Earthly pleasures

The lovers laid on the drier ground in the middle of the copse. Face to face. Hand in hand. Two thin lines drawn so close together that from any distance they’d have appeared as one brush stroke on the canvas of their special field. There was only leaf litter for a mattress. And the scree slope spoil of a badger sett for a pillow. But they really couldn’t have been more comfortable.

Mostly their eyes were locked together. Invisible bar magnets; his north to her south. But when they did look up it was to a Sistine Chapel ceiling held aloft on the fluted columns of tree trunks. Buttress roots. Rafter branches.

Her eyes mirrored the sky painting. Or perhaps, he fancied, it was the other way round, such was the power she exerted over him. An earth goddess with irises as blue as a cloudless day and pupils as dark as a moonless night.

Little was said. But there was no silence to break. For they both heard the music that others did not. The bark of a dog fox. The throat clearing crow. The monotone morse of the woodpigeon. The wind playing notes in the tops of the trees. Creaking baritone oaks at one end of the scale. Tinkling cymbals of copper beech leaves at the other.

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