Saturday 10 June 2023

Three Poems by Shelly Jones



She gathers the mushrooms each week,
collecting colourful caps, stalks that slowly
emerge from the loam, inch back into her life
like an unwanted lover. Her scarred hand,
skin scaled and scalded - but still strong
enough to wield a knife - holds the fungus
to her ear. Its gills whisper his message
from the grave before she severs it silent again.  


It’s difficult being well-known
for a voice that isn’t even mine.
Some who think they know my story feel
pity for me, but they presume too much and weep
tears as fast as wringing out a sponge.
He would not cry for me, nor I for him now:
Too many years of mindless repetition.
He thought himself so loved, but people
only think of him now in spring,
until the daffodils droop and sag,
their faces wilted into the ground.
But me, they feel beside them every
time they are alone and ask,
“Who’s there?” and their voice
replies “there” in the dark. 

On Listening to the Patter of Melting Snow 


Snowdrops bow 

their opal heads

at the quickening footfalls

of Persephone from below 


and the warmth of Demeter’s

pallid cheek thaws

the frost-covered Earth 

as she turns at the familiar sound.

Shelly Jones (they/them) is a professor at a small college in upstate New York, where they teach classes in mythology, folklore, and writing. Their speculative work has previously appeared in F&SF, New MythsThe Future Fire, and elsewhere. Find them on Twitter @shellyjansen or at

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