From: THE QUEENS OF ELFLAND

I looked down, and saw what appeared to be a large whirlpool opening up in the midst of the sea.

My eyes widened, and I asked, “Are we sailing into that?”

“Of course,” she answered. But then she tightened her grip on my arm again, pulling me closer to her. “If you’re afraid,” she said, “just stay beside me. I’ll keep you safe.”

I felt a pang of independence at those words, which made me want to pull away and stand on my own while we neared the strange whirlpool. But at the same time, I couldn’t deny that I was afraid. So I stayed close to her, pushing our hips together, holding her arm tightly. I could feel the warmth of her skin, and I could see its strange sparkle in the light from the gleaming sun. I wanted to reach out and touch one of her pointed ears.

There’s A Fairy in My Garden Patch.

Blackwood's Magazine

20160114_140824 Illustration © Garth Williams.

There’s a fairy in my garden patch

Her manners are most foul

She throws rockses through my window

And plucks featherses from my owl.

My owl’s name is Beatrice

And she’s quite a precious thing

She likes to sit ‘neath my window

And all the day she likes to sing.

But that fairy tortures my owl

And there’s never a moment’s peace

She takes the feathers she plucked yesterday

And pastes them back with grease.

I’m growing tired of that fairy

And I fear I may do her some harm

If she doesn’t stop throwing rockses

I just might chop off her arm.

FINIS.

Text © C.M. Blackwood 2016

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I Miss You, Daddy

One year ago today, I found out you were gone.

I knew something was wrong, but you were so far away.

You didn’t answer your phone.

When I picked up the phone that night, I already knew.

Uncle Charlie told me what I already knew.

Our path was complicated, Daddy,

Filled with twists and turns.

But I’ll always remember being a little girl,

Goin’ 4-wheelin’ with you,

Eatin’ cheeseburgers with you.

We had so much fun.

As I grew older, we grew apart,

But I never loved you any less.

Those last couple years were a blessing,

Because they brought us back together.

Even if it was only on the phone.

I miss you, Daddy, and I can still hear your voice

Singing country songs.

I sing country songs because you sang them.

I love you, Daddy, and I always will.

Throw a beer back for me up in Heaven,

Won’t you, Daddy?

Say hello to Uncle David

And Grandpa Walter

And Dale Earnhardt.

I love you, Daddy,

And part of your heart’s still here with me.

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Transformations

Traffic diverted us round Ludgate Hill, and I watched as St. Paul’s great dome slid past the window.

I thought of it for a moment. A cathedral dedicated to a man who must have had one of the most radical transformations in history – going from someone who persecuted Jesus’s disciples in Jerusalem, to a man struck blind and given back his sight, ever afterwards to proclaim that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God. It was an idea too large to wrap my head around. I couldn’t imagine such a transformation. I couldn’t imagine going from something so low to something so high – and it made me dizzy.

But the church was gone as quickly as it came, and it was never very close, so I quickly forgot about it.

Castles in the Air

I remember thinking

It was the closest I’d ever felt to being

The damsel in distress who is whisked away

By her Princess Charming

And I remember thinking

That I would probably never feel

That way again.