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)