One Single Impression: Copse

IMG 8059

Dusk has come.

I walk and

Rabbits the color of forgotten hay
Dart into the undergrowth
The soundless doe and her fawn
Slip into the slender shadows
Of the copse
That keeps the river
Cool and dark

The waters slow to a whisper.

Birds on the outer branches
Of this secret place
Silence themselves
As my footfall sends
A shiver through the earth.

The fish feel the echo
Rippling through water.

A fox slips through the grass
And the geese step into
The cool dew of day's end.

Everything disappears
Into the shelter of trees.

In the distance, a dog barks.
A baby cries.

I stand still, stand back,
Hold my breath
And wait for silence
To carry off these voices.

The retreating thunder
Of my steps
Is the last sound
Before darkness claims
The sleeping universe

That casts me back out
Onto the unlit street.

I discovered this week that the word copse comes from a Latin word meaning to cut. So a copse is a small wood grown for the purpose of cutting. How and why this brought my thoughts to the works of Margaret Wise Brown and her bedtime stories for children--Goodnight, Moon, A Child's Good Night Book, The Big Red Barn, The Sleepy Book, Wait 'Til the Moon is Full, The Sleepy Little Lion--that have a lovely way of placing the sleepy child in a wonderful, settled, sleeping world where all is well, I don't know. I like to walk in the evening just as it seems the world is going to sleep. Except that I often feel like a heavy, oafish intruder as I move along. Quite the opposite of all those wonderfully assuring things I used to read to my daughter. I don't know.


  1. Your photo is soothing, beautiful and so are the words. I read Goodnight Moon to my children and it was always a favorite. Lovely, thoughtful post, Sandy, as yours always are. Thanks!


  2. Anonymous8:24 PM

    absolutely beautiful..

    ok i did not know the word copse!

  3. I read corpse and it had a different meaning...interesting. Children see darkness differently than adults do.

  4. Goodnight Moon and The Velveteen Rabbit were my childrens favorites...especially when they were old enough to read them to ME. Beautiful post

  5. Sandy: That was so neatly written.

  6. How wonderful! I FEEL your night, Sandy!
    I love to go out under the sky before reflect on the eternity that runs through my diverse days like a thread of life.
    You are not clumsey amidst the magic- just human. One day we will dance the spirit dance and laught together with the moon!
    Aloha my beautiful Sistah-
    Comfort Spiral

  7. Great atmosphere in this poem, Sandy. I've really enjoyed it. And about the picture, oh I'd like to take a walk in that lovely stormy landscape!

  8. Anonymous3:13 AM

    Soothing feel from the depth of routine in the verses..
    Takes me away to a land so pure like the one described in the poem and the picture..
    Amazing shot there!
    Yeah, I remember these books too..very nostalgic!
    Nice one..keep writing..:)

  9. Lovely poem. And thanks for sharing that a copse is grown for cutting. I didn't know that.

  10. Always, the teacher teaches!

    Sandy, your poetry really should be publsihed. This is so soothing and soft... A wonderful story to read a tucked-in child.

  11. Your words took me right to the edge of this copse. It sometimes seems intrusive to go walking about when nature is tucking itself in for the night. I always hate to frighten someone off their perch. Lovely poem.

  12. you paint such a peaceful, languid picture with your words.

  13. That is amazing! Very powerful. The kids read Good Night Moon all the time to our granddaughter. One night he woke her to take her outside to actually see the real moon!

  14. Anonymous10:52 AM

    a very much brilliant poem!
    it gives the reader a beautiful picture to frame in the mind!

    well written.

  15. Great words that transport you there.

  16. I believe Dorothy Wordsworth would be quite pleased with this piece, Sandy. Who knows where our minds get these notions? As some like to say these days, "It's all good."

    "forgotten hay" was so good.


  17. With all the critters lurking in your dream I want to be there too! :)

  18. Anonymous4:17 PM

    Just beautiful, and so soothing. Maybe a book called the The Walk?

  19. A lovely sense of oneness in this delightful lyrical piece!

  20. This is a wonderful piece. So often as we wander about, nature is alerted to our presence. Here you share a bit of each perception. Lovely.

  21. soothing and magical...

  22. I love murals! We have one huge one in a nearby town of Port Carling.
    It is made of old, family an historical photographs. Another fantastic idea!

    Nice photos.

  23. Sandy, reading this poem and your thoughts puts me right back there in a New England meadow with the woods nearby. Lovely writing and wonderful thoughts. I don't like dusk when I am inside the house. The grayness seems to smother everything, including my soul. I like it better when I am outside. Your poem makes it all sound so peaceful and pleasant.

  24. Lovely feeling this poem exudes... we were somewhat on the same page with our interpretations~ Thanks for sharing!

  25. it looks like you have a storm coming in? would be nice to hear one of those tonight here in this area.

  26. Hi Sandy, this is nice. It just lulls us along listening to you (first person writer) who are almost a part of that growth/copse but then are repulsed by the dark. A very nice progression is the way I see it.
    I especially like the two-liner, "In the distance, a dog barks.
    A baby cries."
    We aren't sure if they are a part of those inside or like you are on the outside being concerned about the within.
    On the definition, I too had the idea of a cutting that grows back faster than it is cut. We do that in Texas with an old Ford tractor and a cutter called a 'brush hog.'
    If the growth isn't cut soon enough it gets out of hand and the trees grow tall.
    I also read where a copse may be the reforestation growth after the tall trees have been cut for timber.

  27. “Rabbits the color of forgotten hay
    Dart into the undergrowth
    The soundless doe and her fawn
    Slip into the slender shadows”

    a secret magical place, like the edge of a dream or night’s fall breathing. I really love this one, Sandy. So full of mystery.

    i too used to read goodnight moon to my daughter. it was a bed time ritual. we would stand at the window peering out at the night and say good night to all the blessed creatures, stones and starry sky. until sleep would finally take her.


Post a Comment

Thanks for being here.