Search Results for 'colleen'

poem28 May 2018 09:56 am

After the prince satisfied his quest
installing my dainty foot
in the mink shoe he married
me added to his collection

Those long lonely days
as my transformation took place
mice and lizards my fey staff
a pumpkin transmuted into a coach
and pair, rags to glamour

After all, we met on looks alone
my bedazzlement with influence
more than I could use dissipated
once I had a chance to think
to take a breath, loosen my corset

The prince moved away
on kingdom needs, another quest
or a dragon lady to bind
I had been a machine dumping ashes
sifting cinders, baking, scouring
a perfect world for the privileged

I itched to bring order
to a palace already in its place
every servant jealously guarding
their realm of right and duty

In boredom I contacted my enchanted guardian
but not for gowns nor enthralling
trysts with dashing rulers
this time I wished to change again, take flight
learn the skills of riding out of reach

Another gourd became my sedan
a race into the country
against the dragging time
to save my life for a day
with russet foxes and dormice
my new and feral attendants
always maintaining an uncultivated glint
in the depths of their eyes
my heart

I raced the trees through the passage
of endless repetition to find
a space where I could be
I lost the track of appointments
and trails until I ran wild
in a field of rodents and vixens
kicking along a great orange pumpkin

Women often seem to run afoul
of curses, witches and evil stepmothers
living under the demands of one
or the other until virtue wins
a place in a man’s world

I ran through meadows
punting the gourd with my petite
yet sturdy peasant feet
until a man named Peter
found me in his field
He understands the land
the grains, the woodland mede
the need to touch the earth
feel the fecund thrills of growth

When he noticed my feet
it was not because of rare furs
that encased them nor of a size
that denoted something to protect
a delicate keepsake for within castle walls

But how my toes gripped the soil
that I outran his greyhound
We laughed in the crescent moonlight
shadows danced as we chased the pumpkin
skittering helter skelter
until a tree delivered its demise

It took the rupturing fruit
its scent infused us with a need
to dig into the deep dark loam
burrow like feasting worms
crawl beneath the leaves

I left behind a perfect life
to live with a farmer
but when they say he kept me
very well it means he won’t take
the king’s rubies nor sacks of gold
knows I own my self, free to leave
whenever my feet demand

poem25 Sep 2017 08:21 am

Theirs was a relationship born of need
each banished from society’s gentler refrains

Rapunzel, a prize, trophy, prisoner
sequestered from all eyes
hoarded by a witch
who coveted pretty baubles
So her hair grew in defiance
blindly searching like sun-seeking vines
wheaten bounty, golden filaments
for any chance of escape into the world

Framed by her window
her gaze traveled past horizons
beyond the limits of town borders
as she peered deep within herself
repainting captive worlds from her bower

Medusa, scapegoat, monster, victim
hidden, a pariah of vision
if any could have spoken having looked upon her
they would have told of beauty
the corona about her head
the scintillating glint of sinuous bodies
endless sliding ropes polished copper, viridian, topaz
a frozen rainbow waiting to spill forth

Her serpentine hair constantly sought
tongues tasting two ways, a path back to society
or into the arms of anyone without a heart of stone
who could hold her close
each snake head’s little red eyes watching
the state of her realm in stasis

Eventually, through wind-born seeds
breathy birds landing for a rest
the restless bustling of beetles
flies and insects of secret and forbidden places
Rapunzel and Medusa came to hear
of each other’s predicament

They sent messages back and forth
with the aid of inhuman couriers
written on small scraps of parchment
flat seed pods, or the bones of fowl
for where enchantment and curses exist
so do other means of magic

Day by day, like obsessive schoolgirls
they compared notes, talked of their confines
limited worldview and the passions
of their hearts, a galaxy yet unexplored
but only hinted at, a fate of destiny
Their distant friendship bloomed
grew to fruit though neither had ever tasted
of the other’s nectar

A love took root and held them fast
Rapunzel’s tresses always seeking through the light
Medusa’s snakes burrowing through the underworld
nurtured by tears and promises
whispered into the air

A shoot’s tender head raised itself
first small then exceedingly resilient
it climbed onto walls, tumbled over wells
crept along the sills of every window
in every town

Slowly it spread as it drew them together
the vine’s conduit allowed a vibratory touch
a way to let the other know
she was truly alive

