Read introduction

A darkly erotic fantasy poem based on a unicorn myth.

The Musk of the Full Moon.

Imageby Tim Ellis19 Jul 2014

She’s waxed to the sheet in the flush of a burning moon.
Juggernauts shudder a flimsy bedroom blind
and zeros flickering on a fierce clock-radio dial
 
seem jeering. She kicks off the quilt. Toys strewn
across the floor commemorate a child
recently perished in a pool of lonely
 
midnight sweats, a girl whose lost balloons
are prowling the sky, reverted to the wild,
streaming the ribbons that slithered out of her grip:
 
cherry bubbles wrinkling down to prunes.
The lunar month is peaking as she gropes
naked for a coat to cover herself.
 
Truck drivers’ horns are trumpeting wolfish tunes
as she flutters across their path, a flighty sylph,
the hint of a wisp absorbed by dark woods.
 
Oaks enclose her. Shaggy ink-caps push
their fists through leaf mould. Maidenhair ferns enmesh
her hips. Branches poke and snatch at her hood.
 
She tries to relax, remembering how these trees
would fidget with flocks of finches when, as a kid,
she’d come in spring to bunch all the bluebells she could.

But now at night she squirms, ill at ease,
sensing the needling stares converged on her country
raincoat probe her soul. She feels awkward.
 
He sniffs the breeze and draws towards her scent.
A relic of an older world, not ghost,
not myth, just flesh and blood misunderstood.
 
Her mum and dad, she knows, would be aghast
but the moon is a gland, stinking out the sky,
streaking leaf and bark with daubs of shine.
 
The watcher grunts to make his presence known.
She stiffens, swallowing a reflex cry,
eyeing his bulk, the bestial, muscular person
 
emerging from the murk between the trees,
the restless hoofs, the tiny ammonite eyes,
the rapier prong on his snout erect and fearsome.
 
But he trots through the glade with a faltering lope,
halting submissively at her feet, shyly
laying his leathery muzzle in her lap.
 
The night is subdued while the musk of the full moon lingers
and the creature sleeps, cheek nuzzling her thigh,
mollified, tusk enfolded in her fingers.

Excerpt From: Ellis, Tim. “On The Verge.” Available in paperback from Amazon, and ebook on Kindle, iBooks & just about everywhere! Profits from On The Verge are being donated to a rhino conservation charity.