A Night Falls poem
They came to the village
Thought there was hope, again
It was only her
Then it was day
Notes on a-mending
Going forward doesn’t always mean drastic change. Sometimes the same emotions come back round. My Change is linked to the mountains and so is the process of repair.
This Alongame saying
Never light the mountain unless red willow is carefully picked up by the witch.
Notes on an acquaintance
Seems words go around fast between the worlds – I used to be amazed by how small my world is when I met people who knew people I knew, but now I know it’s also true if I say worlds, plural.
Can you guess who I met? Or maybe she told you already?
I was sitting on a bench when I saw a goat. It was chewing on the purple scarf of a girl with black hair and purple horns (I guess that’s a big hint, unless many people fit the description this in Alongame?). Taken aback, I got up and went to help her save her scarf, but it was too late, it was all drooly and messy and torn. So then I helped her bring the goat to the meadow.
She presented herself as the Herding Witch. She asked what I was doing here, so I explained to her that I was a new Shelfkeeper – Woodlight – and still getting the hang of how to connect our worlds together. She smiled then: “You wouldn’t know Tilleryard by any chance?”
According to her, you were so excited about meeting new shelfkeepers that you’d already blabbered a whole evening about me. I’m guessing you have a good relationship, since you exchange her goat milk for your veggies and I heard a great complicity in her voice as she mentioned you. She said you were going to be very jealous she got to meet me. Well, if you’re jealous, I’m jealous too – I thought she was amazing, and you get to see her everyday if you want to. She started flirting a bit, but I felt shy and I don’t know if she understood I liked her too or if she thought I was straight or not interested or what. Anyway, she said she wanted to know more about my world, and then she got an idea and ran back to the bench I was sitting on earlier.
Well it wasn’t really a bench, I hadn’t paid that much attention. It had a weird shape, more like two chairs next to each other, one facing one way, the other one facing the opposite way, but with a common armrest. The Herding Witch explained to me that it was a magical place: if I sat one way and she sat the other way next to me, I would see her world and she would see mine. She asked if I would agree to sit there for her. I was a little scared of what would happen, but I said yes.
And it was magical. I mean, I should have been seeing the meadow and the goat, but instead, when I sat and opened my eyes after blinking once, there was a small cottage with a thatch roof in the distance. The goat was lying down in the sun by the door, then got up and lied down again by the shadow of a willow tree. The Herding Witch’s home was in the middle of nowhere. It was very beautiful: not just the house but the garden too, it was the perfect dose of wildness. Like there were lots of tall grasses and wild flowers and bushes, but also a stone path free of herbs up to the door. It felt like she was taking very good care of the place, and it filled me with a longing to know her better. Not everyone cares so much and so perceptibly about their place of living.
I was a little scared of what she would think of my own space, nowhere as beautiful from outside, just a window in a narrow street; but all she really noticed were the two baby birds on my windowsill. I love that.
I wasn’t brave enough to take her hand; and when I turned around to see her, I was sitting at home. It was way too short, and I wanted to talk more with her, learn more about her, find better answers to her flirty jokes.
Instead, I’m writing to you so you’ll know about this meeting, and sending it your way through the shelf.
Notes on a development on Mirrorbird‘s map
I wasn’t there when the boatbuilders came downriver from the west with the wood we needed to build our own; I wasn’t there either when the villagers started working on the boat. I was there, though, on the evening it was pushed into the water for the first time. There were a lot of people and the nightsky was clear. We could see the stars, but most of all, we could see all the little candles on the little paper boats that we all put down on the water, keeping our eyes on them to know which ones would burn, which ones would drown, and which ones would sail across the pond. Then the real boat – the wooden one – was pushed too and everyone cheered. It was beautiful to see it there on the water among all its smaller, luminous counterparts. Someone rowed with it a while, then it was attached to the new pier so it wouldn’t be swept away. From now on, everyone would be able to borrow the boat to cross or navigate on the largest of the seven ponds.
Notes and photos of a journey taken to a point on Bookfold‘s map
I looked for a bridge to the Old Queen’s Woods on Bookfold’s map. When I came out, I saw a place called “The geese’s meadow”, so maybe I walked passed Tilleryard’s place also!
A mushroom poem (inspired by Holyviolet‘s long dozen):
Under the hail
Silence flourishes, gentle and unhindered
As we nurture the little flames to warm us through it all
A long dozen poem:
Glitter far away down in the valley
Seven drops of dew shine on the grass blades by my shoe
A cairn, that tells this story:
There is a place at the summit of the mountains that is the quietest of all. No one ever goes there; no one even remembers how to climb that much up. There the birds do not sing and only the wind blows. There is one who knew how to climb up there though. A girl, small and often ill, that no one expected anything from. She spent a lot of time outside, learning about and gathering plants for healing, but also watching all the animals living around her, so much so that she learned to communicate with them. The girl had a brother. One day, she heard him whispering to his friends: he had caught a thundereagle. No one had been able to do that for generations now. The next day, he would show it to the village and be recognized as a great hunter. The girl couldn’t let that happen. When night fell, she silently opened the cage and let the legendary bird fly away. Her brother never found out it was her who betrayed him. It was years later when a weird plague came over the village: everyone slowly became more and more tired, so much so that soon no one could get up anymore. The girl as well as the other healers only knew one plant tonic enough to wake everyone up once more. Unfortunately, it only grew on the highest mountain top. The ones who were still strong enough tried to climb up; all failed. As the girl was losing hope, she thought of the eagle once again. Maybe they could help. No one expected her to return as she left for the nest. It was doomed, they all thought. Yet the thundereagle remembered her. And she remembered how to speak their language. They let her climb up their back and flew high in the sky, inspiring and amazing all who saw the giand bird and the tiny girl. She picked the needed flowerrs and was celebrated as she came back to the village. Since then, everyone has forgotten about her. We don’t even remember her name. Only the cairn, close to the mountain top where it all happened, marks her great achievement.