“…makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Receiv'd, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.”
— William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor
There’s no way of knowing the low
and the keen of the mice in the dark.
The fantasy high and the night come close
& cloaked in stars.
The drawing drag of the wind in the door
and the clouds that screech and crumble
the man-high moonlight in the rain-thick hedge;
the rope still tied to the post.
the pitted postwar bombsite
was filled in at long last
there are so many many terraces
over the elegiac Constable fields
no more country churches,
no more battlements
no more sumps and cellars
no more servants’ stairs
but nothing, not even the pebbledash
will keep out what decides to come in
Annabel Mahoney is the Editor-in-Chief of the Wellington Street Review and the Creative Director of Royal Rose Magazine. She has been widely published in a number of literary journals and anthologies; most recently Burning House Press, Bone & Ink, Ghost City Review, Déraciné Magazine and RECLAIM/RESIST: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry.
Her first collection, Wyf-King, was released with Lapwing Publications in June 2019 and her second, St Crispin in the Trenches is forthcoming with Another New Calligraphy.
You can find Annabel on Twitter: @annabel_mahoney, or on her website: annabelmahoney.com