Once was
under the hedge
Once was flowering
Once was the white blacks
Of the avocets once was
Once was queen, queenly
He said
Deposed, he said

Never ever listen,
She said
Walking on one leg-
Although, do listen
To the frogs down the lane,
The efflorescence of the chestnuts
Dropping pink chips of dog-dust
On lovers’ heads
Oh how I missed you
Undoing feeling
Better off forest gone

Need will keep needling
Till then weave hawthorn
Croon, crowning
The self.


Drawing  ‘Ostara’ by Veronica Aldous

poem and art all rights reserved 2018




She said it would eat her, such fancies were her diet
but at last she broke the shell away from her heart
at vespers underneath her coat –

the leathern psalter in his hand,
he mounts the stairs in her  spiralled mind
so take the bell and ring it thrice, he falls.

Out cold for weeks and months
beneath a blanket made of snow; they told her
what she already knew, the broken spit
upon a distant shore too hard to navigate, to find
unbound leaves , a broken spine.

Lying lies. It stays down when nailed fast
beneath the wood, the varnished unsmiling smile
his blacke wyrme bites and squirms
he is  unaneled, unhouseled
a hungry ghost on  skewering pins

She soars and swoops
a gold eyed ravening  wild bird.


Veronica Aldous 2016 all rights reserved

Christopher Thomas Schmitz writes: There is an interaction between a man and a woman in “Gothick,” but its nature is mysterious to me. The poem sounds in places like a dangerous liaison, an erotic but deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Christian imagery is threaded throughout: vespers (evening prayers), psalter (book of psalms), unaneled (not given Last Rites), unhouseled (not given Holy Communion), but there are pagan touches as well like bells ringing three times, hungry ghosts, and wild birds.

The poem begins with an image of consumption, (“She said it would eat her”), and ends with one as well (“She is a gold-eyed ravening wild bird”). The feeding throughout may be from death whose “blacke wyrme bites and squirms” but also from an erotic force. Camille Paglia has said: “Sexual intercourse, from kissing to penetration, consists of movements of barely controlled cruelty and consumption.”



bluebell  with filters.jpg



The body does not sleep as it is bid:
It opens and seeps and flowers
Its ministries are ineluctable

Even in nocturnal folly
It urges an awakening unto the dream
It completes itself on the stem
Of a young man who cannot wait

One more second, every part is felt
Even his androgynous kisses remind
The sleeper of her  processes
As she uncoils her lustrous fibres
To accept his calling, grasping
The base of a tower

Awakening  in love
With her fingers
Upon her tongue.


Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved

Imperfect Arcadia

imperfect face.jpg

Imperfect Arcadia
Dammed up water overflows from a spring
Decorate my face with flowers then!
Bid them leave offerings beneath my eyes
My mouth opens like a fish
O drunkenly…
There is no meaning in becoming a waterfall
There is no sense in the taste and the swelling
I could water a lily, consecrate an elegy
With tidal ink spatters, make dew form on roses
But I am a broken cleft knifed into a raw rockface

Spurting tears into an unseemly abyss.


Veronica Aldous 2016 All rights reserved.

We cannot Pale

lilies iris
We cannot Pale

In all things we are the leaves
First hiding in the sleeves of spring
Unborn until the sun splits the membranes
Of childhood and the harsh ribbed bursting
Has been accomplished, truths no longer vagrant
All  is radiant and replete
But then we notice –
The receptacles hold rain on the glacous fibre
The green seems gratuitous and dizzying
In such desired light.

It is then we long for the winter when we slept
The awakening still in our voices
Whispering in the evenings of early moon
The longing so plaintive and lambent
More potent than the unveiling
When the dim paths suggested so much
Complete unto themselves, after all…

When the owls admonished us in the frosty twilight
My pearl earring fell as you brushed my ear
Hand on my heart, a deer barked out!
A tattoo of your name on my tongue.


Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved