Neil Garvie, “Wizard’s Pantry”

October’s Final Days, Second Runner-Up, Poetry

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Shades of colour, shades of black
shades of lightning flashing back
echoes distant in the night
fire’s burning — feel its bite

Whispered voices in the ear
magic tones remain unclear
one part pine sap running down
thistle, hemlock that’s been ground

Two parts mandrake, spider’s lace
belladonna, mustard paste
lick of hemlock, myrrh, bloodroot
smell the burdock, burning jute

Toadstool, guano, song of crow
footprint from the beetle toe
forest echoes, termite’s sneeze
rumours from a passing breeze

Image of a demon bug
mucus from the leopard slug
wicked is a wild brew
steeped in venom, feral stew

Jimson, henbane, faerie rings
owl hoots and larvae strings
lurid nightmares, ghoulish dance
curb the shrieks but heed the chants

Spell’s been conjured, spell’s been said
bitter grudges to be fed
smell the sulfur, smoky stone
cauldron boils the whittled bone

Shades of colour, shades of white
rising sun sends home the night
chanted echoes in the dawn
breaking darkness — night is gone …


Neil Garvie resides in Comox Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. His poems appear in various magazines including Vallum, Transition, Canadian Stories, Island Writer, Laureate, Words Less Spoken.Neil has published his own poetry collections: Silence Craves a Voice (Poplar Publishing, 2019); Mother Nature Eats Her Kind (Pod Creative, 2020); Jigsaw (Pod Creative, 2021), and Off the Wall (Pod Creative, July 2022).

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