Capturing Myth, Introspect

Artemis At Target Practice

A sickle-faced moon
for the sallow night.

Slow in the dark,
quiet as a page,
the nest in my damp bones
until my arms shake
like the leaves
threatening fall.

broad-shouldered, starry-eyed,
tries to hide,
creeping beneath starving branches,
plump with harvest.

His hands touch the wood
as he passes thoughtless,
scraping at the scars.

I think of an earlier night,
and a moon so fat I licked it
off the sky,
bow footstep-heavy,
eye arrow-sharp.

My arm shakes,
the arrow sings.
I open my mouth
for the moon.

Capturing Myth, Retrospect

Further Summer (Sunflowers)

It is a cold end to August,
but the warmth comes out
again in September.
I walk through a field of sunflowers,
little faces dried from tears:
seeds hardening from the left,
petals blooming from the right.

I sit with the sunflowers. I look for the sun.

There isn’t much to do
but wait,
clinging to a rock for nine days straight,
staring at the Sun who chases the river.
He chases the forest, chases the stars,
one side of the heavens to the other.

My hot cheeks beg to be drowned
in a mountain lake
when he burns for days, and chases us.

But when the clouds roll,
when he hides a hemisphere away,
the burns on our lips sting
with salt.

Though the morning dew goes frosty,
and winter starts singing from the hills,
we fight for fire,
growing taller, getting dryer.

The heliotropes lie fragrant
beneath my feet,
and my sunburn grows new skin and freckles
while the sunflowers drop their seeds,
little prayers in hard shells.

It is ending, this warm dream,
dying in my hands.

Snow will come soon
to muffle the harvest
and blanket the trees
while He is far away,
loving a further summer,
and unable to burn.

Capturing Myth, Introspect


Frightened by learning to live
in vacuums,
hunger is a result
(I am told)
of punishment and penance,
paid humble.
This is why I am kept
spinning on the wheel and crucified
by stars, fed
on the nauseous smoke
and the starving laughter.
I love the green season,
when the fruit hangs low and heavy
on the branches
that I cannot reach.
My fingers shake with little tremors,
fault lines in the joints.

Full and aching to burst
like pears ripening in golden skins,
getting fat,
growing luscious,
dripping with gentle amber.
Down crawls my throat,
pricking with want, as if there are seeds
sowed before the frost
that are waiting to be hatched.
I swallow them down.
I know all they grow are nightmares
of fevers unrelenting
and deep, deep hunger,
nights unslept.

Blooming dreams surround me and
I cannot touch,
I watch the pears grow from green to gold.
I watch them ripen
and cannot touch;
while the freckles
on their distended skin
threaten to burst, I cannot touch.
I ache for it,
the slow burn,
I do.
The hunger mounts,
something quiet and inexorable,
and I lie in the waters
I cannot drink,
pears begging for my palm,
my tongue, my teeth,
the hunger I cannot hold.

Capturing Myth, Introspect



Listen, listen,

I have nothing to say
to turned ears,
empty-filled with not-me.

I am all steam,
hot spring and mud in a limestone cave.

beneath the vapour there is clay,
and behind the clay
is cold that rushes through.

A terrified prayer
is whispered to a hole in the wall:


 It’s the prayer of Dawn and her grasshopper,
the prayer of the Sky pressing to his consort Earth,
the prayer of boar tusks through your lover’s back.

I am hungry
for gold coins
or for swimming with swans,
the scent of flower garlands
tied to a white bull’s neck
still clinging to my hands.

Capturing Myth


Q: Has the darkness
ever touched you?

A: Mine caresses. And I
melt, through the soil,
a breath under the oak tree,
just a mouth on the wrists
like a dagger
as the flowers fall.

Q: Has the sadness
ever kissed you?

A: Mine devours. And I
give mind and soul and
anchor, blood throbbing:
war drums and rituals,
epic poems
and sacrifices.

Q: Has the hatred
ever loved you?

A: Mine is worshipped. And the
incense is like sweetness;
I tell myself it’s of blueberry
but it is sweeter, and sourer,
like fallen leaves
or pomegranates.

Capturing Myth


There is a day
summer calls like
a nightingale:
the aching colour
of nostalgia in the sky,
a cluster of blueberries
hanging lonely on the bush,
sweet fat for the tongue.

This is the day I remember,
searching for valley flowers:
baby’s breath,
hunting down the loveliness
or crushing it
beneath my feet,
so the scent of beauty
was thrown into the breeze.

