Shadows fall on the ground
Draw dark lines
Across the children’s faces
Like tribal markings of holy men
Who crouch over a fire
And thick magic
Into a spewing bubbling pool
Of liquid lava.
Their eyes flash like fireflies
In the darkness
And draw out the spirits of the dead
From the leaf mulch
That carpets the ground
Beneath their bare feet.
Clawing at the moonlight
An eagle’s beak turns
And soars down
Into the depths of the forest
Searching for a thin, pink life
To snatch up and tear open.
The forest is dark, full of shadows
And monsters’ eyes that twitch and blink
Mouths opening to reveal black tongues
Over sharp, pointed teeth.
Wolves howl like distant trains
Leaves curled like folded bats’ wings
Over roots and squashed berries
That bleed blue on the ground
Colour seeping into the fibrous soil.
It boils, the cauldron
And spits venom at those
Who gaze over
Its fiery lip.