Downward Plod

Briars scrape my flailing hand,
a fly drones overhead.
Prickly hedges drip with beads of squashed black fruit
basking in a sticky sun-lit mist.
Down this quaint unearthly country lane I tread.
Some strange presence, a mockingbird sixth sense
casts its unseen ring of watchful silence.
Drooping branch that creaks - spore-shedding fern,
covert ripple menace, symbolic dash.
Imagined signal from an imprint long ago,
long forgotten.
Ouch, you stung my ankle - spike green thistle.
Buffoon, sneak, playful oafish imp,
Joker in a deep,  hollow crag.
Past issues seep eerily through an echo
of my downward plod.
Some granite rock peeps slyy upwards, straight up 
through that wild and weedy labyrinth
where tortured souls dock.
A startled creeper darts from tree to tree,
shaken by a banshee scream that fills the air
with trauma.
Was that me or me hallucinating? The poor creeper cowers.
As the sun draws down its grey haze blind old batted eyelids squint.
Sahara heat my backpack on this  lodestone march.
I gulp clay bake air, gasping, sos, leaf green dew
please slake this coarse vein thirst.
Is there a cul-de-sac that bears those footsole blisters inside my leather?
Or did I hear the bustle of a dim and distant road?
Relief road, release - eternal memory chaser fly.
Methinks the startled creeper knows a thing or two.
I plod on.

Creativewritingink shortlist 2015