The serpents sent their sibilant vows
forever twined, a force that reached beyond
all cages, boundaries or restrictions
like Abelard and Heloise
isolated yet together
Rapunzel and Medusa endured forever
no longer alone

illustration Medusa, by Jacek Malczewski, 1899
poem02 Mar 2015 09:29 am



Everyone must sleep at the end of the era
It is the only way that thoughts fly free
making patterns, a new weave
I had to be the template
the apex of the royal line
heir and loom of changes to come

But nothing is instantaneous
Not love, not change
nor the turning of the world’s wheel
So wheel and spindle it was that spun
into a realm of sleep, of make believe
of imagining my freedom

I dreamed a world where days unravel predictably
curses by mad half-women have no weight
and fear of a spindle prick is only for the pain
No uttered prophesy fringes a birthday with dread
nor magic from the craft of one’s hands
and the only spell is one of making

I dreamed a world where love’s blossom has few thorns
All choices made on waking are with full knowledge
of my desires and patterns for my future
are woven of my own designs
Arranged marriages are only made
when all the parties agree

I dreamed a world where princesses have voices
beyond singing from their gilded rooms
and beauty whether sleeping or awake
is not for sale or inheriting lands
Decisions to plant something new twine
respect for intellect and innovation

Worlds are imperfect things
and dreams are circumspect
their stories running counterpoint to logic
warp and weft difficult to disentangle as briar roses

I awoke to find my world consists of one day at a time
Half-mad I’ve grown with menial drudgery
for what else can a disinherited princess do
My dreams and wishes fall on disenchanted air
No craft of mine is better than that of machinations
and the only spell is how to succeed

I awoke to find love is distanced by an apparatus
making a one-night stand unfulfilling
as a prince’s demand for loyalty if not for love
My choices are limited to who might return my call
and arranged meetings are only made
for sex without a need for courting

I awoke to find every girl a princess
demanding the latest fashion as women
smear concocted potions, unguents, dire pastes
and try magics to hold time at bay
I have tried to nurture the shoot of new beginnings
but find it strangled out by greed

Everyone must sleep to escape the nightmares
of the day, to pretend we soar higher
away from a life that pricks us
I made a mistake using the last zephyrs
of magic to dream a simple desire
lacking complexity that living really means

Nothing is easy
not love, not change
nor the turning of our lives
So I dream of the welcoming narcotic jab
that will spin me into a realm of dreams of hope
of imagining freedom

author profile26 Aug 2013 08:00 am

bio (1)

 1) Are you primarily a poet, or do you write other things?

I am, primarily, a writer. I write fiction and poetry though my first professional sale was in poetry so I have been writing that longer if I disregard the beginnings of a novel I wrote in grade 10. I write mostly speculative fiction but also have published mainstream, erotica and articles as well. I have far more poems than stories written but word wise, the fiction wins.
2) Tell us about your other writing projects. What are you working on now?
I’m working on a first draft of a novel, medieval otherworld fantasy with three races; several short stories, which are actually SF though I write more dark fantasy, and a collection of poems called A Compendium of Witches. These will be about witches, with a Canadian twist but it’s going slow.
3) Who are your favorite authors? In particular, do you have a favorite who is under appreciated that we should check out?
Old time is Theodore Sturgeon and Dylan Thomas, and current faves are Neal Stephenson, Sandra Kasturi for poetry, and the Careys for their book The Steel Seraglio. I adored that book. It’s so lush and full of stories within stories. It’s like the Canterbury Tales, Shaharazad, Arabian Nights and several cautionary tales wrapped up in silk and jewels and sand.
4) What are you reading now?
I’m reading several collections by Canadian authors that I highly recommend. I just finished Over the Darkened Landscape by Derryl Murphy, whose stories are really sticking with me, and Helen Marshall’s Hair Side, Flesh Side is receiving high praise and is right up my alley; stories about skin in one way or the other.
5) Do you do any other creative work (music, visual arts, etc)?
I do Bellydance, make beaded jewellery in necklaces and watchesa and from time to time I create something in the sculptural realm, such as fairy wings, a garden slug out of glass studio castoffs or a six-foot pomegranate.
6) What is the latest big discovery in your life? (art, music, lifestyle, whatever?) I love travelling but sometimes we become complacent. However, I’ve discovered that while I like to be around people in a bar, or at a dance, I don’t like to be around them in the swarms of big cities. I’m going to Europe this fall and hoping to park myself for a few days near Nantes, birthplace of Jules Verne and creative center of the Machines de L’ile where 30-foot divers and mechanical elephants have been seen to roam. This type of elaborate street theatre warms my heart. It takes a bit to save up for European travel but I’ve decided that ever two years I won’t jaunt around N. America but see more of the world and its fantastic, elaborate history.

