Poem – Martin Sutton

The Fox’s Wedding

In memory of Richard Dadd, painter, d.1886


It’s the light at the end of a certain kind of day
Just when the sun’s gone down
The cloud clears from the far horizon
But overhead it hangs like a large gray caul
And will not shift away.

It’s the light that from this cloud comes threading
Down to earth, through trees, waterways, and
Where glowing an unbelievable green
It’s what fanciful minds like to call
The fox’s wedding.

By fox is meant not any natural beast
But the fairy folk, the little people seen
At this evening hour, in this eerie light
Carrying tiny torches of Hymen, soft feet treading
To their nuptial feast.


Indeed, in such a light as this, it seems that you can see
Any strange thing you ever wished or feared to see.

   obolds, goblins, gremlins, elves
   ixies, pixies, gnomes and bogies.

This is their element, so surely supernatural and fay
That you cannot simply blink and make it go away.

It lasts maybe an hour. One of the unexpected wonders  of the world
Holds you spellbound. A mixture of crepuscular green,  old, and gray.


But if you’ve once seen them celebrate and consummate  their wedding
Heard their tiny pipes, watched their minute organs  dancing in and out

Already you’re a candidate for Bedlam
The cells and synapses in your brain like little green  candle-flames
being inch by inch snuffed out.

Martin Sutton

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