Is This Deity A Goddess Or Witch?

I tried swearing at the garden pond,

to see if I could goad a water witch

into dredging herself up at at ’em

with enough pissed off vengeance

to take at least one body down.

I wasn’t decided on who I wanted,

squealing in her webbed, wet grip.

Half-thought if she came I’d go,

grab her right back with both hands,

test to see if she tasted stagnant,

or like spring water breaking free

after centuries underground.

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Find A Room, Make Yourself At Home

All corridors run back to you,
though they say loss gets less
the longer you let it sit.
And you’ve been sitting here,
in this hollow you left for a while now
Just a slither of yourself
with no new words to say
that might explain this empty.
And barricades don’t keep
the door from banging open,
every time a storm
or gentle breeze blows in.
It only takes a name,
or a memory,
to raise your shade.
So I given up airing out this room
with all your secrets.
Leave another hole in the wall
the same shape as my fist,
pretend I haven’t
when the moments leaves.
Re-watch you walk in
sit down
pick up your drink.
Re-watch you pick up your drink.

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One Size Fits All In Broken Tartan

For a while I wondered if my grandmother was magic. You see she would talk about the night she spent near Culloden. How my grandfather slept on sound, and she was tossed through dreams of screaming men. The English and their guns, against the all those clansmen, come to die. For a while I believe she’d walked the battle in her dreams.

The tartans, like welsh (for a while) were outlawed to break that spirit. Make them less like them, and more like us. Then they only rise against themselves. The English are very good at making adversaries of themselves.

When a friend shows me her family tartan, there was a plucking sort of feeling. An ache for a history only half understood, and twice removed. I could find it, put it on, but somehow I doubt I would fit. Not enough of the right stuff in me, to tie me into the pattern. Made me wonder how much of myself I can claim.

The loch waters rose

and I saw my own face there

to deep to be reached.

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Playing With Lines Of Five #DVersePoets

Tanka – Deception

The vines have curled up

till she’s dressed within their arms.

Astonishing green,

to hide all the stress fractures

now spider-webbing beneath.

 

Kyoka –  Toil Of A Water Witch

Ginny Greenteeth waits,

washes out last week’s litter

from her pond weed hair.

Snatches a plastic bottle

like she would do a child.

Ginny Greenteeth is from English folklore, and depending on your region her name can change from Ginny, to Jenny, or a number of other nom-de-plumes. It’s also the name used to refer to pond weed, or algae covering a pond’s surface and obscuring the water from view. She apparently lurks below the cover of the pond weed waiting for passersby to wander too close, so she can drag them to their watery depths.  There are perhaps some waterways that wouldn’t be particular pleasant to skulk in these days.

Gogyohka – After The Storm

We eye the horizon like a child,

question our certainty that the crying is done.

Slowly, we return ourselves to the garden,

we peg the washing out while watching clouds,

remind ourselves not to trust a blue sky.

 

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I’m uncertain if I did these forms justice, but I’ve had a go at all three. My Tanka, and Kyoka follow the 5,7,5,7,7 syllable count mostly because this was what I was most used to. I know it’s not technically correct, but it gives me a framework to fit into. If you have a favourite out of the three let me know in the comments below.

The Madness of Inspiration

It’s a sentence dropped in passing,

just a side-note to the conversation,

or a jotting blotted in the margin,

only really half a thought.

 

Yet it opens the earth beneath you,

hooks in under your fingernails,

drags you to dimly lit, dusty corners,

both imaginary and real.

 

It doesn’t care that no one wrote it,

or if someone did then they lost it,

or passed it into a safe place

too good given the hindsight.

 

It’s dug a home in the meat of you.

Demanded your eyes, you tongue, your head.

Drew a line between now and then

as translucent as spider silk.

 

Now you only have to find it.

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I’m working on a new poetry collection at the moment which I think I’ll probably name ‘Women, Water, and Witches’. The inspiration for it stems from the folklore surrounding women and water in Shropshire. This has led to me spending evenings researching Sea Witches, Jenny/Ginny Greenteeth, witch trials in Shropshire (there’s almost nothing in any source I’ve checked so far), then ducking stools and scolds, and even a policeman being sentenced to the stocks in 1850 for being drunk and disorderly.

More often than not, what seems like half an idea can lead me down a weird and winding path of research, which spits out even weirder tangents. A bit like a portal. (Ha! See my tentative link to the prompt there!)

The main problem I’ve run into so far is consolidating the history geek side of my brain which wants to fact check every source, to the poet side of my brain who wants to take a few artistic liberties here and there. The compromise so far seems to be that the poet can do what she wants, but the history geek will then get to write a paragraph of two for each poem to explain the background/history/lore. Hopefully this won’t put anyone reading the collection to sleep after the first couple of pages.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little portal inside my brain. Thank you for reading, and happy writing.