I did discover that after taking photos in the cemeteries of Cuba, Ireland and Montreal that there is a rich sense of evolution, history and reverence to be found there and I think this fall when I travel to Europe I’ll try to see what tales I can learn there as well.

7) Basic old biographical details? (family, work, why do all writers seem to have two cats, etc?)
I actually have only one cat though I used to have two. I think it’s because writers are selfish with our time and dogs need to be walked, taking us away from our computers. Whereas cats can sit in our laps or be draped across our wrists while we’re writing. But I know writers with dogs so there are always exceptions. My two BFAs are in Creative Writing and Design (Photography). I do freelance copyediting and actually enjoy it. I live in Vancouver, BC and enjoy the weather except when the gills start to grow.

I’ve published more than a hundred poems and short fiction and have other pieces coming out this year in Chilling Tales 2, Irony of Survival, Bull Spec, Cemetery Dance,, Artifacts & Relics and Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Check out Bibliotheca Fantastica and Demonologia Biblica (two different books about books) for current fiction out this year.


poem19 Aug 2013 08:00 am



While my blood flowed warm and red
covered by flesh as white as snow
your heart ran slow and cold
sheathed by a molten iron will

It was always about the heart
yours chiseled of frosted glass
long before you gazed in that magic mirror
recognized your spiteful stare could freeze the world

Nothing could shatter your diamond hard need
puncture your hate, no slivers of glass or needles
to stitch a heart on your sleeve or back into a body
as devoid of empathy as of love

You sent another to do your dirty work
hoping to spread the wintering of your domain
but it’s hard to stopper compassion’s wellspring
and a kind word pierces a heart truer than arrows

So like you to tear out hearts with words that kill
with hopes to eat my laughter, devour my youth
make me as dead as your feelings had become
and bury any guilt with proclamations of your right

You found beauty in others distracting, covetous
unless you were the center of adoration
eventually they enclosed me in crystal
a chrysalis to preserve me from the poison you spewed

In my death your realm was still ice and isolation
but nature has a way of balancing hate and love
those who mourned planted me in their hearts
so that I could return anew, inevitable as the seasons

If you had only broken through the glass coffin of your fear
used the shards to carve a way back into the world
let the pain flow until your blood was clear, your breath light
then together we could have grown old, laughing

Hearts beating in tandem with the rhythm of the seasons
as we marveled at the melting of the snow white realm


poem12 Aug 2013 08:00 am

Psyche’s Remorse

Each night as cool and black as weighted silk
he came to me, enveloped me, loved me
Each night he kissed me, whispered
then faded with the stars

I awoke to daylight in a fever
devoured the sight of every man
sure that one would claim me
waiting silently for my dream

The marketplace gossips laughed
A hidden husband who came in dreams?
How could I be a proper woman?
How could he support a family?

I never felt his gaze
Yet at night his heat consumed me
I began to burn in darkness
a brand never doused

Blinded by my need
I revealed my lover to the light
Winged, warm, too pure for mortal form
Eros awoke, scolded me, flew from my embrace

I searched for him, followed him,
suffered feats to be with him
and in the end the love I kindled
burned me through and through

I could not stay with people
after Eros took my heart
I only wanted love
not to rival a god’s splendor

Was it knowing godhood
he had tried to hide from me
or the knowledge of my lost humanity
that I have learned to mourn?


poem05 Aug 2013 08:00 am

Athena’s Choice

From within—fearless Metis opened her thighs
in blood she birthed me
then fed me milk and words
Metis told me he had swallowed us
hoping to keep our wisdom
she was content to wait and plan
knew I would do as I choose

And so I chose
he could not swallow destiny
and I battled with words
speared his every thought
knowing full well my power
in my father

He conceived an idea, words, a gender
tried to swallow the counsel of women
tried to digest me before I opposed
I did not spring from his head
More my anger boiled too long
that brought my release

