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  • Writer's pictureGill Shaw

Shamanic Journey


I go to the forest.    He waits for me there.    

Lofty antlers, hooves planted.

I climb into his mouth    into his belly.    I light a fire.     

Want.     Window.     Wreathe.

I climb the ladder     of his gullet    in the shadow    of the dying fire.      

Drop out of his mouth.

Feed him an apple.    

Pull the ring from his nose.

I know he’ll stay.


Wild hair.    Wild arms.    Wild harpy.    Voice of keening.   

They hold me back.    They know why the keening    comes.

They tell me to take    to the hills    to keen myself 

empty    of black.     Midnight.     You.


He waits for me in the forest.    I will go to him.

Climb into his mouth    into his belly.    I will light a fire.





Gill Shaw is a queer poet and spoken word performer based in the Highlands of Scotland, whose writing draws on landscape and the natural world. Her debut pamphlet, Touching Air, was published by Stewed Rhubarb Press in April 2023. 


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