Darker Fables

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



There are No Green Cars in Paris

No lone pedestrian likes
waiting to cross the road.
Long before the light changes
they are twitching
in search of an opening.

Dark grey,
ever-fashionable black,
and leveret-under-the-moon, silver.
These are the popular colours.

There are no green cars in Paris.

And did you know there are no birds’ nests
in any of these trees?

And have you ever noticed
that every umbrella is different,
that there must be, I don’t know,
thousands, in their hundreds,
of umbrella designers,
just in this country alone?

I think careful consideration
has been given about how far
the average person will walk
to find a bin.

And yes… it’s raining,
from here until the point
where this road disappears
into the curve of the globe.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


The Piper

Small brown animals snaffle around
on the old cobbled path I’m walking,
and the wind hereabouts is cold,
purveying a smell which lingers,
like the vanishing threads of a dream.

I came to take your counsels,
to live as a good girl should,
and I thought maybe I’d see you there.

You were wise to run away
before your mother really knew you,
but not kind enough to leave me clues,
or the key to the door you slipped through.

There’s a slim shadow standing
in the mist over the lane,
and I’m running (why am I running?).

I’m racing up behind you,
but even as you turn…
I forget what it was you said.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


The closest I can get
to telling you how I feel
is to say
I feel, by God, but let’s talk
about something, anything else.

It’s like I’m visiting
Medusa, before Perseus
comes sweeping in!

It’s like a…
like a…
like I…
like trying to compose
a sincere expression
of complete devotion
using only two letters,
and no pen.

I’m so good at so many other things,
like crossing oceans, hitting targets,
and being on my own. I can write a
story, talk about the past, and tell a
lie for you. I can put my head under
water without feeling that it’s pulling
me down, leave everything I love, and
go anywhere; to the edge (and the end)
of the world if you say you want me to.

The problem is
I don’t really know what I’m seeing.

You’re already here,
writing up a prescription,
but this most delicate operation,
it is mine to perform.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


There is a woman
who walks this way
on winter nights, in the rain,
and her name is a secret.

The way she walks
under the veiled sky,
with the smell of flame
drifting from her lantern,
is an older road than most.

Maybe sometimes
she will stop,
and look back on her footprints
in the muddied snow.

The dark will have a voice
that flickers in the blackness,
like the twisting silhouette
of a snake against the wall.

But voices on the wind,
mean nothing, even here.

The Devil is dead, if ever he was,
and no one burns witches these days.

Perhaps when she turns, a hand
will quicken from the shadows.

A step, and she’ll be gone,
leaving just the echo,
the twinkling ghost,
of her laughter.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


There you are,
picking at your nails again
and squinting in the dark at the face
of your computer.

It’s how I picture you on better days,
when I’ve done something,
or anything, useful.

If this was 1812
we’d be calling God and each others’ names
through the sparks and smoke.

Maybe, before,
we’d be standing in the crowd
when a man said ‘witch’ and cut off his chains.
I’d be holding your hand, biting my lip,
and you’d be thinking of bodies
in amber casing,
all waiting on the new world.

Sometimes when I’m bored
I save up things to say,
and post you clippings
from the newspapers.
Ones that kind of,
but don’t really,

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

How Strange

It’s funny, you know
(and really, it is),
that after projecting every possible outcome
… something had to happen.

And it’s not what I wanted,
but who am I to say what I wanted
when I can’t even tell you the way that I am?

Just let me heave a sigh and say
that I don’t like my name,
or the way it rolls off my tongue.

I kept turning stones,
and picking centipedes off my hands.
The dirt had a sweet smell, like things
which had happened, and places I had been.

On the radio in the mornings
(which we don’t listen to, but still),
I keep expecting to hear
about congestion on the A30, or an accident
the M25.

I forget that home isn’t home,
and how much I hate poetry.

How… profound,
these insights which everyone has had
before. I’m too serious to take myself
seriously, too young to take you by the hand,
but here you are.

Here, I am.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


So tired of being tired,
they press coins on their eyelids
and float on down the Styx.

She is waist-deep in the water,
pulling her sleeves through the current
like sweeps of kohl, or ink.

Bored of being bored,
she skims stones between the boats,
and steals,
just for the thrill of it,
earrings, and the bones
from their fingers.

‘Come now, daughter,
you know that’s unkind,’
says he,
with death brimming from his eyes.

Kind, like akin,
or kind like that weakness
which someone called sentiment?

Unkind, this moon child,
a sweetling suckled on madness
at the breast of her mother.
She who married
the King of the Dead.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


Hush, hush…
sings the rain
falling soft as tissue
into a newborn’s hand,
or footsteps, creeping in
after the last train home.

I was there before the dawning,
and I shall be there at noon,
weeping for lost children,
but none of them my own.

Shush, now,
and cleave to me,
like my own blood,
before smoke sweeps
up over my head,
and I forget
which ever

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


White, like false teeth,
or a flag of surrender,
these clouds that trample
across the sky.

And, I…
wake up with
the taste of earth
buried under my tongue,
Lucy-like. All my blood
sucked dry.

It’s smoke, the shifting sky,
not the storm I thought
I could see, shaking
the sun up from the horizon.

My questions have names,
and I’ve heard this language,
somewhere, before,
but I don’t remember its name,
or where I put my dictionary.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017

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