Beasts of Elfland
by Larry Hammer
— for a necklace worn by Beth Meacham The beasts of Elfland here have horns
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
especially bitterroot meringue
baked with the tang
of foggy evenings soaked in peat
with golden light beneath.
The beasts of Elfland have strong claws
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
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
a folded field until—a pause—
and then a startled gasp.
Larry Hammer’s most recent poems and stories have apeared 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
Art Director: Bonnie Brunish