Down Devil Den


Parked opposite Fyfield Hill, walked west to Piggle Dene, walked north through sarsen stone paying silent witness to grey wethers, marked by time and mason, mostly sleeping though some upright standing, watching over white faced lambs. A vista of sheep retreating on green hills guarded by trees, naked to the sky from distance.

The path to Totterdown becoming farm road at the barn and broken style. A pub name, Who’d Have Thought It. I climb up the hill to reach the top, to look down at the houses around North Farm. the river and someone elses church.

I mark my first summer swallow, a martin and at the bridge where Kennet bends, a place with trees to photo, I scorn a coot for walking that way.

Back to Fyfield I smell a plant that stinks of sewer and recall a day when my botany was so much better. Before the age of school cap.

All this a mistaken walk to Devizes’s Dolmen, the Devil’s Den, a sight i have to map read for. Up and Down i go again having first eaten Peter’s Good Life Bistro Sandwich, cheese, rocket, olive. Yum Yum.

I loved this walk. I loved it. Though feeling hampered in the groin. The greeness. The knowledge of knowing what i might find should i be able to recall the reading from the map i left behind.

A slight detour to take advantage of a given height and there it stands behind me, Satan’s tenement, a testament to his taste; towering, reaching taller the closer i approach it. Cautiously, just in case, i walk three times widdershins around it, dizzy, dizzily dumbly counting, hoping i could add. Sitting easter bun eating on its fingers, i crawl beneath his oh so athletic torso, before standing on his toes, wondering all the time why Beelzebub would make this paradise his home.

I venture back, striding across the bottom, Clatford by nomenclature. A deer hops the track before me, shaking its white bum, leaving hoof prints on the red earth, like magic before disappearing.

Back along my favourite road, a new pretty bridge appears aside the stream, a secret footpath to a church by a gate, festooned in crosses in memoriam to those given to bravely falling.

I sit, I write, i think of ice cream, i think of Christ. I consider the difference fleetingly (the devil has a nicer house which is always mnuch more open) and turn off to the cafe wishing i had a camera.

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2 Comments »

  1. detrich said

    An Addendum

    Went back to the devil’s house next day with Beanie counting road kill all the way. 2 young badgers. the odd pheasant. Have you ever seen pheasant. Really odd are pheasants.

    Beanie really loved it too and wondered how Jeanne could get there, maybe for the solstice. We have a solstice vision. Back along the bottom. We found a dead deer. it looked so much like yesterdays. Though all its magic gone. Someone, somewhere hidden, sniper shooting.

    Bean says, distressed though still loving the loving scene; “those who kill animals are one step away from killing humans” I give this some consideration as we continue walking.

  2. detrich said

    a good photo of the devil’s den can be found at

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