Wulf and Eadwacer

His being gone is a gift to my people. They will destroy him if he comes near, but I welcomed him. Wulf is on one island, I on another. The island is safe, surrounded by fens. Angry warriors are on that island. They will destroy him if he comes near, but I welcomed him. I wait despairing while my Wulf wanders. When it rained, I sat and cried. When the brave man hugged me, I was happy, it was loathsome. Wulf, my Wulf, waiting for you, for your seldom coming has made me sick. I’m not starving but my mind…

Little Grief

By Sheila Black I feed you warm milk from a dropper.  All night whinge and moan. You make a lousy guest—shred the furniture piss on the rug. The neighbors gaze at you askance, but I can’t stop listening to you whistle, in and out like the conversation the river has with itself, as night burbles on and on, song that might almost be a silence–large as a gift, sparkly as a tree in ice. (And why must I believe chill makes the world a glass?) I resist believing in the accident of origin—the grain in the shell around which a…

Fulmars

By Sheila Black I must have seen them along my childhood beaches, scattered along the rocks, in the coves of blood-colored stone and moss. My mother in a Shetland sweater, walkingahead, distant-eyed, after my brothers, as though I disappointed her, which I did.  She read me the bird book. Gull-like but with a smoky gray plumage, a tendency to hover midflight for extended periods. Highly pelagic outside the breeding season, feeding on fish or offal.  “Pelagic” meaning of the open waters. There must be a reason I confuse them with tornadoes or dust storms, imagine, despite consulting the dictionary, their…