One Poem by Annest Gwilym

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Altar to a Cat God

I offer jet beads to the cat god
and a bottle of triple-distilled X
to keep me safe from dark dogs,
voodoo and all kinds of witchery.
The stygian outside that tries to steal inside
and voices of the dead that plead:
‘Can I live in your house, your head?’
Outside, where a couple of Braque’s birds
circle flatly, malevolently,
ready to splatter lurid purple droppings
– after gorging on deadly nightshade –
onto Klee’s scattered arcane sigils.

Jet beads made from errant,
vibrating molecules of once living trees
that breathed the same swampy air as dinosaurs
– now will never be a necklace –
apart from the quick arc that forms
as I throw them to the cat god
and his sharp demanding head.
Warm protective jet to sustain
the room’s warm protective yellow,
full of coils of trapped sunshine,
where darkness is banished
at least for now.


Annest is a poet, short story writer and jewellery maker who often wishes she were a painter instead. Editor of Nine Muses Poetry and proud owner of an adorable rescue terrier dog.

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