Darker Fables

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




There are princes and paupers,
poker-faced puppets too.
There are murderers with mercury hearts,
and mordant men, all waiting for you.

Love, my love, is as fine as they say.

All gossamer and filigree,
apples, sour, cast from the tree.
Nothing you have time for, these days.

This bread is so stale. See how it sits,
like a dead bird in your hand!

You cut your teeth and swallowed them,
white beads ground into sand.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Profiterole Girls

Hey, sick puppies,
lying, with your
bellies pressed to the floor.

I could kick you,
or I could tell you how
sorry I was, for going away.

There is a world
you don’t know. A universe
that your mother doesn’t like
to acknowledge.

It has no vegetation, and the waters
are wild. In more than one way
you don’t know how to swim.

I am still sick with pity
and cannot help but look back
on ripples that break the dark water
of my past.

There was so much
that I wanted to teach you,
and it’s hard to admit…
just wasn’t,
couldn’t be,
my place.

Boats came, and my ticket
was already damp in my hand.

Embarking, remarking
how the steam fluffed my hair,
I could not bear to acknowledge
her ignorance.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


Hel is in her hall
with myriad silver ghosts,
and Hades is swimming in the river.

Glass kingdoms, these,
before those eternal realms,
where none but the dead are sleeping.

I have been called eloquent,
beautiful, and brave. But none of it
meant more than the name you gave me.

So afraid of you thinking me weak,
I sucked the ocean inside my stomach,
and held it until I was vomiting ships,
and splinters.

You were so quiet, you see, and I,
naïve, to think someone could be so
free as to move through life like the wind.

I love the secretive weaknesses
you keep. They are so like my own
that your face appears in the mirror.

My love, dear friend,
I can give you nothing,
no poison to sweeten the pain.

I am just here,
where I was, and will be,
and my ear is a conch
holding echoes of your voice.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


Oh, sweet land in the hills
of memory.

Do you remember me?

I have returned with my horses,
wearing finer raiment.

A raven flies ahead
to tell my people of my coming,
like news of a loved one
buried abroad.

I arrive glittering in the sun,
helmeted silver, with gauntlets,
cuirass and greaves.

Do I frighten you?

I have done the things I said I would,
only that, though my world has changed
and I am not who you thought.

Chevalier, I, though I wear the colours
with an apology.

Your loyalty meant so little to me.

I saw you in the blood of dragons,
the ones that I had slain,
and wanted to pillow my head
on your shoulder.

I have no mother now, besides the moon.

My father forgave me, but forgot
including my existence.

Every mile had only your name,
and in all my battles
you were with me.

My misery, my joy,
tell me it has not been so long
that I shall never see your face again.

Standing here, with my squire,
standard, and baggage train,
I have come washed clean.

Purgatory is behind me.

You, among the willows,
in your brocade gold,
look up.

Tell me that I am finally home.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


She has a firm belief
that the universe was made
In it, there is simply no place for her.

Like one of Jupiter’s moons
she is superfluous.
An excess, drifting in the liquid dark.

He is a thin cord on the basket
of a hot air balloon
already pulling towards the sky.

Holding his hands,
her ankles float above her head,
whilst the mud is up to his knee.

Love has no place in liberty,
in the reckless pull of the wind.
Letting go, finger by finger,
they remain linked by a twist of thumbs.

Until the inevitable end,
when a choice is made, seeming hers,
but really, his too.

The sky swallows her,
and she, it, drinking clouds and stars
until she can no longer feel her hand,
or the blood it is bleeding.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


in a smoky haze,
the naïve hope of youth.
The books which might
have told the past
lie buried
deep beneath our
rooted feet, rotting like
forgotten time capsules.
Little moth, if you
are more
than what you
seem, then pry these locks
with your nails until they
shatter free.
Be to me
a scrap of what
I was. Be a vessel, pure as
the holy light I do not see
when I look at
your lips.
They are frost,
blue under the stars, now
falling into empty hands.
Little phantom,
you are
something old
to me. A revenant of the
time before your creeping
days. Help me
be light
and here again.
Alive in your mind, and a
pulse in my own. All that
you know is a
glimpse. Must
you grasp it like salvation
and cling to my cold spine?
I offer nothing,
but I,
to you, never
knowing love or tenderness,
am not unkind, only because
I hate to see you
cry for me.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


Only yesterday I went to the opera house,
and swept myself off my feet
with all the romances that could happen,
and have.

Tomorrow I will visit the Musée du Parfum,
because I liked that novel
about the murderer.

Storybook city, singing softly in the rain,
there is nothing I really want to do
but walk alone with my black umbrella.

Tongue in the floor of my mouth,
the gutter shows my lips turned black
from all the ink in all the newspapers
I do not understand.

Coming here, the toll was my voice.
I cast it into the ocean as I crossed over,
watched it twist like silk in the wind,
going home.

A wide-eyed mute, I tie my laces
and wander without words but the ones
in my head, calling ‘courage, heart of glass,
for this is not the end.’

D’accord. This is what it will be,
and I am almost myself again,
in scuffed shoes and a dress
I wore at sixteen.


© Deanna Scutt, 2017

Sea Nettles

My ancient mother bids, sweetly,
and I go, barefoot across the shingle,
to the old kingdom beneath the sea.

Primordial ancestors breathe
inside my bones. They sing, as I sink
my head below the waves,
about the time before.

When did our gills close over,
and we shed our fins for fingernails?
Salt on my skin, I am with my forefathers,
though they do not recognise me.

Ocean, take me home on the currents,
or cast me far away, into the blue depths
of the map, where no one has ever been.

Here I am no more myself
than an alien come home.
I have too many foreign smells,
and cities on my tongue.

The gulls are crying, crying, crying,
but only to the wind. It flicks
across the surface
of a world unseen.


© Deanna Scutt, 2017

The Interim

Let it be known that I have turned my back
on sunsets, pearl rings,
and all-inclusives with the One.

It is time I took my life in a handkerchief,
and stopped the plaintive search.

I don’t need any presents
or praise for my lack of expectations.
I’ve had enough chocolate,
and my daddy bought me all the bears
I needed.

Quote-unquote romances
(with boys I’m ashamed to know)
have bolstered my pride.
Now I can wait.

I will prop the door open whilst I attend
to other things. No standing
with the key in hand, waiting for
him, and for him to say,
‘at last, it is I, the gentleman
on whom all happiness depends.’

He can tap me on the shoulder
when he gets here, wordlessly.
Until then, I’ll roll my sleeves,
and go to work.
I have more names than
‘a patient woman,’
and more things to find
than love.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

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