#folktober. Day Five. “The Green Children of Woolpit.” Broadening the theme, have you created any published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about otherness/strangers/mysterious people? I will feature all contributions on tomorrow’s blog.

Day Five – The Green Children of Woolpit

Woolpit Sign

Village sign depicting the two green children, erected in 1977.

Rod Bacon – This file was derived from: The “green children” of Woolpit on the village sign – geograph.org.uk – 1161413.jpg

The village sign, showing the green children of Woolpit. Cropped from original.

Wanton Agnes

My glowing pink skin belies me
and I know that glint in your eye:
you’re hoping we might go to bed?
Would you feel the same
if I was pea-pod green instead?

Before the bang and the ringing bells
that chimed us from cave into sunlight:
that’s how I was – and my brother too.
Ah, yes, you know me now?
You’ve heard the gossiped news…

I’m Agnes, the green girl who lived:
I learned to forsake green beans
and to eat your garish food
then watch at the placid mill
as my skin took on your pig pink hue.

My homesick brother did the same
but his heart was always green.
Constant as malachite,
green as the willows
quivering by the wolf pits;

green as loyalty, green with memory,
green as the bright watermeal
that hides newts and frogs
but couldn’t conceal
his bloated pink corpse.

So take me to bed, perhaps make me your wife,
I’ll love you as any pink person might.
But you must know that when I hear
the high bells of St Edmund’s
tolling out bold and clear,

I’ll want to take the cold hand
of my brother’s colourless ghost
and walk where once a way appeared,
down by those lonely traps,
– that left us sun-struck and blinking, here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_children_of_Woolpit

First published at Three Drops From A Cauldron 19/1/16
https://threedropspoetry.co.uk//?s=wanton+agnes&search=Go

-Marc Woodward

We Were Green

tending to flocks of mother and dad’s big cattle,
we hear clapping of bells, a call
to colour of bells, we fell into twig
of twilight, a dark cave of hammers fall.

They said our words were not understanding,
so we went with them, our garb they were not
knowing, and we were green and lazing
They took us with them to a big door knock.

Inside they passed foul tastes bruv and me were
having none of until we could split pods
roll the bean inside our strange tongues slur
and soon we were pink again and their god

taught us their way of understanding to
I can say these things. Am servant and do.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-Marc Woodward

lives in Devon, England. His writing, which often reflects his rural environment, has been widely published in poetry journals and anthologies. He was shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and commended for both the 2020 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and the Acumen International Poetry competition. His collections include A Fright of Jays (Maquette Press 2015),  Hide Songs (Green Bottle Press 2018), and The Tin Lodes written in collaboration with well known poet and English professor Andy Brown (Indigo Dreams 2020).  His latest collection Shaking The Persimmon Tree will be published by Sea Crow Press in early 2022.

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