Amelia Starling sixteen
October 2009. Image my own.



Amethyst in pockets

Oracle cards as bookmarks

Pentagrams, etched into the margins of maths books

A cheap golden necklace, cleansed in the sun on a Thursday lunchtime,

Still able to turn my neck green.

A bowl of salt water, on my bedroom floor

Not sure what for

But I like it there

With the dust and the hair

The makeshift altar where

I sit

Staring at the wall.



A book of spells for teenage dramas

Too impatient to wait for karma


With a name, a plait of ribbon,

A vanilla pod, bought from Sainsbury’s, in a glass jar

What a star

What an empty sky

Grey at best,

Blackness behest.


With purple felt bags,

Stuffed full of scented tissue paper

And wishes scribbled in blue cartridge pen

Tied with scraps of ribbon

To hooks, laden with the fae,

Where I can see them, every day,

And remember

What I am missing.



Wishes to be better, to be happier,

To be more

To not barricade myself in the bathroom and cry on the floor

When they won’t let me go


When it’s dark, when the moon is full,

When its light ripples on the ocean and it calls me,

When I need to get away

Because words cannot live in this world, where I sit on the roof,

Wondering if anything has truth,

And what each teen will be like

One more year, one more secret tarot reading, one more candle lit

One more journal, full and placed on a shelf,

Maybe someday to be read by someone else,

Who will see what it was like to be a girl,

In the wrong place,

Making her own magic.


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Amelia Starling is a writer and folklorist. She graduated from the University of Winchester with a degree in Creative Writing, and is Senior Editor for Folklore Thursday. She loves travelling and collecting stories, and spent 15 months living in Japan doing this alongside teaching English. Currently she is living in Scotland and studying for a masters degree in Ethnology & Creative Writing. Amelia blogs about folklore and fairy tales at The Willow Web. You can follow her on Twitter @amyelize.

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