This is the world the tourist will never see.
The hidden grottos, carpeted with gold.
The heather drying to incandescence
Hiding the muntjac that erupt in a raucous blur,
Racing away to safety from the imagined danger.
Though the kings that hunted here are long dead,
Leaving behind the great oaks through which
They galloped and cried, hunting the wild boar,
Whilst the queens rode with their courtiers
Through the wide, arching avenues of green.
Now the noise is the haunting whistle of the kite
Circling above, ready to swoop and feed.
The woodpecker’s staccato beat a counterpoint
To the grunting cough of the stags as they battle,
Their antlers crashing together to maim, even kill.
The sunbeams create golden spotlights that
Evolve to indigo streaks in the shade of the forest,
Highlighting the young sapling, alone in the glade,
Striving to reach the shimmering sky above,
Surrounded by the rusting carpet of fallen leaves
Meanwhile, in the shadow of the great castle,
The dog walkers gossip