*Poetry competition entry*


1. Poetry by Wilhelmina


Don't be afraid of the devil

tapping at your back, sending

covert messages masked in morse

wait and


undress the enigma,

note it down.


Don’t be afraid when he kisses your spine,

sending currents of fear like the epicentre

of an earthquake;

unsteady but constant

or when his bony frame takes your hands

casting aside your pen and will.


Don’t be afraid when he rests his hand on your breast

scratching at your ribs,

singing a siren of desire

breathe deep

don’t swallow.


Don’t be afraid when his eyes liken yours,

finding more than physical fragility

as he burrows into your soul,

catching fibres of your being

he is peeling them away:

bleed for him.


And when with ivory teeth he asks

what is poetry

do not turn shy from mute discrepancies

fuse the lines with the conviction

of a saint


for what is poetry

but a form of self-expression

a mirror looking back

an allegory with moral intentions

an animal luring you in

it is wondrous

it is perplexing

it is


a wave

lapping at your legs


biting at your skin

the devil

stripping you bare.

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