12 Degrees & Skiving

what began as year-long challenge has become perpetual until further notice

Muse Montage

A muse is as common as elms in my poetry – there’s always one that crops up somewhere.


dear muse

thank you for your outpouring

at 3:33am

and the generous gift

of the sieve

with the fist-sized holes


Between sleep and I

i’ve curled tight inside my lethargy

warmed by half-expectation

behind colder bells, the wind who tells

tall, bright tales. The conflagration

of red umbrellas arrows through grey

lace curtains; the voices soak

the wind who tells, behind colder bells

stories i almost hear. They stoke

further tales, stir them with the embers

the words drowsy with disuse

behind colder bells, the wind who tells

half-lies to a hibernating muse



the muse almost in hand

my hands, remote with winter

dry and transparent

so lucent now i am

afraid the words will fall through


The Muse

The muse has been salted for colder days

no space in tight corridors to cellar

her rhymes or image flasburns; the teller

of tales nailed fast. Metaphor strays

no further than the eye today, and plays

in the shadow of Lingua, head-dweller

who has usurped my residence. Teller

of tales, for now words fall through salted haze.


Traditionally, there are nine muses: Calliope for writers of epic poetry, Clio for historians, Erato for romance writers, Euterpe for song writers, Melpomene for writers of tragedy, Polyhymnia for hymns, Terpsichore for dancers, Thalia for comedians and Urania for astronomers. All are the daughters of Mnemosyne, whose name means memory.

A lot of my poetry asks – or implores – the muse directly. I’m not sure who, though to me, the muse is the other part of me that’s just out of my peripheral view, the part of me that keeps one foot in other worlds.

what does a muse mean to you?

Tell me wotcha reckon

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poems, prose and pathways

Dasha Maiorova

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