Daemon Lover

by Char­lotte Hussey

Many times too when I am sit­ting alone,
he talks with me with­out becom­ing visible,
and when he comes to see me in this way,
he often makes love with me.

Geof­frey of Monmouth’s His­to­ry of the Kings of Britain




Alone in my small yel­low room,
I lie on my futon, not quite a nun
like Merlin’s soon for­got­ten mother.
Name­less queen kept or keeping
to her cell, she sought sanc­tu­ary from love’s
burn­ing stake, its ashen throne.
The moon­light through the open casement
bathed the froth of her gown, as the silvered
leaves in the gar­den stirred on their own.
Many times too when I am sit­ting alone

the rus­tle of leaves in the night garden,
the per­fumes of hawthorn and pur­ple lilac
make me call out to him as she did
out of a branch­ing maze of dreams,
fork­ing riv­er that flows into the heart
through the back, cush­ioned with its invisible
wings, petals, leafy feathers.
Uncurl­ing, soft­ly adorn­ing the air,
they announce his approach, so pleasurable.
He talks with me with­out becom­ing visible,

save for once or twice when he,
tak­ing off metal­lic green plumes,
flies from his shad­ed perch in the maple,
wings lus­trous as the under­sides of its leaves
that are brush­ing the raised window.
It is his voice that enters straightaway,
a breeze against my thin frock
just before the images form
of lips that might be cru­el, say,
and when he comes to see me in this way

it is the voice of some­one watching
beside me, over me, in me
whis­per­ing: “You are a beau­ti­ful woman,”
a voice mes­mer­ic as moon­light forcing
buds vin­ing up the green trellis
to burst and float towards ecstasy,
moist petalled, huge and white.
It is his voice that says: “Expect
nothing.” Speak­ing this way, as to a lady,
he often makes love to me.


Teach­ing aca­d­e­m­ic and cre­ative writ­ing at McGill Uni­ver­si­ty, Char­lotte Hussey has pub­lished Rue Sainte Famille, which was short list­ed for the QSPELL Awards, and The Head Will Con­tin­ue to Sing. Her poems have appeared in Cana­da and abroad in such pub­li­ca­tions as: The Antigo­nish Review; Arc; Moose Head Review; Fid­dle­head; Gar­den Vari­eties: An Anthol­o­gy of the Top Fifty Poems from the Nation­al Poet­ry Con­test; Touch­stone (U.K.); Soul of the Earth: An Eco­bardic Anthol­o­gy (U.K.); The Pagan’s Muse: Poems of Wis­dom and Inspi­ra­tion (U.S.); and War­ren Wil­son Review (U.S).


4 Responses to "Daemon Lover"

  • I love how this is done, beau­ti­ful poem.

    1 Brittany said this (August 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm)


  • Love it. The Glosa is an incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult poet­ic form and to find these old lines and incor­po­rate them into a poem that is mod­ern and mov­ing is brilliant.

    2 Judith Stanton said this (August 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm)


  • Love­ly to see such an old rare form, the glosa, revived! Sen­su­ous and mysterious––love the erot­ic, dreamy gar­den and the almost fairy tale like fig­ure of the cru­el suit­or who advis­es that she ” expect noth­ing “, the union bring­ing forth noth­ing but itself and mem­o­ry. Very enjoyable.

    3 Anushree said this (August 22, 2011 at 12:50 am)


  • Char­lotte,

    Dit­to the com­ments above. To inte­grate his­to­ry-myth-soul-shad­ow & light-your life today is a tour de force.

    Janet Riehl

    “You are a beau­ti­ful woman,”
    a voice mes­mer­ic as moon­light forcing
    buds vin­ing up the green trellis
    to burst and float towards ecstasy,
    moist petalled, huge and white.
    It is his voice that says: “Expect
    nothing.” Speak­ing this way, as to a lady,

    4 Janet Riehl said this (August 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm)