What boughs are these?
We've walked beneath them for hours on end,
Watching little but the leaf-mould at our feet,
Ever careful and breathless, quiet as a chapel,
A place of ageless silence and stillness.
These trees have seen more suns and moons
Than we can guess; more than the sum of our peoples perhaps.
Countless years of leaves mounding beneath them,
Dark and deep drifted, scented of ancient nighttimes,
Black as starless skies that only once knew silver.
Somewhere above our dimmed eyes and muted tread,
The sun shines.
Surely we cannot have been walking into the night.
The sun shines, holding court above us
While we tread the darker, deeper passages below.
Velvet butterflies are warmed above in slow-beating silence.
The Forest provisions the small creatures that rustle in the dark,
The pale deer, the pale fish,
The blackest hearts that beat slowly settling into webbing,
Though our own provisions are naught.
It does not care for our needs, or own us, or welcome us.
There was a tower here once,
Or so the tales have said.
Perhaps he's gone, or stayed, or dead.
Follow me now, and don't
Leave the path.