This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Paige Smeaton Poem
Faunal Remains

I think I’ve been tamlinned. It’s the only explanation when bramble scarring from bike flights doesn’t fit. She’s been at my thighs with a real set of elf claws. Her skin is the strong reality of moss, no civilised Queen Mab, you can smell the green and deep rot that’s life. The thing about moss is the way it grows stars and those are her eyes. The teeth that light.

The mess of my legs speaks of a fight in the night. Since working full time I’ve begun to build fauns in my sleep. Creating with goose grass hair and snail shell eyes. I collect bones from the sky and the tissue of lungs are those cigarette butts found in the ground.

Who will bless these remains? I’ve found a creature like moss and wire mesh and certainly dangerous. Like lichen she sticks. In the morning there’s some knots in my hair I can’t get out; I still leave the house. The trees show the wind like the sky is possessed. She takes that chaos and knits it tight like wool. Sunday best; it fits like a glove.

Familiarity with your tylwyth teg leads to fruit seeds and one hundred years of harp: beautiful entrapment. Welcome to this world where owls speak.

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