Darker Fables

Writing and reviews. Adventures, maybe? Exciting, definitely.




The funny thing is
I’ve been told I have a gift
for expressing complicated ideas.

But of course there’s complicated,
and then there’s shooting
one spinning coin
from horseback, eighteen
miles away, blindfold and victim
to a chronic, unrelenting seizure.

And I really do mean that.
(I think, anyway.)

Swear, if I knew my name
I’d pin myself down like a moth
on a sheet of card and prise out
my teeth until I had some
more specific truth.

But even that is slippery,
silk on varnish, though coarser by far.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


City Girls

Somewhere there’s a red sky,
but I would have it nighttime,
a rumbling metropolitan blackness
of rain and flickering lights.

Let’s drink smoke and cut the rug,
or maybe our aching feet.
It’s all just broken glass down there,
but how it sparkles, how it hurts.

Everyone here is screaming
‘Reborn! Reborn! Reborn!’
And maybe they even shed their skins
for gleaming new coats, brown fur.

It’s like everything ever dreamed,
like sex on ice and parasites,
like everywhere, every time between.

Open your arms and fist your teeth,
because it’s tough love with the wolves.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

A Day in April

There was a boy I once knew,
in the vaguest, passing sense,
before my knees gave way
in a pile of brown leaves
and my head thudded on the ground.

It happened before all this,
and I spit on the memory.
I rip the corpse of it to pieces,
and laugh,
with all my wicked friends.

Howling with my ancestors at the moon,
and flying through the snow by night
with steam rolling from my lungs,
I accept what a dog joy makes me.

The cold clarity of freedom
is a tingling memory of a yoke I shed,
and the way I left, with blood behind me.

Maybe you’ll mistake my nature,
for being the innocent then,
but truth is I wiped my sword.
I left the dead for dead.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Winter Sand

I would like to tell you
that my homeland
is in its spring,
that its colours blend,
and the sea sings…

But you made me a stranger,
and strange, to even my closest friends.

I’ve become an advocate of honesty.

I’m not who I was last year,
or even one short season ago,
but a rock watered into a new shape,
washed out from the end of the world.

I picture us, someday,
watching the great grey ocean,
as the moon pulls together
all the waters of the world.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

World History

There was a time,
way back,
I don’t even know when,
and it was different, then.

And yes, people were people,
and people are still people,
but these days you don’t hear
that someone died screaming,
and a woman bathed, gleaming,
in their blood.

At least not as a bedtime story.

These are ‘civilised’ days,
built on the spine of a
in bone.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

The Boat Party

We took a boat,
bobbing beside
the grey asphalt,
on a river I’d been reading about.

Looking at the water, swilling
black, echoing back the noise
of our animal crowd, I was thinking
about that unfortunate man,
the Moroccan who drowned.

My head was a book on state violence,
and I was a state, as violent as Nevada.

That brat, crowing
about her boyfriend, and his gifts
that she didn’t even want…
It made me thirsty for her blood,
for salt water and a better wine.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

The Old Religion

The earth is soft and sweet.
It sinks beneath my boots,
just as it did for priestesses
of the old religion.

Things are only half dead
between these concrete walls,
but it’s true;
we are not living in Camelot.

The ground is writhing,
and the roots are snakes,
winding up my ankles,
but if I’m afraid,
it’s not of this.

I could be pulled down
to the untouched places
at the heart of the world,
and I wouldn’t really mind
about the damp, or the darkness,
or the insects crawling in my hair.

I’d just lie there,
like it was a bed
instead of a burial ground,
and forget about the world.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

The Water House

So strange to be back here,
back here again,
in one of the many places
I still think of as home.

Under the dust sheets,
and inside plastic bags,
things have already
started to moulder.

Even my winter shoes are flaking,
crumbling into clouds of pale green fur.

Strange to say it,
but I no longer care
for these things I didn’t
ever want to part with.

It’s been moons, you see,
but not that many.
Not enough, I thought,
to efface me so completely.

Truth is, no one knows what
language I’m speaking
when I walk in the kitchen
like dew from the river.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


I’m going. In fact I’m gone,
and you have to understand
that I’m not the type of girl
to cry, or wring my hands.

I come from a long line
of stone-hearted adventurers
who mapped the world
and never really went home.
So you see…
I’m not very good at goodbyes.

There’s a truth here
I should acknowledge;
poetry is the worst way
I can sincerely express this.
This being that which I can only say
in the quiet, the dark,
and not on the page.

I’ll keep your kiss, paramour,
my darling, my gem,
and say it won’t be long
before we meet again.

I could go waxing lyrical
with quotes and metaphors…
perhaps even a fine gold pen,
but I’m not John Donne,
and this isn’t the end.

Deanna Scutt, 2017

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