In Kingley Vale, near Chichester in West Sussex, England, nestles an ancient forest of yews over 2,000 years old, believed to be the oldest living organisms in Great Britain. Above this prehistoric combe stand The Kings Graves otherwise known as the Devil’s Humps. They are supposed to be the graves of Anglo Saxon Kings, and marauding Vikings.
In the hours of darkness, it is sometimes said that the ghosts of ancient Druids haunt the forest mingling with the slain Anglo Saxons and slaughtered Danes. There are tales of the druids carrying out rituals and sacrifices in the hours of darkness, a darkness within which the trees bleed and change shape moving amongst the ghostly figures of the dead and the living. For some it is a place for spiritual healing, for others a place of dark rituals.
Kingley Vale treads into my heart,
Its paths of loam roam arteries,
Twigs carve through capillaries.
Falling leaves, sleeve the skin.
Ancient peat, fleshing feet.
Roots grope the hungering breath,
Feeding, raising Sorcerer and Druid.
Slain sacrificial maid long dead,
Leavens the bread of my emptiness.
Ghouls whisper in death stench groves,
Of Wicca, the Priestess, the dagger.
Owl’s eyes light the night, as the raven cries,
Covering terror’s screams and death’s moans,
On stone altar the ravaging Warlock groans.
Moon Mother throws her silver lance,
Elf and fairy, gnome and crone,
Leap and weep in the ecstasy of dance.
The steel ping of the coca cola tin,
Snaps my reverie,
Kingley Vale treads gently
Back into the caverns of my soul
Whispering, forever, whispering.
Copyright: Katy Walters: 1998
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