In Sherwood Forest's filtered sunlight
a shadow darts - a moving tree (?), elusive,
that you never quite completely see.
The Green Man's prophesy from centuries past:
splintered bark. Dying leaves. Poisoned earth.
Passing through the densest part
of the little that still remains,
a woman in pink pauses, shivers,
then hastens on her way.
She's mistaken Him for the rustling ferns
and wind-sigh in the trees. What did she just hear -
and feel - brushing past her sleeve?
Nothing to see.
No outlaws poaching the King's deer.
Not a sign of Herne's secret realm
where He guided all the animals,
Elementals, and Robin's Merry Men.
Antlers of stag upon his head
and clothed in wolf skin cloak,
He's seen by only a handful who
believe, who've never lost
their connection to the green.
Herne moves swiftly from thicket to tree,
unseen by the idly curious -
those novelty seekers ceaselessly gabbling,
who never stop to listen
to the gentle murmuring, barely heard:
such mournful cries of the living forest,
whose demise they have carved in oak.
Because He is survival's metaphor,
we need to heed Herne's call:
to halt the felling of the trees
and poisoning of the waterways too,
before we find it's all too late
and into the abyss we fall.
For headlong we're boring our relentless way
to that ultimate precipice. Oh Herne,
please reawaken in our time of dire need
and rewire these numbest of skulls!