I honestly doubted my senses didn’t trick me, that night. When the wolves passed me by, I felt like I would both fall after them, joining them and exposing myself to their fangs… and run until the town disappeared after me, run until my feet bleed.

I was a headstrong, resolute woman, with a mind unpoisoned by dreams. My world was simple, steady and safe, with my baked goods, with those who liked to call me a friend (and who I liked to call as such too). My world was set in stone, that’s why I never – not really – dreamed of enchantments and faked glamour.

This was a fairy touch and I didn’t know if to see it as a blessing or a vicious curse.


If my father knew, he would definitely not allow me to meet the fair folk prince this season… or whatever season he chooses to arrive. He would even shackle me in chains in the stables, if that was to keep me safe. But I was aware that he was right. The summer prince may not care about me, not in a way all maidens in the town would dream of. But the same girls, with the help of their brothers and friends, would make me an ungrateful wench, someone who doesn’t want to fit. Someone who possibly walks hand in hand with the winter court even if the tongues get loosened too much. Gossip to gossip, I would become a pariah, and my father with me.

This would be terrible, I knew it. So I decided to stay silent and act like nothing happened.

I took the birch twig from the kitchen table. I brought this one with me that evening, supple and lean. The silvery, a little shining bark looked enchanted in the sunlit room.

“Where are you from?” I whispered, touching the coarse texture. Perhaps it could be a dream. The fairy dream, something not many people experienced. But that always ended badly for the chosen ones.

Twenty years ago, a fairy dream-touched woman swore that a moon leaned to her and took the shape of a handsome man, who took her into the moon kingdom. She longed for another meeting, so much that she lost her mind. Searching for the moon, she drowned in the lake nearby, at night. The moon of course didn’t descend to help her.

But that kind of dream usually affected people who used magic of the fair folk. She never even wanted to be offered a glimpse of magic. Sometimes, yes, a tiny fantasy, but nothing serious, which could lead to such disaster.


This time I heard it. My best friend, Arula, was sitting near me, by the same table and looking at me with certain amusement in her gaze. Obviously, she was sure that I already planned my time spent with the summer prince… or mentally noted a new recipe for peach buns. Either that or another.

“Your gaze was so absent, that I thought you petrified” Arula patted my hand with fake but absolutely disarming affection. Her long, blonde hair was falling in cascades, reaching far above her hips. She was known from the, like I was known from my baking skills. The hair of a sorceress, a magical waterfall.

“If only that” I sighed, putting the twig back on the table. Sometimes I wonder if I don’t search for troubles, not purposefully, but unconsciously. Fair folk curse or dream, it all would end the same way – my demise.

Or worse.

“You never beam with joy, but it has been a long time since I saw you so lost” joking aside, Arula easily could see past anything, especially, if someone was not putting on any masks, like me.

“I am worried, Ara” I decided to tell her the truth. Not about wolves, goddess forbids. But about everything that ate my entrails in the last few weeks. “I don’t want to look like an ungrateful old lady…”

Arula shook her head, but before she could protest, I continued.

“… but I am not feeling well near fair folk. I know the whole town loves them. They give us relief from the mundane. But I feel that they want something and I don’t really want to give that to them, whatever it is.”

She looked into my eyes, deep, like she wanted to capture any worry, or lie in them, Of course, worries I had dozens, lies even more.

“No, Shili. I thought about it too.”

“Ah yes?”

“They never ask for anything aside from hospitality. But someone who possesses such powers, who can change us into magical creatures and take only good food and enjoyment from it, must be either immensely selfless… or plans something.”

I huffed with a strange relief. What have I thought!

“Some say that they search for an army against the winter lord,” added Arula.

“Enchanted army of humans against cold-hearted beasts who can freeze us with mere sight? Good one, Ara.”

“We don’t know anything about the winter court” continued Arula. “What if they want to sell us to them, to seal a pact of sorts?”

“Yes” I suddenly reminded myself of the distorted images of summer, spring and autumn court members, when they thought their glamour keeps them safe before our eyes. Beast indeed. Creatures of old, clad in gauze and leaves… how many horrors the winter court held, if they were possibly much more dangerous that other fae? “I assume first they would want us for themselves.”

