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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Una Selva Oscura

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita

mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,

ché la diritta via era smarrita.

Inferno - Dante

In the dark wood, a muntjac barks -

a darker darkness in the shadow of trees.

Above, rooks are roosting - a canopy of cawing -

And - higher still - scimitar wings silhouetted.

'A hobby,' says Mischa.

Our silence below the cacophony of corvids


the soundless sweep of raptor wings.

Can he see the still-opal sky


in our eyes?

We are irrelevant. He glides on.

Along the fence-line,

bats fly flitteringly fleet figures of eight

between branches and leaves

and out -

to skim above the gilding wheat.

'Soprano Pipistrelles,' says Karen

as our monitors emit rapid-fire clicks.

'SP' written on the record, '22:17.'

Blacker now - and deeper than sleep -

the trees close in

and - close by - a keening cry -

'Kee-it! Kee-it!'

We turn, seeking shapes in pitch.

'Tawny Owl,' says Juliette. 'Juvenile.'

Unseen but so near, he keeps us company.

Somewhere, away from straightforward paths,

a feathered ghost, hunts,


the moonless forest.

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Jul 17, 2022

This is wonderful, Crone. I love how you have launched off from the Dante scene to make one of your own but where you have more company than Dante (if I remember). You have the non-human life and the humans as you survey. Atmospheric. The Latin name for the bat ties in nicely with the quote from Dante. Great inclusion of the technical and of identification of the people and the other creatures. Great images ex. the actions of the raptor and the bats.

Jul 17, 2022
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Thank you so much for that! I was pleased with this one. I really like it and am so glad you do!

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