It Only Takes a Cauldron and a Dash of Thyme
by C.S.E. Cooney
A Kitchen Witch Villanelle
She sips her soup right off the bitter blade And grins, and spins in frantic pirouette Her tongue runs red with what her hands have made "Sit here, my girl; I'll pour a bright cascade — One bellyful obliterates regret!" She sips her soup right off the bitter blade The young girl sops up stock with tail of braid (White-plaited with the feathers of egret) Her tongue runs red with what her hands have made "It tastes of rubies, mother! Pearl and jade! A widow's sea-salt tears, an old flechette..." She sips her soup right off the bitter blade "Lick deep, my girl — and taste the lemonade, Old blood squeezed from a stone to pay a debt..." Her tongue runs red with what her hands have made "And graveyard nettles harrowed from a glade — Where woebegone the ghosts yearn to forget." She sips her soup right off the bitter blade Her tongue runs red with what her hands have made
C.S.E. Cooney's fiction and poetry can be found in Rich Horton's Year's Best Science Fiction Fantasy 2011 and 2012, SteamPowered II and Clockwork Phoenix 3, at Apex, Subterranean, Strange Horizons, Podcastle, and Mythic Delirium. Of her recently released poetry collection, How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, fantasy writer Pamela Dean says, "The verses rocket back and forth between extremes, veering sideways into sentiment, lyrical description, satire, and sheer joyous goofiness." Her novella, Jack o' the Hills, tends to give its readers bizarre dreams.
When asked about which of her poems she would like set to what style of music, Cooney noted that she has been privileged (her musician brother Jeremy Cooney being Totally Faboosh) to have had several of her poems set to music, "Goblin Girls" and "Bluebeard's Tale" among them. What she'd sort of adore is for some musician sometime to draw inspiration from "Wild Over Tombs Does Grow" and run with it. The more Tall Ones, Flabberghasts and mouthy dead children appear in music, the better. To this end, she hopes to collaborate on a stage musical some day.
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