Tag Archives: forest

A monster calls (a non-review)

Last night I finished a book called “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness, I won’t say this is a review per se because it really isn’t – but I would say it is more of a little chat about the characters. 

I felt that this book was a huge tear jerker, it certainly got my eyes watering in parts – as for the monster, well to me the monsters in this book aren’t what you think they are, I think this book has a moral and that is “not everything is as it seems and don’t judge a book by its cover” you will misinterpret at the very beginning who the monster/monsters are, trust me, you will only find out in the ending chapters the truth of who the monster really is.

Because it is a twisty turning fabulous book, I won’t give you any spoilers other than what I have already said. 

Now, about the characters, the main character is a boy named Conor who is going through a huge amount of trauma at the age of thirteen – but I am more interested in mentioning the supposed monster that comes to visit him at 12:07 every night – why skip the main character?  Because he is just a human boy going through a bad time and I am more interested in the fantasy aspect of this book rather than the realism of it.  The so-called monster is nothing more than a big brash ancient yew tree that comes alive like an ent from middle-earth to basically have a chat with the young boy and tell him a few stories.  I loved this about the book because in the past ten years I have thought off and on about writing a novel about a tree that comes to life as well based on the Germanic folklore of the wood wives, the wood wives according to legend are beautiful female spirits of the forest who are also vampiric, basically vampiric faeries who turn into trees and bring trees to life amongst other things;  I am also interested in the yew tree because it is very similar to the avenging birch tree from the short movie “The Birch” which again I believe could have been inspired by the ancient Germanic legend, the wood wives. 

So if avenging wrathful trees are your thing, you know what to look out for.  I got this book from the library but I have bought a copy along with the DVD from Ebay because I just find it absolutely fabulous!  The movie stars Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver.

 

 

 

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The Moon Dancing Witch

Shards of moonlight glimmer through the night forest canopy, silver lights my path towards the centre where the agaric grows and now at this midnight hour, I see them glowing.  I hear little titters of laughter around me, gently little folk enter the toadstool circle and surround me.  Smiling, cheerfully, welcoming me to their magic circle.

A young girl elf holds out her hand and greets me, smiles at her brother as she leads me to join hands and join in with the moon dance.

Merriment was made there that awesome night.

What a grand thing to be a witch.

 

 

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Conversation with a tree

copyright 2016 Tina Cousins

copyright 2016 Tina Cousins

I had a conversation with a tree today.
The tree told me about the deforestation that his friends were experiencing in some parts of the forest.
He told me that this didn’t bother him much, you see, you have to see the positives of life; that even in death, there is everlastingness.
I asked him what he meant and he explained that nothing that dies is wasted, not truly. Even in death you have your uses, you are needed, and you still exist.
I asked about spirits and reincarnation to him, but he simply replied, perhaps, but there is more to it than that.
Take me, for instance, said the tree. When the woodcutters come to claim my life, I may still have my roots to keep me alive, but if that isn’t to be the case, you must think. What do the woodcutters make from me? Wood to burn to enhance their life for a few hours so they do not freeze to death in winter? Then I become ashes and what becomes of those ashes? Those ashes are still a part of the wonderful circle of life; I become potash for various floras, bringing life into this world, simply by my dying.
I sat fascinated and watched the wind rustle his leaves, too in awe to speak.
The tree continued on with his explanation, with patience and love. I am made into paper, for your journal, enriching the lives of humans by whatever the pages contain within, a store of knowledge, a canvas for art, a visual guide to places you may never have a chance to go to if it weren’t for me.
If not a book then shelves to put them on or I might become the chair that you sit in to read those books, or the bed that you lie in to dream about those books and art pieces.
I may become part of the tools that cut my friends down, giving them a new lease of life and usefulness.
When I am gone and I am cut down, homes may be built in place of where I stood. Perhaps farms will develop here and feed the world? Or perhaps my offspring will grow in my place?
Death is not the end, but it is the beginning of new things.
As to the subject raised earlier, yes, I do believe in spirit and I believe that with the spirit of nature everything is eternal; it just depends on your perception of it; of course, most people’s perceptions about it are wrong.
They cloud themselves up in the dark negativity of everything, which they don’t allow themselves to see the light and what a positive thing it can be.
I thanked the tree for his insight and went home to write this for you.

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The Wolf’s Rose

The night is chilled and the air is icy

Winter nips at your cheeks and nose

Wandering far into the forest, you are lost my little Rose

Simplicity doesn’t exist where complexity plays

A daring youth like you amaze me in all ways

Hark! Hear the sound of the midnight wolves

Playing a melody to attract lost fools

You follow their tune, blissfully ignorant of the dangers they bestow

And onwards you follow, and onwards you go

Through the nocturnal world you flounder

From tree to tree you flow

Further into the orchestra, into something you don’t know

Into the jaws of hunger

Into the mists of time

Into the raging beasts that are ready to dine

And now you’re here, cold in my arms

A little Rose you’ve been

And I have plucked you from the world and you’ll never again be seen

Not by mortal eyes no how and you’ll stay forever with me

No mortal shall hear your cries when you beg me for release

And now you’ve joined the shadow world

A place that’s made from fear

And you will sup upon mortal babes and breed with me more fear

And nothing shall stop your pain, when you can’t kill anymore

You’ll always give into the hunger and eat their flesh that’s raw

And I’ll be here for you always

My precious little one

To remind you of who it was, that hid you from the sun

Oh my little Rose, look at what you’ve become!

