January 15th, 2014



The Bear's Daughter

She walks on two legs, but her feet have claws
Not nails, enough to gut the man who tries
to harm her. She is fair but has dark eyes
whose stare can drown you. In her sleeps she roars

sometimes, her sleeps are long and last whole weeks.
She gluts on food before and wakes up thin.
Awkward for wardrobe. Furs against the skin
draped and not grown there. Loves the thin high shrieks

of small beasts as she flays them. She will eat
them later raw and whole. And pick her teeth.
She wears her father's head; but underneath
is beautiful, men say. In wind and sleet

she dances solitary and alone.
Don't love her – she will chew you to the bone.

Another fairy story


The small toes calcined first. Black as burned twigs
they cracked and crackled. Sweat poured down her face
and then steamed off, with salt tracks as its trace.
And then her eyes swelled, burst, like rotten figs.

Her daughter watched. Her heart as cold as ice
skin white as snow. Round her the little men
capered in glee. The prince kissed her again.
No mercy. There would be no dying twice.

Destroy your rival's beauty, then you win.
The apple poison did not gray black hair
burn skin or lips. Just left her lying there
asleep in glass forever. Murdered kin

damned both the women deep. The demon glass
laughed in its empty room at beauty's farce.