Part 2: Crone Neysa Ensnares Anya
Awakening from forest depths, Anya sought
Pungent smoky fires of crone, Neysa, in her
Cave-like hovel sequestered, herbs drying,
Pots of putrid liquid simmering, defleshing
Bones of woodland animals she ensnared by
Bent tree branches, woolen strings, designs
For unsuspecting Anya. “Awaken child, come
Find your fate, tree changeling or wandering
Wildling,” Neysa chanted, cunning threads,
raven-wing smoke alluring Anya unaware.
Born of dreams, Anya followed mountain
Trails, her plaint mind treetop drifting,
Neysa’s enchanted smoke Anya’s heart
Seizing, loneliness, anguished desolation.
How Anya yearned for savior-sorceress,
Stumbling, collapsing at cave-hovel. “Drink
This, my child,” Neysa said, giving sips of
Bone-boiled broth, tainted bits of flesh,
Gristle, tiny tufts of hair, all things fiendish
Forced, rotten and revolting.
O! How forests uttered mournful melodies,
Ayna’s body seizing, writhing, painful meta-
Morphosis, red-wounded flesh to tree-bark
Arms and legs, female torso, knotty trunk,
Breasts sap-weeping, feet earth-gnarled roots.
Child of her parents, Anya was no more,
Youthful tree dark spell-enchained, forest
separated, beauty betrayed, no wind-waving
Grain, nature corrupted, wood-entombed,
Anya wept crimson leafy tears.
Darkness settled over shepherding hillsides,
Farming villages, all lost to scudding Sulphur
Clouds. Field beasts fell barren, pollinating
Bees hive-dead. Cold winter winds descended,
Most mysterious, hearth fires burned no more,
Protestations of Anya’s ensnared capture. Yet,
The gods were touched. What fate awaited
Neysa on thunderous waves? Forces beyond
Earth and boundless skies kissed Anya’s face,
Bloodless flower, conjoined tree and child.
Thanks for reading this three-part poem.