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Hansel & Gretal - Emma Wells

Pear drops of happiness hang:

are sugared lanterns of night

dripping nectar sweetness -

a honeybee’s glowing warmth

awaits each flickering tongue:

are nocturnal wisps of heaven.

Starved, sugarless orphans

meander meaninglessly

in serpentine forest:

abandoned, shunned

by blind, gelatinous parents.

Hansel & Gretel

wind and wander wondrously,

swallowed by nocturnal forgiveness,

Mother Nature’s lapping hand.

Gingerbread rooftops

waft Christmastime warmth,

a heady, buoyant aroma

coating malnourished skin

be-speckled golden sheen;

lollipop chimney stacks

enlighten like traffic lights,

enveloping human life

within sweetened boughs.

Candy floss smoke waves

cherry-kissed greetings

to gaunt, withdrawn faces

pinched with need,

drawn as inked illustrations;

they pick sweets from walls

overbrimming empty stomachs,

gladdening in sugary hedonism:

erasing cares and woes

as glow worms at dulling dusk.

Window sills are liquorice-lined

holding sugar-spun,

glossy windows;

a toffee-apple door knocker

falls into fattening fingers

like a damsel poisoned;

Hansel & Gretel spin

within a glucose globule

as new travellers,

swelling with intrigue, abundance.

Time moves, shifts, saunters

and no witch schemes

over a steaming cauldron

awaiting sprawling limbs.

Years fall away as uneaten calories

as sibilant sweetness loses shine.

The cottage ages

becoming naked,


books adorn walls,

not sugary softness.

Visitors travel far, wide –

to secret bibliophile heaven

where candy canes

are novels, poetry, plays

offering a twisted,

subversive library:

sugarcoating travellers’ minds,

re-awakening, literary depths…


Emma Wells is a mother and English teacher. She has poetry published with and by: The World’s Greatest Anthology, The League of Poets, The Lake, The Beckindale Poetry Journal, Dreich Magazine, Drunken Pen Writing, Porridge Magazine, Visual Verse, Littoral Magazine, The Pangolin Review, Derailleur Press, Giving Room Magazine, Chronogram and for the Ledbury Poetry Festival. She also has published a number of short stories and her first novel, Shelley’s Sisterhood, is due to be published shortly.


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