Carina Bissett

The December Featured Poet is Carina Bissett

Please feel free to email Carnia at cmariebissett@gmail.com

Carnia Bissett


Charred skin smolders,
ash dusting a mortal sky
as a breeze sifts heathen debris
burned on the skeleton pyre
of enlightenment.

Yet still they dance,
ankles bouncing in the breeze,
demon seed of dissention spilled,
the root of all men’s desire—
a full moon’s harvest.

The bone mother
sifts through ash and earth,
seeking scraps of sinew and skin,
tattered tendons tacked
to bones, broken,

stretched in despair,
dissected in pregnant prose—
disjointed, dismembered, denied—
under the gaze of blind eyes
watching her descent.

Those stone angels
judge the miscarriage of life
as they shear reason from madness,
life from death and death from life—
a revolution.

The bone mother
ignores their verdict,
singing her hymns for love long lost,
a requiem voiced
for a monster.


I’ll never forget the first moment I saw you
flying across field and fallow
in a wild ride to grandmother's house—
scarlet cape streaming out behind you,
white hands urging that black steed
to madness, to death, to certain ruin.

Like one of the furies you appeared,
a creature not of this tame green place
but of my land,
where the lamia creep in crags and caves
and the bogey haunt misty borderlands.
A country where ghouls devour the sun
and the whirlwind stirs the fog on a whim.

I watched and waited.
And when I realized nothing pursued you,
not a demon’s furious hunt or a spurned lover.
I smiled
and followed quietly on the forest fringe.

And now as the darkness approaches,
my appetite whetted by the rising moon,
ravenous thoughts consuming me,
forcing me to madness at the lush pain of it all
I raise my voice to the stars
and surrender.

I can't stand the fierce seduction a moment more—
that thick, dark pelt of sable hair and scarlet hood
hiding the heat of your throbbing pulse
from my ears, eyes and mouth.
I can't bear the torment, the bliss,
the fear of your savage secrets.

I love you so.
I’ll gobble you up.


I see you, my Prince,
though you cannot see me,
conducting in my tower,
a shimmering glissando between the clouds.

Can it be you are the same man
who once bolted from the forest in white-eyed fear,
fleeing the pursuit of a ululating dirge,
pierced by a siren’s screams?

I see you came back prepared
to battle fierce and fearsome monsters
in your diamond armor,
sharp swords slicing the air.

This time I modulate my plea,
shift shrieks to song,
despair measured out in half notes,
an atonal aria of seduction.

From my opera seat
I see you pause at the timbre,
battle your fears and plunge into darkness
to seek a harmony spun from a silver sun.

I beckon you, leaning out the window,
feet bound by crystal shackles
chiming in counterpoint,
a requiem for the dead.

Measure by measure,
you scale a symphony of strings,
unknowingly tuning the silken chords
of a high-strung crescendo.

Fretful, I stroke the scarves
wrapped round my wrists,
a witch’s attempt to prevent the orchestration
of a fitting finale.

I brace myself for your approach
along the curving ligature linking us together.
I cannot bear another refrain,
the failure to free myself from this woman’s curse.

The end will be swift, my Prince,
a cadence composed of perfumed scarves,
your sharp steel the tonic for my escape,
the key to cutting the restraints that bind me.

Your armor and swords will be mine
and in return I’ll leave the chains you covet
in a braided wreath around your throat,
covering the cost of freedom.

Once upon a time, Carina Bissett wrote travel articles and books about the Southwest. These days, she spends her time crafting twisted fairy tales and cross-pollinated mythic fiction. Her short fiction and poetry can be found at the Journal of Mythic Arts, The NonBinary Review, Timeless Tales and other assorted journals and anthologies.

For links to stories and poems, stop by HERE