Witches and their Strange Pets!

It seems a poem that came out in my first collection had more history behind it than I realised! 

"According to a 15th century guide to detecting and eradicating witchcraft, witches were capable of making penises vanish—and some even kept them in nests and fed them oats." Article HERE... and here's my poem. 


Like exotic pets, they have their tender side,
respond to love applied in varying measures,
a firm hand, a stroke to coax them out,

but they don’t hiss or squeal, don’t require
unusual meals of shredded fruit, humidity,
can travel without the need for quarantine.

And they’re volatile in early morning light,
have a tendency to ignore commands,
display their feral side and roam at night.

So keep them confined, release with care.
They flourish under brisk handling; are reduced
to a fraction of themselves by a cold snap.

From Learning How to Fall (Parthian Books 2005)

The Witches of Eastwick