Burning, poetry written by Ellie Ness at Spillwords.com



written by: Ellie Ness


witchy attired,
she looks the part –
children and parents encircle the spectacle

“Coorie in,”

an incantation around a cauldron prop
sparks imaginations
as she weaves magic spells –

flame-flushed, she tells
blistering tales of long ago
sizzling women’s tribulations and trials

gathering healing herbs
inflamed rumours of bloody milk
hairy belt covens…smouldering devilry

incendiary accusations –
a ducking
a burning

bloodcurdling screeches
snap us back to the present
shouldn’t we be incandescent?

monstering of women
allowed petty grudges to
simmer and spoil, ruining lives

while ghoulish spectres pointed
on the periphery of the spectacle
and the stake crackled and spat into the dark



Witch trials in Ayrshire do not stand up to scrutiny when examined through a modern lens. False accusations to get rid of problematic women is a common theme.

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