Even the Death Sea

Conceptual Photography by Dariusz Klimczak

We are all, all of us souls, boats. We find ports that call to us. We anchor. We dock. But the sea is always there and the sea is always calling. It is inevitable that we will unfurl our sails, like wings, and take to the tides again. Come Scylla and Charybdis, come Kraken, come Selkie and Siren, and all unplumbed depths. Even the Death Sea is not the last sea. — Eller Oarsson of Landsend from the Night Fairytale Series by Annette Marie Smith

Selkie Shift

Dress of Paper by Annette Marie Smith
I wore a dress made of paper
It rustled when I walked. You were the wind
pulling at it, creeping with fingers of cold
trying to get under my skin.
I came dressed in mud, painted obscure as night.
You were the chain that pulled on the light.
I wore birdsong
and dawn was a crown in my hair.
You came with a lawnmower and blade-spread
feathers everywhere.
I took off my skin and wore spirit to escape you
but you stole my skin like I was a selkie
making me feel I could never go home
would always be prisoned with you.
— Why I Left When I Could by Annette Marie Smith

Happy First Day of Fall, 2015!

“The Wall” conceptual photography by Annette Marie Smith

The Speckled Ones

“This is a story my gran told me about the speckled people. She told it every year on Morgda Eve and as she told it the autumn winds swept the forest floor outside our small home beneath the trees and the trees caught every crisp star in their branches where they lit up the night like a great chandelier.

The speckled people are freckled people: spots of color dotting and dashing their skin. Nowadays this peculiarity is attributed to a substance we all have in our skin in varying degrees and differing manifestations. But my gran said freckles are the remnants of the markings of a forest people well known in their time but now all but forgotten.

Silent on their feet they were, moving to the whisper of breeze on leaves and windlets on grass. The sighing of the woodland marked their passage through it. Magic it seemed and invisible too because they (like the gray and brown and orange and black array of colors you see in the squirrels and other wild things of fall — matching their colors to the world around them) wore the colors of harvest on themselves and in their skin and thus they blended in so perfectly that they could hardly be detected — whether moving or still. Their “freckles” let them bend in with the fall foliage much like the squirrels and other wildlings.

Their face markings were gold leaf, metallic bronze, tourmaline, and soot. Red bled in lines radiating from their chins and sprawling downward in a path that covered their bodies in green lines and brown, gray and dun. All looked to be painted on but this was their natural coloration.
Beings that personified the forest in their long twiggy fingers and their bramble hair, their swaying walk and their skin so strange-a-shimmer.

Gran said they were known for their true-seeing into the other world and that the spots on their skin also signified all the possibilities of worlds within worlds.

Well this species of magical being intermarried and over the long years lost much of their distinctiveness but two things remained, my gran always told me, as the wind moaned and the stars twinkled: their spots (now merely freckles) and their unerring ken to true-see.” — Lyssa of the Arboreal Shades from the Night Fairytales series by Annette Marie Smith

When the wind tries to whisper your name…

When the wind tries to whisper your name
I have already patterned myself on Odysseus clever and wily
I have plugged my ears with cotton from the fields of apathy.
I have wrapped my head in wool from sheep who view the world indifferently.
Those fields, those flocks, were yours.

I have given my eyes to the three grey sisters
just in case the moon tries to remind me of you.
Now they have no need to share one eye amongst themselves.
They have one clouded marble and two tear-washed blue.
My eyes saw only you.

I stitched an oilskin on top
of my fair flesh so the rain couldn’t kiss me and remind me of you best
like the sound of quiet thunder muffled to disguise itself as train
wheels turning on the track of my spirit and the long slow lonely whistle that was your mating call.
My skin was tattooed with your touch.
— Train Wreck by Annette Marie Smith

Of Winged Things

No harpyia, no thornbird, no phoenix no, no raptor of the glassy eye for me. When the mage offered me wings and said I must choose a bird for him to base them on, I thought of hummingbirds and nightingales, golden pheasants and birds of paradise, desiring the jeweled color, the nectared voice, the fanning sweep of feathered edge falling like night, like lashes, like spinning leaves — all kaleidoscopically.

My thoughts flew lofty and I thought of angels with the snow of mountains on their backs. Could I convince the mage they could reasonably be considered to be a type of bird? And as is the case with me, when I think of up I also think of down. And so I lusted after a fallen angel’s wings pointed at the tops like arrows and fletched with fire but silky to the touch and leaving marks upon one’s fingers — soot say some, INK says me.

The mage proved quite persuadable and left the definition of a ‘bird’ entirely to me just so long as said defining included wings in its boundaries.

And that is why you see me here in this surprising form after I gave thought contemplatively. There is no better definition of a bird than dinosaur, in this case a DRAGON, no better way of living flight than to burn with fire simultaneously. — Of Winged Things, a fairytale by Annette Marie Smith

How Sea Angels Came To Be, a Fairytale

Photo from the book “Ocean Drifters: A Secret World Beneath the Waves”. Photo and book by Dr. Richard Kirby.

The angels cried
when they saw the way that the water clove to the earth
the way that even though the water left
it always returned again,
the mystery of the water’s caress that filled the world with sighs
of wonder, of pleasure
and their tears, as they fell, became part of the symphony
of oneness between those two, the water and the world
and took on form and shape akin to the angels who had cried them.
The tears fluttered sea wings and flew in the deep, deep sea.
— By Annette Marie Smith

You may not see them

Photography, Irradiated Bird, by Julie Poncet

“We all have wings. You may not see them but you can hear them rustle. You can feel the rush of the places they carry you. These wings that I speak of are located right behind our eyes.” — Lyssa of the Arboreal Shades from the Night Fairytales series by Annette Marie Smith