On the Edge

Katharyn Howd Machan

On the Edge

May I give you a Romany spoon?

Only if it’s from the cobbles
where Pied Piper let the children go.

What is silver? What is wood?

Names of all the years spent waiting
for where true fairy tales can grow.

Will you let the blackbird sing?

If Crow and Fox meet eye to eye
instead of high and far below.

Who is sky? Who is earth?

Why do you ask and ask and ask
when you, dark friend, already know?


For three and a half decades Katharyn Howd Machan, picking up where Rod Serling left off, has taught creative writing at Ithaca College in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Her specialty courses, besides in poetry, are Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, Women and Fairy Tales, and first-year seminars called Fairy Tales: The Hero’s Journey. Her poems have appeared in 38 published collections and many magazines, anthologies, and textbooks, most recently What the Piper Promised (winner of the 2018 Alexandria Quarterly Press Chapbook Competition).

Editor’s Notes: Pied Piper – illustration by Kate Greenaway – Project Gutenberg eText 18343 is from The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, by Robert Browning, illustrated by Kate Greenaway. LONDON FREDERICK WARNE AND CO., Ltd. AND NEW YORK, http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/18343

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