Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

“How much for that?”

“How much for what?”

“For the Mist Maiden hair, next to your hat.”

“…Oh…This piece of scrap?”


“It is not for sale, I’m afraid.”

“It’s valuable, but…methinks there’s more to this than meets the eye…”

“It’s a token of goodwill, that’s all-”

“Is that so?”


“Must have come from a far away mountain range, or one of those odd icy caves…”

“It was a gift, that’s all I’d like to say.”

“Well, that is apparent! Mist Maiden hair is rare.”

“I have other things for sale, my good man-”

“Trouble is, laddie, I’m too intrigued…Lads! Come pull up a chair!”

Photo by luizclas from Pexels

Tangled up with rope,

Twisted with leaves,

Splattered with paint and the words of those who lost hope.

Pieces of glass slipped within,

Saltwater and sand,

Ribbons tied with grass strands and screams caught on the wind.

Tossed to the side of a pirate’s gambling booth,

Wound around an enchanter’s finger,

Decorated with scarlet and a horse’s hoof.

Penned in a storybook,

Stuffed inside a helmet,

In the eyes of a warrior armed with a bite and two hooks.

Tousled by a lover,

Selected by spider webs,

Damp with a wet cloth and a body in a mourning cover.


Photo by Arnie Chou from Pexels

Sticking to your arm like moss on a roof,

Breaths becoming the wind,

A tombstone covered,

Your neck tilted with your head to the side,

Marble eyes pried open and facing up,

Up at the clouded September leaf-filled sky.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

How are you supposed to be pristine

Regarding colour and shape,

When your entire existence is meant

To fall apart and shake?

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

It is no secret that the king visits the pathways at night,

He places maps, plans and flowers under the slabs.

There are curious folk who try to lift the stone,

Twisting their bodies from left to right,

But all they achieve are scars, bad backs and bloodied scabs.

Scrappy fingernails are also a result of trying,

Alongside a bruised ego.

There’s no telling how far the king’s subjects would pursue this quest,

How far they would go…

Even if it were to be all in jest.

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi from Pexels

The nobleman upon his steed,

Looks to buy your time and bury your dreams.

With a smile for the ladies and a challenge for the rest,

He leaves a path of gold and lost souls upon his family’s crest.

His mount may be a pure white stallion, or a dragon, or even the carriage of a deceased king,

But his mind travels in solitude,

Wondering how long it will be before he causes heartache and pain, along with the glory he seeks to win.

He strides in his grand home,

He dined and dines at the table of many queens,

But of course he is not alone,

Accompanied by the many shadow and dark creatures under the guest’s chairs, waiting to be finally seen.

Photo by Arshan Ali from Pexels

The temperature keeps rising before a dip,

Thumping and rattles shaking

The entire infrastructure.

Calm, at least…

Until someone decides to amp up the tension.

Photo by Patrick Porto from Pexels

Switch on the torch,

Sweep past the curtains,

Swallow tea-swabbed biscuits,

Before they discover you

In the attic.

The glare of the battery-charged glow

And the warmth from it is enough

To illuminate the dusty boxes

That place themselves like blocks

Of grey speckled pieces of fudge

In a long dismissed shop.

Or, if you would prefer,

The boxes being akin,

And likened,

To squares of butter that are distributed,

Spread to the edge of the fluff-covered toast,

This, of course, being the wooden shelf,

A very dry slice of the loaf

Protruding from the wall.

A quick dip into…

Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels

It’s hard to keep up a persona.

To grin

And bear it

When showered with gifts,


And then scolded.

Reminded how everyone loves you one minute,

How everyone wants you for one minute,

How everyone wishes to trade everything with you,

For you,

To experience something in their shoes.

The next minute, it changes,

Reminding you of your failures via one mistake.

When you don’t understand the world you live in fully,

Whilst your peers either clap their hands in greeting,

Or snap their teeth at your ankles once your back is


Poison your fill,

Water droplets soaking your success –

Something to tarnish,

Perhaps how far you have come.

Photo by Nick Bondarev from Pexels

Drifting around my kitchen

A stranger in my own home,

Wondering if I can keep both eyes

On the prize and

At the same time,

On my feelings and words.

I feel like I am

Not getting


With anyone

Or anything.

I want to place myself

Amongst the clothes

And smell of soggy towels

In a washing machine,

And out on the line outside,

Like bait for the fishes,

For a chance to

Realise what the catch is.

Erika Fischer-Laine

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger from Pexels

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