Wendy Howe


It’s all there in the disappearing light…

                             Sheryl St. Germain

Oh! City,

wrapped in a turban of haze,

you call for  me to come

with dusk-fallen hair and whale bone shaping

the curve of my corset —


my muslin slip

still dragging its hem — along cobblestones stained

with moss and  rust shed from old gates

unlocked and leading

into the courtyard garden.


Oh! Mistress,

you summon  moonlight

through  the balcony doors. Cold and translucent

as those wandering about. I have slept

in chambers lit by this,  lamented

with those who had no name, no voice

just the heaviness of breath. Their oleander scent


seeping through my skin as I glimpsed

the kind of  being I would become.

Wingless but at times adrift

and sheer as the bayou mist or the hanging silk

of the cypress tree.


Oh Muse!

You draw writers into the green

decadence of  your heart. Standing near

the verdigris railing of a porch, they drink

absinthe from filigreed glass and feel its emerald ghost

float through their senses.


As willows sweep in

voodoo chants and candle smoke, they dream of pale,

fluid women who are often seen

dancing on an ancient urn.  Witch or vampiress


soon rises  from the rib 

of a first sentence and goes on to see

her shadow slide through swamp water frilled

with strains of  blanket weed; and the wide sky spill

its  mouthful of stars.


 And through some obscure

nom de plume,  one  of  your guests

perhaps gave birth to me.





Wendy Howe is an English teacher and freelance writer who lives in Southern California. Her poetry reflects her interest in myth, diverse landscapes, and ancient cultures. Over the years, she has been published in an assortment of journals both online and in print. Among them: Silver Blade Magazine, Gingerbread House Lit Magazine, Not One Of Us, Mirror Dance, Strange Horizons, Witches & Pagans Magazine, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Eternal Haunted Summer, Corvid Queen, Liminality, The Poetry Salzburg Review and Eye To The Telescope. Her most recent work will be forthcoming in Carmina Magazine and The Copper Field Review later this year.