Darker Fables

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



Wind Song

Were you singing last night?
Or was it just the rain,
flicking its tongue
at the bolted window?

I’ve never been here before,
to this place like Narnia,
which I love like all the secrets
I’ve ever been told.

For the first time in life,
I feel like a body,
no more a voice,
snatched from the wind.
I am a kite on higher currents,
reeling out and in.

Those little moments
in this darkened room
make me earth beneath flame,
ash and air, or roots with a name.

I can’t see the moon
with my head on your shoulder,
but on these occasions
when darkness pervades,
I sink
in soft waters.

I forget places,

© Deanna Scutt, 2018



These days it’s
squeezing juice
out from a lemon,
grinding pulp
over plastic
until nothing
means nothing.

We can go
to different houses,
provided shoes
aren’t in the safe,
and the locked
door opens, no need
for crowbars.

I thought…
but that’s besides
the actual point,
which is I came here
to sign, not sigh
over what might

I know
I squirm, cat-like,
all claw and fang,
but if you let go
my tail,
I might return.

It’s plausible,
one possibility
for my many lives.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


Swimming in the black lake,
I was shivering by night.

All my bones were aching,
soon to fall asunder.

There was one white moon
blinking over the water.

It differed from my dreams.

On shore stood a horseman,
with his slender red mare.

I knew him as my brothers,
though we had never met.

The blade was mine to give,
and so it parted from me.

He left, and I forgot him,
until the mists came,
and a boat crossed the water.

© Deanna Scutt, 2018


It has been a mercy,
this bottling of bated breath,
this hanging
on his every word.

She knows how it feels
to be a sack of beans
on the back of a lorry,
trundling away from the earth
where she grew.

Like all the young and ambitious,
she forgot her parents’ names,
and never tells anyone
where she really came from.

On Sundays,
she does nothing
but work like an orphan
in a city of plagues.

Maybe sometimes,
when the dark hisses words
and her hands quiver on his skin
she wonders how all roads
lead to the same places.

Nothing is softer than her lips,
or the quick beneath her nails.
Nothing save promises,
and the moon
on her pillow.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


Sitting on my bed
in a spill of old pajamas
and a duvet not quite cold,
I was thinking about windstorms,
and the way things used to be.

The waking world is a wintry place,
peopled by spectres and snow.
There was no one save me
and the taxi driver,
humming along to the radio.

I’ve been there, and I’ve been there,
with sleep in the corners of my eyes,
suitcase on the laminate behind me.

I’ve spent days in the small hours,
with the smell of new cups, coffee.
So many times now…
but that was the one time
I knew where I was going.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


All the moons
in all the skies
of the old world
and the new,
could not sway
the tide
of my desire,
pulling me to you.

All the bones
in all the graves
could rattle
and rise again,
but I would walk
in search of you,
even after
the last amen.

Dogs might bark,
and tear my clothes.
The wind could
strip my face,
but I would still
know something
that time
cannot displace.

© Deanna Scutt, 2017


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

Blog at

Up ↑