Light in Dark

August 21, 2017

It was the twilight made you look
So kindly and so far.
It was the twilight gave your eyes
A shadow, and a star.

For loveliness is not to keep
Unto the skies alone;
And though the glories may be gone,
The heart will have its own.

Some likeness of a dream is shed
From all fair things, too far;
And so your eyes have left to me
A shadow and a star.

Josephine Preston Peabody

The Snow Queen in Eden

August 21, 2017

Boots crunch ice

She crosses the ice orchards at night
pausing to pick, from black trees
the brittle bodies of frozen birds.

Later, she will shake out her long hair by the fire
a thousand melting stars falling loose
and her hands will burn my skin.

My queen’s tongue tastes like razors –

She has devoured her magic mirror
and I have not the power to defy a woman
with a mouth full of glass.

There was a time we gathered wildflowers
and carried them to the edge
and threw them in the River That Eats Memory.

I wrung out my heart in those waters
but still, something clings –
her long fingers tossing petals, a sandal strap, sunlight.

But the river devours and mirrors cut
I spit blood in the bright snow
and comb my lady’s hair with numb fingers.

Laid out on fur coats, I dreamt of a river
where we washed out our hearts,
as winter eats the corners of the world.

Selena Bulfinch

Brick by brick

August 20, 2017

Brick by brick
My castle grows
The towers rise
Out of the forest
Climbing into the air
Until they reach the stars
Joining earth and sky
Binding moon and sun
In the promise
Of magic to come

Sammi Cox

                                                                               The birds against the clouds, their flapping sounds like snapping wires

As children we played with                 – never 
seeing them in the mirrored faces of 

our parents, returned home – No
I have returned, calling            ghosts bring back

cornfields & moons –         Didn’t we used to play?
I stood over     (memory has worn into glass) 

grass bodies of rabbits 
                        plotting cold, bending the road home

like a knee                                                      & mice
in a field mice in the graves we dug mice in the eyes

we’d wave our arms as in SOS 
away from the cats           but the cornfield

we brought with us –                          what’s left

of the house? what have we
conjured? We’ve conjured up Mother’s rooster

we’ve carried the moon’s light –

O dark what we buried. O animal bones.
Our bones on theirs                 who whispers dirt-

deep asking how we could be so cruel? O
          singing dark – for what we love. 


Listen to the dead. We can get you 
                            there from here     (a dark space 

and forgotten – we)    in the place      where dead mice 
                            are just 
dead mice. 

You have returned home to un-
bury us. Home with its bent knee & cold

dirt in the fur. Home with its flick 
                           of hair like white rabbits. In our flanks 

secrets. In your hips, men
in your skin, animal bones, your memories –

ghosts in
                           the cornfield            & searching.

Stephanie Bryant Anderson


Make room

August 19, 2017

The Old Man of Winter

August 18, 2017

At the withering of the year
There stands a tree in black silhouette
On a background of snowy white

Bent-backed, twisted and knotted
Like a man of great age
Wizened by the passing of time

Joints swollen
Limbs ending in gnarled fingers
Grasping icy teardrops come the dawn

Breath wheezing through
The leafless bough
Rasping and laboured

Can you hear him?

Whispering words of
Death and the darkness

Can you hear him?

Sammi Cox

Witch Burn

August 17, 2017

It feels like freedom, sitting next to a grown woman,
squeezed into a corset, blessed woman, crowned in silver and gold,
body-strong as we grapevine in a circle,
body-vulnerable in diaphanous skirts.
We gargle meditatively, our voices vibrating
across each other’s solar plexi.

This witchy thing, inspired by
Druids, ancient and unknowable,
those Roman-fodder, those barbarous,
who never wrote anything down,
who probably practiced human sacrifice,
at their altars under monoliths, but
that’s what all the websites say, in curly-que letters,
like wishing can make it true,
and spell
all at once),
and under that in fine-print,
really brought to you by: a man named Gerald Gardner,
British civil servant who thought one day in the 1950s,
to look at nature and breathe in the moon
and stare at the stars and say yes, okay, yes,
this I worship.

And so we sit pentacle-corner to pentacle-corner,
humming hymns to horned gods
that I don’t believe in,
but the night smells like basil and mint
and the gardenia blossoms
in the desert heat, delicate blooms
that shouldn’t thrive here, but do,
like me, like magic.

Kristen Figgins

The Matriarchs’ Charm

August 16, 2017

Take hungry grins full of spittle
place sticky, beating hearts in the middle
and twine with salt and pepper hair
through endless days and nights laid bare
Add pebble, bone, root and feather
then wrap in tales and bind together

Wipe your brow and bow your head
spill blood upon the marriage bed
Now cross yourself – once, twice, thrice
and you become the sacrifice

Mary Bach


August 15, 2017

Slides under door jambs
pouring through windows
painting my room black.

This evening was spent
watching old movies.
Song and dance actors
looping through gay,
improbable plots.

All my plates are put away,
cups hanging on hooks.
The towel is still moist.

I blow out cinnamon candles
wafting the air with spice.
Listening now to dogs
barking at winds and
sputtering of heat.

Winter pummels skeletal
trees as the moon’s big
yellow eye haunts shadows.

Joan McNerney

Start to feel

August 13, 2017