I countered until I won my way
out he called for Hephaestus
bright ingenious Hephaestus
who swung his mighty axe
split the head of Zeus in two

Out of that duality
I strode forth



poem08 Oct 2012 11:27 am




She slips beyond the reach of man

in torpid heat he kneels to pray

bright-eyed, fevered upon the sand


He casts hook and line with firm hand

in frothing water day by day

she slips beyond the reach of man


He feels the curse as if a brand

the distant gods regard his face

bright-eyed, fevered upon the sand


Sleek siren heeds no human plan

from ships, or sailors’ longing gaze

she slips beyond the reach of man


Bright silver lures her near the strand

the man has hardened in his ways

bright-eyed, fevered upon the sand


The man must feed his hungry clan

pulls food not myth from raging waves

She slips beyond the reach of man

bright-eyed, fevered upon the sand

Uncategorized03 Apr 2011 05:45 pm

She had never been a good wife
staying out till all hours
coming home wet and wild
with flesh stuck between her teeth

She had fallen for his best lines
reeled him in, netted a husband
After marriage she dropped the camouflage
became a bit of a disappointment

When she joined the band she found her place
forgot for awhile who she was
rattling spoons over her scales
and singing of shipwrecked loves

She stopped looking at other men
remained mute upon the rocks
traded her shell bras for ones of lace
sailors watching still ran aground

Perhaps she needs to try again, harder
loving words are bait enough
but pearls last longer when held in the hand
her husband but a shoal against the sea’s allure

She had tried to be a good wife cooking
calmly stirring the bowl’s contents
but she couldn’t help dip the spoon and lick it
add pepper to fish heads and fingers

Not all sirens give warnings but she will
write a note on handmade, scented paper
will not eat her love but leave him
with fishwife memories when the ocean calls

poem14 Apr 2020 02:55 pm
Apple Tree with Red Fruit by Paul Ranson

Colleen Anderson

 A bulimic knows
 there are two ways to consume
 one is not to eat at all
 the other, take the world 
 into yourself sins, joys, pains
 the full sensory experience
 not grow fat on it but purge again 
 and again... for balance, feel despair 
 so that joy is all the richer
 when devoured guiltlessly again
 Starved for love or a word of praise
 Snow White sought out something to fulfill
 took the path of runaways, of precocity
 of survivors from broken homes
 not all girls who run endure or find peace
 she managed lodgings with men of splintery mien
 striving to be gentlemen all the same
 but good intentions and preordained destinies 
 can still go astray
 In hunger to fill a need, hide her shame
 Snow White was tempted by an apple
 the oldest crop seeded in memory 
 a blush of thought on the tree of life 
 or abundant knowledge of good and evil
 she saw in the mirror, the roseate lie
 herself a hybrid queen filled with envy
 who tried to join the halves together
 obliterate the exposed bruised side
 Those apples had special weight
 ever since time began
 the first fruit a sweet tease leaving
 the bitter aftertaste from the core
 a weighty illicit craving, a dark desire
 for savoring a beginning neverending
 for going beyond safe borders
 How could she resist
 in the end her wish bloomed true
 the desire of all who seek eternity
 an apple poisoned with all of time
 Snow White bit and chewed and choked
 then fell into a suspended world
 that her predecessor had long known
 a goddess once, who may have dropped
 just as windfall apples do 
 from the wind's lecherous touch
 Idunn of the golden apples won hard
 harvester’s knowledge and full of power
 she never punished, only rewarded the gift
 that kept on giving, endless life, youth, beauty
 Gods grow bored when millennia pass
 Idunn and the Norse sailed onto other realms
 leaving a distillation, an elixir
 a breath of remembering in the apples of Midgard
 Fairy tales are the memories of gods long gone
 wishes of mortals for what can never be
 Snow White frozen in her world of in-between 
 received the eternal gift but not as it once had been
 She was stuck between the realms
 neither dead nor alive, preserved for all time
 until the day some random prince
 heimliched her back to life
 She has spent an eternity sandwiched
 into film and print, but wanting neither
 immortalized yet seeking always seeking
 an apple that will give her a taste 
 of a love that’s not foreseen
 that destiny cannot touch, something natural
 that happens on a whim
 like apples falling from a tree