Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Joan Murray: The Witch´s Daughter

August 18, 2017
The witch, we knew. Because she lived below
the cliff we scrambled over. And she yelled
ten times worse than anybody’s mother. So the witch
was the one we took everyone to see. First, we’d
creep along the cliff edge soundlessly, then let out
a scream of laughter. Oh how the witch
detested laughter. To her it was a dog ripping out
her throat, or a knife doodling in her gut, or the fat
Monsignor sitting down and squeezing all her air out.
But the witch’s daughter never came out. The witch’s
daughter made herself invisible with a spell.
Yet now and then, we’d see the pair of them,
walking together, step by step, trying hard to look normal,
step by step, putting one foot down and then the other,
like everyone else on Ogden Avenue, till we
couldn’t stand it a second longer, and someone
had to shout, Look out, it’s the witch and the witch’s daughter! 
And we’d dive between two cars and hide for our lives.
But sometimes in the hallway of the school
we’d see the witch’s daughter without her mother,
looking like any other kid, looking almost like us
in her brilliant disguise of an ugly blue uniform
and even having a kid’s name like the rest of us,
till someone had to shout, Look out, it’s the witch’s daughter! 
And then she would run. All the way home to her mother.
Where she could be as evil as a mountain. And as cold
as the dark. And as invisible as a star.

Dorothea Mackellar: The Witch-Maid

August 18, 2017

I wandered in the woodland a morning in the spring,
I found a glade I had not known, and saw an evil thing.

I heard a wood-dove calling, as one that loves and grieves,
The sun was shining silver on the small bright leaves,
O it was very beautiful, the glade that I had found!
I peeped between the slender stems, and there upon the ground
A man was lying dead, and from the spear-wound in his side
The sluggish blood had ceased to flow, and yet had hardly dried.

            O the shining of the leaves,
The morning of the year!
O how could any die to-day, with life so young and dear?

My feet were tied with horror, I could not turn to run;
A light breeze tossed the branches, the shadow and the sun
Across the dead face shifted—it seemed to change and twitch—
When from the trees beyond me stepped a white young witch.

I prayed that I was hidden, she never turned her head,
But picked her footsteps daintily and stooped beside the dead;
She touched him with her hanging hair and stroked him with her hand,
Still gazing like a little child that does not understand,
For she had strayed from Elfland where death has never come,
She knew not why his side was torn nor why his mouth was dumb.

She sat her down beside him and joined her finger-tips
And smiled a strange and secret smile that curved her thin red lips;
She wore a veil of purple about her body sweet
And little silver sandals on her smooth pale feet;
Her black hair hung as straight as rain and touched the dead man’s eyes,
He smiled at her in answer, a scornful smile and wise.

She played with him awhile as might a panther-kitten play,
Most horrible it was, and yet I could not look away—
I needs must watch her motions, her cruel, supple grace,
The delicate swift changes of her sharp-cut face;
Till suddenly she wearied, and rising from her knees
All in one lovely movement like a sapling in the breeze,
She gazed on him who would not play, with gathering surprise—
The man she did not understand, though she was very wise—

She drew her veil around her, her whiteness showing through,
And gazed; and still unceasingly there came the wood-dove’s coo.

O the stirring of the spring,
The calling of the dove!
Why does he lie so cold, so cold, when I am here to love?

Her long strange eyes were narrowed to threads of shining green,
She touched the broken spear-point the wound’s red lips between,
She touched it with her careless foot, and yet he did not stir,
Dull fool that lay with open eyes and would not look at her!

She turned away in anger and raised her arms on high,
Her straight white arms that questioned the pure pale sky,

The thousand slender tree-stems soon hid the way she went
As they who hold a secret and therewith are content.
The dead man smiled in silence; a strange thought in me said,
If I had heard her speak at all then I too should be dead:
Her voice—what would her voice be?—and then I fled, afraid,
The spell was loosed that bound me to the evil glade.

O the flowers in the grass,
The wood-dove in the tree;
From magic and from sudden death, Good Lord deliver me!

Laura Benet: The Witch´s House

August 18, 2017

Its wicked little windows leer
Beneath a mouldy thatch,
And village children come and peer
Before they lift the latch.

A one-eyed crow hops to the door,
Fat spiders crowd the pane,
And dark herbs scattered on the floor
Waft fragrance down the lane.

It sits so low, the little hutch,
So secret, shy and squat,
As if in its mysterious clutch
It nursed one knew not what.

That beggars passing by the ditch
Are haunted with desire
To force the door, and see the witch
Vanish in flames of fire.

Sara Henderson Hay: The Witch

August 18, 2017

It pleases me to give a man three wishes,
Then trick him into wasting every one.
To set the simpering goosegirl on the throne,
While the true princess weeps among the ashes.
I like to come unbidden to the christening,
Cackling a curse on the young princeling’s head,
To slip a toad into the maiden’s bed,
To conjure up the briers, the glass slope glistening.

And I am near, oh nearer than you’ve known.
You cannot shut me in a fairy book.
It was my step you heard, mine and my creatures‘,
Soft at your heel. And if you lean and look
Long in your mirror, you will see my features
Inextricably mingled with your own.

James Weldon Johnson: The White Witch

August 18, 2017
O brothers mine, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night.
Trust not your prowess nor your strength,
Your only safety lies in flight;
For in her glance there is a snare,
And in her smile there is a blight. 
The great white witch you have not seen?
Then, younger brothers mine, forsooth,
Like nursery children you have looked
For ancient hag and snaggle-tooth;
But no, not so; the witch appears
In all the glowing charms of youth. 
Her lips are like carnations, red,
Her face like new-born lilies, fair,
Her eyes like ocean waters, blue,
She moves with subtle grace and air,
And all about her head there floats
The golden glory of her hair.

Vicky Feaver: The Witches

August 18, 2017
My sister’s screams
brought Mummy running:
Did you push her?
They drove to the hospital
leaving me alone in the house.

I read a book by the window.
until I couldn’t see the words.
Too scared to turn on the light,
I watched ghostly white roses
disappear into the dark.

Once, in a fever, I’d dreamed
of the witches who lived in the loft
flying through the hatch.
Now they were crouched
behind the wings of my chair.

I tried not to breathe,
pretending to be dead
like the stone girl in the churchyard
or my sister if all the blood
rolled out of her leg.

If she died, people
would think I was sad.
The witches knew the truth –
smelling my wickedness
with huge hooked noses.

Ava Leavell Haymon: The Witch Has Told You a Story

August 18, 2017
You are food.
You are here for me
to eat. Fatten up,
and I will like you better.
Your brother will be first,
you must wait your turn.
Feed him yourself, you will
learn to do it. You will take him
eggs with yellow sauce, muffins
torn apart and leaking butter, fried meats
late in the morning, and always sweets
in a sticky parade from the kitchen.
His vigilance, an ice pick of   hunger
pricking his insides, will melt
in the unctuous cream fillings.
He will forget. He will thank you
for it. His little finger stuck every day
through cracks in the bars
will grow sleek and round,
his hollow face swell
like the moon. He will stop dreaming
about fear in the woods without food.
He will lean toward the maw
of   the oven as it opens
every afternoon, sighing
better and better smells.

Richard Brautigan: A Boat

August 18, 2017
O beautiful
was the werewolf
in his evil forest.
We took him
to the carnival
and he started
when he saw
the Ferris wheel.
green and red tears
flowed down
his furry cheeks.
He looked
like a boat
out on the dark


Sarah Sheil (Continued)/ Alexandre Dumas: From `Antony´

August 15, 2017

Not to Be Trusted: In League With the Devil/ James Stephens: The Waste Places

August 15, 2017