And I remember perfume
of a thousand petals
waft towards me,
the threat of dying
edging the air with rot,
mother’s milk bitter.
I smelled death
when the heaviness cut through
my limbs,

And summer lost her hold on me,
growing paler and brittler
than straw,
and my hair went copper-red
to iron-grey
to silver-white
when she swallowed me whole.

Capturing Myth, Introspect

Hymn to Hecate

It is in the silence –
or the omen of a waning moon,
two-thirds light.
The last fraction of darkness
sends a whisper
to the flame,
letter-quiet; the path is hidden
in the night. Blindness goes easy.

(and) the terror of
seduction rises
like a frightened snake,
though the mysteries
of innocence call
to slaves,
not servants.

(and) patience loses
meaning when
the hot skin collides,
though the secrets
of the hidden scales exposed
in the poised tail,
the half-sheathed fangs.

(… and) the calmness
meets calamity, the end
carried in the beginning,
though the oracle is armed,
swallowing the moonlight,
eking and ebbing
like blood, like water.

Capturing Myth


First of all,
you sleep for days
and then you must not sleep
at all.

be hollow,
bury the bullhide in the dark,
in the unused soil,
build a kingdom over it.

Claim your inheritance
in the rule of rock salt
and damp earth,
your crown
in the blood
and the water.

tear it all down
brick by brick. Paint your arms
with the ashes,
you are a ferocious girl;
be wild, seize
the immortality
between your teeth.

You will wait
for no one.

Capturing Myth, Introspect

In Saecula Saeculorum

I am a girl with a mutable heart, a soul of mud, and seed, and sprout.

I feed the sparrows with the bones of my past – my present shows itself to me, shyly facing belly-up, in my dreams – my future hides in the darkness, when the shadows whisper sad words.

I carry a fairytale in my arms like an infant, and it is hungry, and begs to be fed often.

I am a mother and a king. I walk with my vanity and live in fear of its power.

Underneath my skin, and my blood, and my muscle, I feel my aspects shudder and snap, one setting off the other, stars too close in orbit taking aeons to explode. It is a slow and painful process, cross-sections of supernovae available to the laziest observer. I am left open and shivering, calcium and carbon.

And the stars have names, marble names and sand names and names that have never left the darkness; the shadows whisper the sad things, though, and they call to me: daughter of the Moon, Saturn’s baby, sister of Persephone, Hekate’s student, Dionysus’ lover.

I treat the wound in my womb and it opens instead. I listen to it croon of a terrible beauty.

I cling, quite desperately, to a sliver of mountain song that has me yearn for an ancient palace in the rock, gilded with obsidian and netted in filigree. I look for love and it looks for me, because it knows I am an easy spirit in a difficult world.

I have skin sweeter than milk and a mind like the branches of a tree from a dream sequence. I kiss a sky that cannot feel me. I think my haphazard mosaic of half-remembered skills and dusty talents lie somewhere between the mass of roots and burrows.

I am haunted by the ghosts I have not met, my father’s heir, third daughter: witch and priestess and scholar.

I leave gifts for the fairies, and they send me some back: clean rain, rumbles of thunder, the mildest suggestion of smoke on the altar.

Capturing Myth, Introspect

Winged Victories

Like the other half-formed sirens,
born hungry:
my chicken feet and
flashing eyes;
cheeks hot
with the humiliation of tentative beauty,
my brilliance tuned to the night,
snakeskin and rosewater
hidden in my hair,
and diaries
written for the hourglass,
candles spilling slow
like a secret.

[surely he’s a little frightened
of my wet and my warmth,
but the haunt of drowned flesh
is too much for me to bear
so I bid him still as
I envelop him in lilacs and love:
if this is pleasure, my body is greedy –
if this is sin, I moan to forgiveness,
the flowers
spill from my neck.]

And while the pain sears into our tender
we wait for the love like a disease
or a fire, and the song of
the lost daughter is whispered
into your ear, o
lover. We may burn
with fragility: so you cast your horrified gaze
to the claws and the talons,
and not for a moment
think of the hunger
in the kiss.

Blood of the afterbirth under our nails
(born hungry)
we rise from your sheets, fall from you,
eating ourselves sick. We have been singing
the song of Rome burning,
the animal fat
clinging to our bowed mouths,
crooning over the sand and the silver,
pushing and pulling,
new, and sharp,
with many teeth.