Folktober Challenge, Day 4

All three images

The Witch

Women
if beautiful, they drive men to danger
and sin,
if cantankerous or quarrelsome
they’ve let the devil in,

healers sought to make a charm for love,
to ease life’s pain, and guide a baby to its birth,
but vilified when the baby cries or livestock dies—
or ships crash on the rocks–

you’re afraid of her monthly flow
her connection to the moon,
her life-giving womb

somehow, she’s both powerful and weak,
controlling weather, fields, and men,
whether temptress or hag,

there’s no logic,
only your greed, lust, and fear
she’s siren or witch
and she makes you twitch
when you examine her body for devil’s marks.

But she has the last laugh,
because death doesn’t end your fear,
you drive a stake through her heart,
and still, she haunts you in the dark.

Paul Brookes is hosting a month-long ekphrastic challenge using folklore images to celebrate the launch of his new poetry collection, “As Folktaleteller.” You can see the images here, and also read the other responses. Today’s images inspired some beautiful, lyrical poems by the other poets.

Here is some information on Eunice Cole.

22 thoughts on “Folktober Challenge, Day 4

  1. Boy oh boy… did you every hit the nail on the head with this one. Men are ever confounded by women; rather than understand them, they vilify them… (or rather, us)

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