Mermaid Storms

Have you noticed
down by the river
when the storm trees sway
that the mermaids come out
and they sing and they play?
But if you look closely
I think you will find
that the mouths that they sing with
are anything but kind.
Just look at those canines
gleaming like pearls
consider the spikes
woven throughout their curls.
Their voices are lovely
but their words are ill.
Don’t dare to answer them
or you’ll be filling the bill
of drowned down by the river
stormy day kill. — Annette Marie Smith

RRH Reminiscing

by Annette Marie Smith

Your fur was soft enough
to butter my greedy hands
with wild abandon embodied
in a flock of red robins whose breasts trembled
with warning but also with music
wild and clear and piercing.
Your fangs looked to be just the thorns
I would impale myself on
were I a thorn bird
looking to sing my penultimate song.
I mythologized you whilst simultaneously
housebreaking you.
And now what have I done
but make a blanket of memories,
a pelt filled with stones
that speak and bear witness
to the listening ears of my bones.

One of the Twelve Dancing Princesses Speaks On How the Dancing Was Spell Forced On Them and the Abomination Thereof

by Annette Marie Smith

It wasn’t the soreness of my feet
the aching that felt like an entire country
was being Greek fire bombed beneath my skin.
It wasn’t the blisters the size of onions
translucent and pulsing with a life of their own.
It wasn’t the way that my legs were broken
hobby horses forced to glide
on the wheeled balls of magic
or the way that my waist threw me about
rag doll above and rag doll below,
devil’s winch in between.
My hair shaken loose became
flagellant whips, gin tipped and sharp as sin.
But it was not those nettles either.
The false gaiety and strangled laughter
were not the beam
that could not be plucked and which really
broke this proverbial camel’s back.

It was the physical compulsion
the being forced to do something
no matter how pleasurable
against my will.
If you do not need my will
then what neccesitance me?


Portcullis to a frozen fairy land,
these teeth of winter gleam
as they bite the bright air.
If they do open
at a secret touch or word,
creak with the weight of weird
like an omen bird,
then pause at the threshold
and read the two limen words carven there:
“beauty” in script and bold “beware”. — Annette Marie Smith

Voie Périlleuse

Abstract surreal by Tuminka at deviantart(dot)com

Even the stars blurred the night I left you. My cape, red as intent, propelled me down a path that seemed unreal, with trees that looked as if they were etched by an artist’s hand. But they came to life, the trees, breathed and rustled and burgeoned into a forest behind me as I made my way beneath the pregnant moon. They sighed gustlets of wind as they stirred. Fluttering handkerchiefs to catch each falling sorrow, or scrubbing pads to scour every image of you from the very heart of me? I still cannot be sure. — Annette Marie Smith