Ingénue

Ingénue

Raindrops –
steel drums, belting
roof tops;

loud beats
unheard beneath
white sheets

where two
hearts shed one last
taboo.

Ryan Stone

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Sneewittchen

Ten small moons
blank as bone,
not bright enough
to guide her home.
Five above, and
five below
in the land of Fae,
where cold winds blow.

A coffin, glass,
her beauty case;
asleep at last,
the maiden, chaste.
A mirror’s truth
first planted seed,
from poison springs
doom’s apple tree.

Cloaked in night
her hunter lies;
a queen deceived
by fourteen eyes.
Grim tales weave
through bloody looms.
In royal breast
a thawed rose blooms.

Ryan Stone

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First published in Poppy Road Review, March 2016.

Drought Town

This is the summer of red dust. Everything
sucked dry—hollow as cicada husks, wedged
under eaves and porch stairs—waiting
for a wind change. On the road out of town,
empty grain silos loom, perched like headstones
over wheat-field graves. Harvesters sag, tyres
cracked like the asphalt. Rotting carcasses
litter riverless beds—tongues swollen,
flyblown, unslaked. First, a wheeze,
then my pickup spews steam. It dies in a ditch
under a burnt-orange sun. Tiger snake chunks
graffiti the hood’s underside, one blind eye bulging
from the torn head. It must have sought shade
or wiper water—sliding up from the parched earth
miles back. Now it’s just one more dead thing
in a land of dead things. This is the summer
of red dust. It swirls and the road ahead blurs.

– Ryan Stone

first published by Eunoia Review

The Wind Whispers, The Wind Sighs

– after Longfellow

The wind whispers, the wind sighs,
the dawn light brightens, a magpie cries;
amongst the gum trees tall and green
a girl becomes a faerie queen.
And the wind whispers, the wind sighs.

Morning settles beneath silk skies,
her reign flits by like dragonflies;
deep shadows dress the naked hill
in dusk, as faerie wings fall still.
And the wind whispers, the wind sighs.

Night throws a cloak; a barn owl cries,
another answers, stars blink like eyes.
The queen is gone, won’t come again;
these woods forever will remain.
And the wind whispers, the wind sighs.

– Ryan Stone

first published at Poetry Nook, May 2020

The Grey Mornings

I start at the sound of each car passing
on midnight streets outside;
hoping it’s you,

knowing it isn’t.
Dreams fade with your warmth
as reality slowly intrudes:
it would be enough
to fall into your arms
and know I’d wake there, too.

I am only real
when you are near,
but you never stay

and the grey morning is close
and mine alone.

Ryan Stone

 

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