prairie witch


by Ciona Nankervis

Sunrise over prairielands.
She takes her legs in long strides across
the lodge porch, lain with wooden slats,
and alights onto the brownie-crumb earth,
gliding into the grass.
As she floats, long strands brush
gracefully across her face, grazing her
cheeks with morning dew:
her skin glints in nature’s make-up, bare,
wind-singed, softly aglow.
Hands and gently manicured fingertips–
nails glossed in frosted cupcake– caress
and tousle the grass, running it
simultaneously in ringlets under her palm
and in tender, measured strokes, as she
does while brushing her daughters’ hair.
Shades of flax and flame run deep in her being.

The sky still moans with the muddled
tones of bitten plum and charcoal, a
bruise to fatigued eyes,
the daylight but a sliver of cayenne and
jellied nectarine overhead.
The smoke from her chicory coffee still
rises like a distant fire, resting low in the
hand-thrown mug glazed in shades of
ochre, turquoise, carnelian, cerulean,
The spirit-draws of the crushed pigments
passed down to her soul by her native
She hears the cattle stir beyond the
breeze and knows it is time to wake her
beloveds and prepare the morning feast;
She revolves and returns to the lodge,
creaking up along the steps-
Later, she will pick herbs from her garden,
gather into bundles of lavender, rosemary,
lemon-leaf and thyme and steep tea,
And tie numbers with twine across the
house to anoint the air and honour her
blessed life.
The view of home is dipped in cinnamon-choke
and perfumed with maple butter,
rich spice and light beer;
Split logs spit pumpkin sparkle onto the
So glorious are these Autumn mornings
that invoke the magic in her heart.


Ciona is a writer from Birmingham, UK. She is a self-confessed language-sponge, being able to speak five and get-by in a palmful of others, and is enthralled by linguistics. She believes that inspiration for all art can be found anywhere in life and that people shouldn't be afraid to play and be open with their influences; she reflects this in her work by not restricting her writing to any theme or subject. You can find her on Instagram at @c89write_ and @ciona89_.