mean.
These sprites cross back and forth
and fall sometimes, somewhere,
some place in between.
Yes, that is who they are too,
shades of 
what they might have been.

Lookout ye' Trolls for these creatures
and the Sigs among them.
They are the designated ones
the rock throwers, bashers,
face smashers
of the Trolls.
Trolls who bring mayhem and madness
to the woods, the marshes
the mangled and the marred,
the undertow, the crow.

It is the Solstice Eve,
Halloween
and all who believe
are here gathering 
around the outer banks,
amidst the ranks of the mysterious 
and the observer.
Where Pumpkin smashing is about to begin
everyone tastes its squish and squash.
Innards gobbled up and down,
drinking droughts
of sap and maple syrup too.

Mugs of amber rich and brown
rolled up pancakes dipped 
in its goodness for dessert.
 They dance in wild abandonment.
Spilling their gooey cups, as they prance to
The Solstice Twilight Dance.

The Figs are sent to find the Trolls
who are to be punished for 
carving up the trees,
their spirits, their wood sprites 
and stealing souls,
For all these offenses they will pay
the Toll of the Troll
the groans and grunts of they. 
Soon to be faceless on this day.
Hallowed EVE!  
Figs drag trolls kicking,
screaming to the circle of stones.
Doom and gloom.
The Sigs make ready to smash their faces
into the jagged rocks.
Crushing them then to pumpkin pulp,
mash.
Trollses with curling frenetic toeses.
They rise up screaming
"we gots no faces.
We's no longer of the trollkin races."
And burying their heads in their hands
they stumble out of the circle.
No more big eyes to stare and gap
as they rip and tear at startled prey
their hands to busy holding heads
unable to see forever blind.
They once unkind, now and of that kind
dwell within their own hell, troll agony.
A nightmare no more faces
just pumpkin pulp traces.
Wood sprites always win in the end
Trolls must learn the hard way
to stay out of their way
and
to never hurt the trees or woods
if they want to live happily if but they could.
But such is there lot to stupidly do,
 what troll hearts do
until the Wood sprites come 
and they to do
what wood sprites do 
on Solstice Eve
punish the defilers of the woods and trees.

Ravens fly, crows do too,
crowing, baying
with the banshees at the moon.
The crickets tune drowns in every ones chants.
Goblins come to watch too
and join the dance.
Wood Sprites at the height
and depth of both their sides
both light and dark.
Merry, mean,
and all that rests just somewhere
out of reach and in between.
Wood sprites in their ritual time.
Twilight Dance,
Solstice Eve.
Believe!
Halloween!

By Linda A. Copp
March 29, 2000



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