February 1, 2021

Dancing with the Faerie King

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first poem with the theme “Healers, Midwives, and Cunning Folk.” We’re especially proud that Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman are the authors of this poem, because they are the great minds behind the amazing Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic. If you’ve never heard of them, follow
this link to learn more.

Though I prefer the kitchen cauldron,

Rosemary, basil, and sage -

Maidens all must take their turn

Dancing with the Faerie King.

Moonlight tangles round my throat,

Witch hazel, rose, and lavender -

And secrets line my slippers,

Telltale scents lost under perfume and wine.

Crystal glasses drunk too deeply,

Lemon, mint, and orange bitters - 

They know their King is an ugly truth

Behind sharp teeth and a beautiful lie.

Revolution in my heart

Oleander, hemlock, and pennyroyal - 

My shoe’s secret in the cup, 

I offer the King a shy smile and my glass. 


Bio: Dr. Sara Cleto and Dr. Brittany Warman are award-winning folklorists, teachers, and writers. Together, they founded The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic, teaching creative souls how to re-enchant their lives through folklore and fairy tales. Their fiction and poetry can be found in Enchanted Living, Uncanny Magazine, Apex Magazine, Liminality, and others.


Image by Amanda Bergloff, Contributing Editor and Artist at EC. @AmandaBergloff


Kelly Jarvis said...

This poem is a lovely addition to sipping hot chocolate on a Snowy morning <3. Beautiful, Sara and Brittany!

Myna said...

Beautifully done!

HulderMN said...

Drink deep for the bittersweet transition from romance to real!
<3 Love this!

Belle Perkins said...

BRB I must set this to music and serenade the campus at midnight.

Linda Willson said...

A lovely, lovely poem which ends in a richly deserved ending for the sharp toothed king with the beautiful lie. What is so fantastic about Sara and
Brittany's sublime poetry is what they don't say. What is implied goes straight to the reader's gut. In a few beautiful lines we are told the entire story.
I'm still reeling.
Linda Willson February 1, 2021 at 1:39 PM

Kim Malinowski said...

Marvelous! Such a great, moody ending!

Maxine said...

Linda Willson put it beautifully: it's what's not said that really stirs the blood when you read this wonderful poem, which appears so simple, but is actually a work of art. Well done