October 26, 2020

“Baba Yaga” — Poetry by Raquel Dionísio Abrantes

“Baba Yaga” — Poetry by Raquel Dionísio Abrantes
Baba Yaga 
He needs to learn to respect your no; 
He needs to learn to hear your yes. 
If he does not let him go;  
You do not want a vile head on your chest. 
Unleash your Baba Yaga, the one 
Who leaves scars. 
You will rise from the red-hot sun 
And no one can tear you apart. 
Believe me; 
You are ready to forge your throne. 
In you there are the seven seas 
Beneath your growing skin of stone.

Your Perseus Face 
Dream after dream you split my 
Soul like a glass of rum. 
I spend the night by the bed, 
Restless, seeing your Perseus face. 
But I do not have Medusa’s head 
Nor any body to offer you.
You are a man in the shadow 
Of a lost fire. How many times 
Have you seen the blaze die inside 
Your hands? It is difficult to let you 
Live in my burnt, crimson mouth. 
My love is not a room of perhaps. 
From blow to blow, you leave the leftovers: 
Guilt, sadness, pain. You try to pretend 
They are not yours. The phantom of oblivion 
Haunts you. And you provide him nourishment.  
You self-consume the woes that you regret.  
Alone, beyond the patches of light.  

Soul — woodland belly filled with  
Secrets and ancient vampires. 
Mind — a feral moor for monsters 
Of all shapes. 
Eyes — two bottomless wells of  
Light, rain, and thunder. 
Mouth — an abyss of songs, a  
Labyrinth of whispers.  

Lament of Beira Women 
We are dying! We are dying, mother! 
Lungs — vessel of opaque air and withered roses. Can you 
Hear us breathing? We have no time. Our wombs filled with 
Death and bark. 
We are dying! We are dying, mother! 
They do not comprehend our woes. Our brother’s body does not 
Weigh in their arms. Here, in the embalmed dimness, the corpses 
We are dying! We are dying, mother! 
Artemis turns from us. We dream about slopes where once we  
Stood. Today, we are blood of young and old women upon 
Loam. Our birch grove calls us home. 
We are dying! We are dying, mother! 
Ghosts sing to us and we run to them. We walk to the 
Harvest moon. This is our battle, this is our lament: the 
Lament of beira women.  

Saturated Eyes 
Where do you keep your tears, 
When they leave your saturated eyes? 
Perhaps in your Zeus-touched soul,  
Watering it until tulips blossom. 
Those tears are unspoken fears 
Drifting on your lips. 
You adjust your mouth to smile 
Amongst the day you curse. 

Her Many Shapes 
Do not tell your daughter not to wear 
Red lipstick or dresses above the knee. 
Instead, teach your son to respect her as 
The goddess she was born to be. 
She is Nyx; her eyes are starry skies 
And shadows follow her feet. 
Let her live in her many shapes 
Where the dawn and the dusk meet. 
Everything is dark: her hair, her nails,  
The mountains she steps. 
She summons cursed winds 
But she is far from being the mother of death. 


Raquel Dionísio Abrantes is a writer from Portugal. She has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Cinema from Universidade da Beira Interior. Raquel gave a Master Class in Writing of Scripts about Narrative Structure. Her writing has appeared on Write or Die Tribe, Better than StarbucksThe Pangolin ReviewNew Hand Lab and Fleas on the Dog. She writes for Read Poetry. More about her work can be found on her Instagram.
This is her first feature on The Fictional Café.  

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#baba yaga#mythology#poetry#raquel dionísio abrantes

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