Abyss & Apex : Second Quarter 2006 : Beasts of Elfland

Larry Hammer

Beasts of Elfland

— for a necklace worn by Beth Meacham

The beasts of Elfland here have horns
that glide
through color tones from secret honking
to bellowed squonking,
calling the heartwood to their side
and lords of summer corn.

The beasts of Elfland still have teeth
for sweets:
especially bitterroot meringue
baked with the tang
of foggy evenings soaked in peat
with golden light beneath.

The beasts of Elfland have strong claws
in all
their contracts sparing them from duties
that languish beauty,
like staying safe indoors in Fall
or searching for small flaws.

The beasts of Elfland have long tails
of mortal
heroes, with episodes strung out,
of hunts about
the Forest, never finding their portal
in any woods or dales.

The beasts of Elfland can now clasp
but choose not to: they’d rather hide
nestled inside
a folded field until—a pause—
and then a startled gasp.


Larry Hammer’s most recent poems and stories have appeared in The First Heroes, Say…, and Mythic. He lives in Arizona with his wife, Janni Lee Simner.

Story © 2006 Larry Hammer. All other content copyright © 2006 ByrenLee Press 


Copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted.


Art Director: Bonnie Brunish

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