A murky morning became a bright afternoon spent with two of the birdlings.


In deep water fish make magic,

their silver eyes explore the ocean’s belly,

where fallen stars lie among crabs and spent arrows.

Voices draw staves in the sky with their songs

but not where fish dart;

nothing disturbs the secrets

that pave the halls of merfolk and the drowned.

There myths abound, darting silver

and swift as fish and speeding arrows.


You look for laughter and joy among the weeds

but find only coloured stones.

You listen for music in the booming of the waves,

hear only echoes, and the dancers are ghosts.

Raise your eyes, peer through the glassy green

to where the blue is singing, swallows dipping

where the silver scales of fish glint,

and sun streamers caught in the sardana of seaweed

sway between sand and sky—


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

16 thoughts on “Magic”

  1. There myths abound, darting silver

    and swift as fish and speeding arrows.

    Yes, they do. And, yes, that’s magic. Thank you for affirming myth and color and the depths with living beings.

  2. This is beautiful! I can’t find your Oracle poem from yesterday, but this one has so many words that are similar to mine! Yours is a glorious description of myths and magic (and color); mine is just a bit of advice to see and experience them.

    1. This was an Oracle-inspired poem. I didn’t have time to sit down with the magnets for long. We had our eldest and her young man for the day. It was a bit of a blur, between migraines. I might try again this evening.

      1. I will thanks. It’s been sunny today and warm. The lizards are out all over the walls and its stirred up the ants again. I’ve never understood ants. Whenever the weather is warm they spend all their time carrying one another back and forth. In? Out? And why?

      2. I think of lizards in summer weather. I don’t understand ants either–or most insects for that matter, except for bees and butterflies? What is the purpose of mosquitos, other than to spread misery?

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