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July 13, 2007
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The witch Baba Yaga once baked herself bread
out of spiders and liars and red razorwire
that was garnished with flowers from the vaults of the dead,
and sweetened with lye from a child’s funeral pyre.
It was light as the crisp, cracking bones on the fields
and as sharp to the taste as the ash-scattered shards
that were all that remains of the swords and the shields
of the warrior king and his bold bodyguards.

In a chicken leg hovel at the edge of a wood
the witch Baba Yaga licks the dregs from the spoons
that she used to stir soup, spiced and thickened with blood
that the dying ones spilt from their widowing wounds.
But her low kitchen table will never be laid
and her bonewafer banquet will never be served,
while ghostly white whistles pipe a last serenade
as she’s swept to the moon by the swerve of the earth.

The witch Baba Yaga in the coldness of space
weeping tears for the cage and her gingerbread home,
but icicled, weightless, they fly in her face
with the regular tick of a deaf metronome.
Now her broken-backed biscuits have crumbled to dust
and there’s rust on her tongue and there’s clay in her gaze
and the snow on her coat forms a bitter white crust
for her oven’s as cold now as yesterday’s grave.
If you would have it mean something, consider how the magic of modern technology leaves in the mouth a cold metallic taste to overwhelm the uncertain spices and strange flavours of ancient lore.

Otherwise consider it 24 lines that scan and rhyme, and let that be enough for it to call itself a poem.
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Given 2008-10-11
Modern Magic by *tightwhitepants makes me miss all the wonderful folktales we were told as kids. (And Baba Yaga is as cool as it gets -- she was some witch!) A spectacular poem with lots of great rhymes, I highly recommend reading this. ( Featured by lovetodeviate )
:iconproofrockpilchard:
ProofrockPilchard Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have dearly missed hearing Baba Yaga stories.
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:iconinallgoodtime:
Inallgoodtime Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2011
I'm not sure of terminology or the ancient truth on which vowel Baba would have used on the last name, but there is some minor strangeness in the second stanza.

"and her bonewafer banquet will never be served,
while ghostly white whistles pipe a last serenade
as she’s swept to the moon by the swerve of the earth.

I was thrown out of poem by these time structures.

This poem has more than a thousand pictures.
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:iconroidwriter:
roidwriter Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2010
That felt kind of hopeless to me. I read it twice, and each time, yup, same emotion. I liked the "regular tick of the deaf metronome". It's got a nice ring to it :)
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:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2009
I wouldn't've known about this piece if it wasn't for =bekkia saying how it's a favorite of hers. I didn't even realize you could write like this -

it's terrific! :+fav:
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:icontightwhitepants:
tightwhitepants Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2009
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed.

By '...writing like this...' I presume you mean not merely slick and superficial? Yes, I occasionally have my moments!
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:iconjade-pandora:
jade-pandora Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2009
I don't think I'll say one way or the other. :paranoid:

I am however glad to hear about your moments! ;p
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:iconbekkia:
bekkia Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009
This, my friend, is poetry. I wish there were more people on here like you.
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:iconmreid973:
mreid973 Featured By Owner May 30, 2009
Evocative. Not the watered-down version found in modern tales. You really captured how the strength of myth is lost over time and cultures. And the structure, which others seemed to have commented on, also manages to cage this (now powerless) witch.
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:iconkatelin7249:
Katelin7249 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2009
This is absolutely astonishing, well-written and delightfully dark. It fits almost painfully well with my own writing as of late, too, which made it one of those pleasant-yet-oddly-creepy surprises.

Fav'd and then some.
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:icontightwhitepants:
tightwhitepants Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2009
Thank you. I'm delighted that you enjoyed it.
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