"Graybeard*" by Gerry Stewart


silent pad into dawn

stone-throated rumble

got as a girl’s nose on the stove

whipping tail of snake’s venom

sheer disdain in its clouded brow

incubus stealing a sleeper’s breath

witch’s familiar ill-wisher

sauna-born grimalkin

circling the hearth

grinder of teeth bearer of disease

wolf-slink from the shadows

a sleekit hare’s head

eyes in the night

guide to the hinterlands

leading the souls of the dead

devil’s plait viper’s claws

feet of cloudberries

*Finnish cat myths taken from old texts


Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor based in Finland. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. Totems is to be published by Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2021. Her writing blog can be found at http://thistlewren.blogspot.fi/ and @grimalkingerry on Twitter.

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