A poet’s dark gifts

When I think of you
I think of midnight multiplied
dark eyes, dark wings, dark skies

of sleepless nights
and terror bleak
of telltale hearts
and how they beat

in the twisting chamber
of a guilty consciences’ ear.

Murder looms
cunning and red
behind rooms walled off
and in soft beds.

Loss dresses up in elegance
but elegance moth stitched.
I think of all the fright of All Hallows’ Eve
with never a mention of witch

of madness most articulate
how obsessions pace the floor
and of grisly acts and abject despair
that pirouette resplendent decay
forever ever more.
— Edgar Allen Poe (on the occasion of Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday), by Annette Marie Hyder

Sunlight ran through the forest

fleet feet mazing and shade on her heels.
Darkness followed, dog-like, in ground pursuit.
She spread her wings and leapt
into the treetops
where she perched, a golden presence
like the Cheshire Cat,
she faded slowly away
till only her smile,
the afterglow cupped in the topmost leave’s hands,
And then that too
and the stars sprinkled their shimmer on every leaf
that shivered in her absence
in the forest of whispering trees
and prowling darkness.
— Excerpt from Advice the Autumn Crone Gave Me On Climbing the Wall by Annette Marie Hyder

Cold fire

I am getting the ‘white carpet’ treatment
everywhere I go today.
Sparkles fall like confetti
twinkling in the winter sunlight
and cause me to reflect
on the way that even the coldest things
contain a fire of their own
and how sometimes it is hard to distinguish
between the bite of frost
and the toothy grin of searing heat.
— Annette Marie Hyder

Sunday Things: Bone Deep


I slammed the tip of my right middle finger in the pinching hinge of a mailbox door. The mailbox was in the second suite of a wall of mailboxes that open out to reveal cubby holes for each mailbox front. The door comprised of many mailbox fronts required that I lift it and push it forcefully closed before I could lock it.

I sliced the tip of my finger and into the nail bed with the metal edge of the closing door’s hinge. I am happy to report no broken bones AND I even still have my finger tip! But it hurt like the dickens, looked horror-movie scary and necessitated a visit to the doctor. The doctor had x-rays taken and instructed me to take 3 days off work to recuperate the ravaged end of my finger.

She also, Dr. Susan Lord Mark (I like her name 🙂 ), insisted I have a
tetanus shot and blasphemed against my beloved Neosporin (I swear by that stuff!) calling it of “questionable utility”. I told her I liked her sass and that I would not forget her wording as I am a writer and her neatly worded slur against my Neosporin appealed to me. 😉

But this post is not really about the injury I took to my finger or the delight I find in everyday encounters with individuals who word things appealingly.

This post is about my hands.

We all have favorite features — the ones about ourselves that please us aesthetically. I do and you do too. Maybe its your crooked smile, your eyes that seem to carry their own light and beam it out into the world, the exact shade of your hair (a mix of honey and sunshine), or the kink of it and its black beauty, the way it undulates like dark waves crashing against the shore of your neck, the arch of your feet, the freckles sprinkled like cinnamon over the toast of your body or your nose that is big and you like it that way.

We all do and we also have the not-so-favorite features. My hands are that under-appreciated and aesthetically-looked-askance-at feature for me. I’ve never loved the look of them. I’ve never thought they were pretty, much less beautiful.

So imagine my shock in seeing an elegance un-looked for, a beauty unexpected in the bones of my hand. I was so enchanted with the way my bones looked in the x-rays that I asked the technician to print me out a copy — which she could not do. She could, however, burn it to a disc!

This post is also about a way of seeing things.

I finally think my hands are beautiful — in their bones. My bones spoke to me of hidden things and underlying beauty and made me wish I could always see so clearly — beneath the surface and to the bone.