Sunday, April 9, 2017



When night is black
and miles deep
packed around the sleeping sheep,
when stars hang, turning
on the gallows breeze,
past the witchwood, past the reavers
come the shadows, come the hexers.

When steel blade breaks,
when there is no hammer,
the weak must make do
with the flames of summer
to burn the curse in with red and yellow,
with living swords
with poison murmur.

There where the ivy
chokes the oak
old ones fall in the unraveling work
the young complete, for
cradle-cloth ends in a winding sheet.
Hands that bake bread
will dress the meat

and black night will come
neither swift nor slow
to lay kings low.

~April 2017

Images: The Sheepfold by Moonlight, 1856, Jean-Francois Millet, public domain
Photograph, via the internet, author and title unknown. Fair use.


  1. A brilliant and beautiful poem, rich with such original imagery, Joy. Wow!

  2. With your words I feel "it" coming

  3. well that last image is creepy.

    the pen itself is a tour de force, particularly the middle 3 lines of the penultimate stanza, and how they lead to those cap lines. in the end, kings and fools all share the same dust. ~

  4. There be many kings that I would see laid back to the realm of the "mere." If it takes a witches curse then it be no curse for all but a blessing to the many.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats