Jörmungandr – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

I’ll start at the toes,
short,
and not quite in joint
with one another.

Pause around the ankles.
Suckle them
like gobstoppers
to the marrow.

Crunch shin and calf,
ravish thighs
till the fat glistens
along my jawbone.

Pick the pelvis clean,
pop each ovary
between thumb
and forefinger.

Still juicy and ripe.

Pull intestines,
lungs, liver, heart,
kidneys free.
Mince into a pie.

Portion each breast
out with the cuts
to ensure a moist
cook.

Lick the remains clean
from each finger.
Grind the bones
between my teeth.

Leave one hand for eyeballs,
seasoned tongue
tastes a lot like ox,
ears more like bacon.

At the end,
begin again.



With Halloween just a couple of days away, I thought I’d share one of the more monstrous poems from my poetry collection, ‘It’s All In The Blood’ which sounds like a much darker collection when associated with this poem on its own.

Trickle Down – Working On Writing During Lock-down

At the start of this year I was planning on which poetry events I wanted to go to in order to publicise my new collection ‘It’s All In The Blood‘. I managed a few local ones, and had a slot booked to perform at a Ludlow poetry night, right at the beginning of March. Then 2020 hit its stride in the UK.

Continue reading “Trickle Down – Working On Writing During Lock-down”

Water Song – #DVersePoets

I want to sink bells into the pond.

Plant them just below the waterline,

where the ripples look like scales

lifting out of the shallows slowly

on the back of an endless snake.

Then at night when the moon lifts,

turns her face to watch,

I’ll slip out onto the decking,

strip down to my silver skin.

Drop like a stone or a witch

into the quiet cold of a place

not quite what I wish of it.

Wonder as the bells ring out

if anyone else may be listening.

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There’s a lot of Shropshire Folklore about women and water. The River Severn is often characterised as female, and there are tales of women (or women-like creatures) inhabiting lakes and ponds. Another image in Shropshire folk tales, is that of church bells falling into water and being lost forever, but the sound of their ringing being heard at night.

I’ve always been in love with myths and legends, but more often than not it was the classic Greek, Egyptian, and Norse myths that I turned to as a child. More recently I started to look into the tales from my native county, and one of the poems in my collection was inspired by this research. During the lockdown I’ve been trying to read more books to keep myself occupied. I ended up purchasing ‘Shropshire Folk Tales’ by Amy Douglas. The one off poem on Shropshire Folklore that I included in my collection now looks like it might grow into something more.

 

 

 

 

Myth Lost Lover

They carved a mirror out of shadows when you died,

just to pull your reflection from it,

held the silhouette up like a man

full formed and walking

despite the brittleness in his limbs

when he reached for anything other

than the stories they planted inside his mouth

like the kisses I used to keep there

when the world receded with the tides

on blue moons and snowy days in June.

I alone knew that you did not smile in that way.

I alone knew the curve of your mouth

was remade backwards,

the bend of your nose lost beneath legends,

a scar on your palm,

no longer than the width of one finger

healed by their songs.

If we had laid together I would not recognize the man they’d forged,

even your eyes changed colour

in the light of their voices.

In the end I had to learn to let them keep you

this other version of you,

that I did not own,

and I did not know.


Daily Prompt: Famous (Also inspired by Madeline Miller’s ‘The Song of Achilles)

 

NaPoWriMo – Day Fifteen: Bluebeard’s Wife

It was not cold enough to keep her whole

when Spring sprung anew to curdle her soul,

so he wept just like the castle walls

as they shed their sorrows at the thaw

and the ice around her heart did melt

as much as any love she’d ever felt

when confronted with his face and gait

so apposed to the words he’d carefully placed

in letters crafted on cold summer nights

in rooms empty of laughter, or of life.

Now she lay among her sisters past,

flowers sullied, bloomed all too fast,

victim to the warming months

where little for her condition could be done

except to watch her cheeks give way,

her skeleton to rise

beneath layers of decay,

and press his lips to white of her throat

when all that remained

was spinal column and bone.

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I might have gone a little off target with today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: “writing a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation and is revealed to be human (but still evil)”.

I’m not sure I managed to make Bluebeard sound in any way, shape or form human, but the prompt did inspire the poem so I have that at least.

Apologies if I sound croaky in the audio recording, I woke up feeling a little under the weather today. Nothing terrible, just a slightly sore throat and a stuffy nose.

P.S – I’m still looking for NaPoWriMo participants to take part in a series of guest posts in May showcasing their favorite poems from the month and a review of how they found the April challenge. You can find more info here.