What is the best thing to see when coming home from five hours of herding drunken, beligerent tourists from pub to pub in Copenhagen?
Well, aside from a warm cup of coffee.
An awesome email, of course. I just finished tonight’s Copenhagen Pub Crawl and slogged my way home to find a lovely email in my inbox: my poem “Snow White” has been published on the fairy tale e-zine, Enchanted Conversations.
I have always loved fairy tales. I have loved twisting them and turning them into something different, and I have loved reading twisted fairy tales by other authors. So Enchanted Conversations is an e-zine that I have enjoyed reading ever since I discovered it (which was, let’s be honest, not that long ago).
Of course, I was really excited when Kate asked me to be an honorable mention for the month of July. I have so far enjoyed all of her selections, and it is always wonderful to feel vindicated by someone whose tastes you admire.
Kate’s site includes poetry, short stories and articles, so she has a selection for anyone with an interest in the world of fairy tales. Go poke around her site, I’m sure you’ll find something cool!
The fact is, I don’t know where to start.
A thousand fragments flock like birds,
they screech and clamor
swoop and dive
each bird a letter, and yet
they jumble, flutter and flap and fight
my grasping mind no match for them.
And then I see them settle down
upon some far-off telephone wire,
chattering with their keyboard beaks
in their syllabic language.
It is perfect,
but for all their noisesome blather
the blank page eternally waits.
A few years ago I wrote this while visiting England’s incredible Lake District with a group of friends. The poem never received a name but it has a special place in my heart. Any suggestions for a title are more than welcome.
My mind filled up a while back
with arguments and half-digested cogitations,
poorly worded jokes and shy self criticisms,
but there are things I still have room to place:
these green hills stitched together
with shallow stone walls. An earthy Frankenstein
lies low around the lake, breathes out
humidity and fills the day
There was something too red about her heart.
She carried a black magic in her throat
that sang the birds to silence.
Everything stopped growing in the forest
except apple trees and shadows
and even the rumors grew
She was enchanted by mirrors.
They lined the walls of her castle
and whispered, the ghosts
of pretty things trapped inside.
She stood in front of them sometimes,
too dark and too terrible
to see her own reflection.
She had to go. The forest bloomed with bonfires
and we marched, an army
through skeletons that broke apart
like dry leaves underfoot.
We fell upon her and cut until we found her heart
and pulled it, fluttering and childlike,
from her still-fearful chest,
too dark and too terrible
to see our own reflections.
It hunches in its stone-wrapped wings:
never saw demons such as this one.
It’s hard to protect its perch these days—
even the pigeons are insolent,
and people too often forget
that someone is watching.
It is an unforgiving creature
but hardly spiteful;
surveying dourly its little kingdom
My poetry professor decided that, as a special treat, we would all get to write a form poem. And the form he picked for us? A sonnet. In my heart of hearts I still haven’t forgiven him. Upon my submission he rather smugly told me that my poem was not really a sonnet, due to the technical complications of iambic pentameter. But I say any sonnet that does not rhyme ‘life’ and ‘strife’ is a success.
“Observe,” she said, and broke his bowl in two. Smoke curled upward, outward, finding air to fight, lazily feeling out for who had set it free. She pointed there and there, her crooked, yellow teeth baring themselves.
In the remains was crouched a tiny star reaching, terrified, for high-off shelves and covering with one hand the pot-shard mar on its left cheek. It cowered in claydirt and burnt his hand and wailed when it was touched.
By hour’s end it had dwindled to a hurt upon the table; her smile had proved too much. He tried for years to do what she had done, but she had always been the clever one.