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The Wolf

Darkness has fallen and the moon arises to light his way from the sky.

Gently he walks in concealment with his dark and sly little eyes.

He tiptoes through the night forest crunching dead leaves underfoot; slowly he crawls like a stealthy, clever, hunting crook.

Sniffing the ground tracking the bait, to see what luck will have him take!

Which meal is he to find today?

Sniffing the paths of many preys!

The scent of live flesh gets stronger now and he eagerly prepares his snare.

There it is, back turned from the wolf, the prey doesn’t know that his there.

Slowly the night hunter creeps behind, ready to pounce and ready to dine.

The wolves jaw snaps round the neck sharp.

Tearing it to pieces without a heart!

Triumphant with his hunt, he calls!

Barking loudly about his Trawl, calling his family to dine with him, the flesh of the victim, it pleases him.

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forests and campaigning

I am meandering through the mossy forest

The lichen clings to the trees

A little micro garden

They are sheltered by the leaves

The smell of earth is fervent

The trees are rough to touch

The energy I feel here

I love so very much

Though you cannot see them

They are everywhere

Billions of lives are flowing

In the forests welfare

How gently they crawl upon the earth

How delicate their façade

And though you cannot see it

They work so very hard

This is life in the forest green

This is how it flows

And each and every day I walk

Through the emerald groves

I know each and every footstep

I know each and every bird

I know my way through the forest

You can trust my every word

When the little stars are shining

I can see them, not

For I am roaming through the forest

So the sky I have forgot

My friends are Mrs Badger and little sooty mole

I find their company pleasant, I find their humor droll

I sit upon a fallen oak and watch them playing near

Oh how I love my forest and how I love them dear

It is wicked to hack the forest down, billions of lives get lost

Please sit back and realize, it’s such a big cost

We need the peace that’s founded here

We need the earthy tones

We need to consider more so, that it’s not just humans who need homes

So please take a thought and a care

For every little creature there

And maybe earth shall grow again

New forests everywhere

My heart is wild, my soul is free, yet my body is not

I need the forest to stay secure I do not ask a lot

 

This poem was written because I love forests, woodlands, fields, you name it; I love it as long as it’s natural.  I have a friend who is trying to climb a career ladder as a local MP for a North London council – Barnet to be precise; he told me two weeks ago that Barnet and Brent are going into collaboration together to rebuild the Hendon estate, this means that they plan to drain the local reservoir/nature reserve and build on it, he is campaigning like mad to stop this madness and rightfully so, I was raised on that reserve (more or less). 

The reservoir is called The Welsh Harp. Whether it’s true that they have planning permission to do this or not, I am uncertain, but my friend doesn’t tend to lie. 

It’s a very worrying thought that approximately eight to ten acres of North London’s nature reserves is going to be snatched away from the locals and more to the point, the wildlife there.  There’s creatures such as swans, Canada geese, moorhens, squirrels, including reds funny enough (I’ve seen them) cardinal beetles (extremely rare), blue tits, badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, frogs and toads (they’d be there naturally anyway but when mum filled in her pond we set our fish, frogs, newts and toads free in the reservoir, so they had a new home), and many more beautiful creatures are going to lose their homes, because Barnet wants to cramp in another 20,000 families, despite closing down their hospitals might I add.

Should this be allowed?  Hell no, and guess what?  I am sick and tired of people sitting back and going “Oh, well, it’s a shame, what can we do”?  And just allow it to happen, if you don’t want something to happen, because you like walking around that area or you think that it’s beneficial to the locals and the wildlife, then get up off your arse and campaign the current minority brave souls, who can and do get off their arses.  The more numbers who protest against such things, the more likely we are to save it.

You don’t like something the officials are doing, you have a voice and if you start standing up you will motivate others who are quieter than you to voice their opinions too, and there’s more civilians in the world than officials, so they have to listen to the loudest voice!

So get MOVING!

I’ve done something similar here in Rugby, I attended a meeting where the locals wanted a small playground for the local children, because the council took away the one we had four years ago.  three years after heavy campaigning in a progressively enlarging group, we’ve got our way, now they’re building a huge adventure playground on our local field (one mowed constantly as its 2 football pitches for the local lads and an acre spare) not only that though, but they’ve allowed us local parents to pick and choose what things we want there and how to design it.

If you work with your community, you get what the community wants, not what some officials think will shut you up.

I wasn’t the loudest voice, I was in fact pretty quiet and sitting and the back but making it known I wanted the playground too, just by being there.  Unfortunately I was the only one at the time who had their child with them, Henry was just turning 3 months old and I got a lot of attention just because he was so darn cute, but the councillor listening to us, wanted to know more about what I particularly wanted, so I reluctantly spoke out in front of about 70 people and they pulled me to the front, and I was clinging onto Henry for dear life, scared as hell that all these people are looking at me.

She said it’s unlikely we’d get anything done by 2012, but we may get something done by the time my little baby turns 5, and it will be done as they are going to start building it in spring 2014.

So was it Henry who finally got it by pulling her heartstrings?  I don’t know, but one thing is for sure, although I wanted to campaign with everyone and hide, my thoughts counted A LOT, and we got listened to.

So get out there and get what you think your community needs, after all, why are you paying taxes if you’re not prosperous with your environment.

 

 

 

 

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