“Shili” Arula shook her head with a feigned concern. “You even imagine a summer prince wanting to pact with the winter lord? Yes, you are right, he would first steal us for himself. So we could admire him in awe.”

“My father says he is useless layabout” I agreed with a light smile.

“But a talented one, handsome one. We all should fall on our faces and worship.”

I couldn’t not surrender to her light sense of humor. We talked more, reassuring each other, making darkness beam with light.

The birch twig still reminded me of last night and the wolves and their dangerous beauty.

Was I enchanted already?

And if yes… by whom?


they laugh, deep in the garden
picking thorns and roots
filling baskets with dreams and sun rays
the wolves with wide grins
the masked weavers of treachery

they frolic, over the pond
their tails with ribbons made of tendons
they drink the water of eternal life
the tricksters of the deep shadows
the canines with feline eyes

Choirs of Pain

empty holes, dry lakes of pain
they slowly awake in me
a sound – a crack inside my chest
a warning that never is enough
to ease the agony

a loud scream of the vast choirs
settled under my heart
bitten into my flesh

Sun Crown

I came to you
silently, like a gust of soft wind
your breath’s companion
your creature of morning waves

I came to you
raining good wishes over your awaking skin
kissing you with silk of my whiskers
kneading you to consciousness

I came to you
your purring royalty
crowning you with sun


it grows, my child
it’s everywhere
an earth-touched offspring
so proud over its growth

I see small leaves on my skin
sprouting with fresh mint
with thyme and wormwood

it spreads, my child
it’s in the ground
catkin heads rise
suns travel through the hanging skies
fast, faster, eager to bud

it grows!
it comes!
it touches me with hope
healing wave of bitterness
after a cloying honey

Wolf Fur, Fox Paws

bite through the skin – teeth deep into feelings
wooden veins pump leaves and moss
they flood the pain – dam shatters like a house made of spiderwebs and moth wings
breath out the scattered memories and make new world from them
forest inhales my roots and my bones
taking my blood in – it drips dark into throats of creatures of the overgrowth
wolf fur in my fingers, fox paws around my waist
killed, maimed and torn by day
I mend my wounds, drinking from the black lake
made of my tears, drying out through my flame


I gave you my secrets, tiny bones scattered on the grass
clad in blood and flesh, inside – boiling doubt and fury

I gave you my secrets, talons of the bear, teeth of the wolf
torn from the maw, to feed to night; to fill the hungry well of nightmares

I gave you my secrets, feathers of the wild bird
plucked with trembling fingers, rain-stained; snow-covered

we built a grave for them, a tombstone among the trees
decomposing under the moss

while you let the fire in
crawling slowly, licking them with passion
thirsty for rot, swallowing the skulls hidden underneath

Dead Forest

in dead forest
tendrils of ashes
choke the life
in silent agony
cursed souls
trapped in the scorched bark
open throats to screams
reaching with branches
for the end
music of the forgotten
cacophony of pain
dust-filled mouth
mourning the past
crying with dried-out tears
drained off flesh
replaced with living death
seething with despair

It Approaches

it approaches
crawls on many legs
drags through mist and ashes

it opens its maw
sharp white teeth
perfectly shaped, perfectly broken

it lays in your thoughts
its breath licks your flesh
slippery toungue reaches in

it captures your dreams
an egg laid in tendon
a parasite eating through a bone

Purify and Swallow

we came to drink the word
[ my life circles around your star that feeds on my fears
making me kiss the ring; it hides the sweetest poison
my world dissolves in dark hole formed at your bidding ]

we came to drink the wisdom
[ my knees bend to reach heavens
sky burns with holy fire, purifying my emptiness
giving me shape I always dreaded, in the name of eternity ]

we came to drink the venom
[ it spreads the hell in my soul, plunges obscure horrors into my mind
I want to fill my veins with light
which opposes the darkness with a strength of a dying star
it swallows the void, it swallows all ]

we came to—
I came to die for word
for wisdom
… and for false gods
which drag me into abyss
full of unnamed blasphemies