Theodora Goss Viona ielegems Faerie Magazine
The Witch-Wife

Light the fire, sweetheart. I am cold,
cold and wet to the skin.
I have been chasing, over hill and dale,
a ewe that heard a wild dog wail
and would not come in.

Then why are you wearing dancing-slippers,
spotted with clay?

I heard a wind in the willows,
tossing them all day,
so I dreamed that I was dancing
like the trees, and began prancing
about the house, in play.

And why are flowers tucked into the waistband
of your dress, my sweet?

I passed a patch of poppies while walking in the wheat
and took the scarlet to adorn me.
Surely, love, you cannot scorn me,
looking so neat?

You are lovely, but the golden ringlets of your hair
are tangled and wild.

Did I not tell? I met in the meadow
an enchanting child,
who caught her hands in my tresses
while giving me soft caresses
that soothed and beguiled.

You answer calmly, my dear, but your eyes
are strangely aglow.

And what is there in that?
A moment ago
I saw your face in the glass,
and I think me a lucky lass
to have caught such a fellow.

He lit the fire and went out
to pen the ewe
while the flames changed the white of her cheek
to a ruddy hue.

Then she rose and put on a cauldron,
and when he appeared
he wondered at the vigor
with which she stirred and stirred.



Theodora Goss Viona ielegems Faerie Magazine

The Elf King’s Daughter

It is the Elf King’s daughter,
with the leaf-light in her eyes,
that greenish twilight beneath the beech boughs
where only the hum of flies

disturbs the lilies of the valley
and ferns their fronds unfurl.
How dare I stir or show my presence
to the Elf King’s girl?

She sits so still upon the boulder,
the leaf-light in her hair
casting a greenish pall on its goldness.
Mortal, stare

at her small feet shod in leaf-green velvet,
her small hands pale and fay,
among the wood anemones
in early May.


Article from Issue #27 Summer 2014
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Author of several anthologies of poetry and short fiction as well as The Thorn and the Blossom, a novella in two-sided accordion format. She teaches classes on reading and writing fairy tales. “I love fairy tales,” she says, “because they are so realistic: we all face wolves and want to go to the ball. Their realism is on another level, a symbolic level. But they are fundamentally about what we fear and desire. That is why they have lasted so long and are continually rewritten. They are about the deepest, most fundamental parts of ourselves.” The poems here will be collected in Songs for Ophelia, forthcoming from Papaveria Press. Visit