Poetry by Linda M. Crate


dagger of wings

i remember
once wolves and ravens
ran and flew together
in the autumn of
a wood as
but now i’ve fashioned my wings
and words into daggers
to shoot arrows
into the heart of the wolf
foolish enough to
cross me;
because somewhere beneath the crimson
lullaby of autumn leaves
and the cold breath
of winter’s kiss
you shattered our love on your fangs of oblivion
because you are a man dead before his time
devoid of imagination, hopes, or dreams
and had you not buried me
beneath praying for me to die beneath the snow
to become a blue lipped angel
on your bed stand
i may have shown more empathy—
but you used my words and my love for you against me
so now it is a war
i will conquer
and cut you into every ribbon of winter’s frost
so you can know sorrow without an end;
and allow me to enjoy autumn again
in all her regal glory.


i’ll break that mask

you must think you’re the
cat’s meow
with all these girls
fawning over
but then it must all be in your head;
i remember how the girls
at your church
cringed away from you and looked at me
as if to say
“poor bird”—
i was the butterfly caught in the net
falsely believing it to be freedom
until you devoured my wings,
but i am here to remind
you that i, too, have claws;
that you have not
one day i’ll smash your little glass house and
watch the bones of skeletons roll on out,
and when you’re distracted
smash your mask so you can no longer hide behind
a thousand faces
simply your own.


the dreamer

i want to run
have i wanted to flee
from reality,
and dance with talking trees
learn the wisdom of the ancients
fly with the fae and swim with the mermaids
laugh with the fauns and chase away
the satyrs and sing with the
crows and ravens;
i have wanted to learn the battle cry of dwarves
and to pull a bow back like the elves
with such grace and beauty
in the violent act—
sometimes i shed my skin like snakeskin and leap so
far away from myself no one can find me
because i’ve gone magicking again
leaving this world of sorrows and transgressions
behind to embrace worlds
only i can make a


so i think of you

cold, grey
reminds me
of all the words and worlds
that were left unsaid,
and i still have your last letter and
the nutcracker book you
gave me whose cover
my friend told me
was creepy;
but i’ve always found the strange and bizarre beautiful
have always found myself caught somewhere
between fantasy and madness
perhaps a shade of both admitting neither—
i never realized
how you struggled to find the light
until you killed yourself
lost the battle to your depression and were gone from us,
and i still miss you;
sixteen years later and it feels like sometimes
you disappeared from us
just yesterday—
the day is silent
not even the birds remark,
and so i think of

2007Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of this series Centaurs & Magic is slated for a November release. Her third poetry collection If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications – August 2016) was recently published. Her poetry collection Sing Your Own Song is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Series.

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