misty lake and trees
Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

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Morgan Le Fay Reflects On Her Fate by Wendy Howe

The mists

and water are different now.

Sometimes it's haze

hanging over a river whose current

is rainbowed with oil and moving

toward the border.

Other times, it's pure glare

glossing over crag and ocean heading

for an island in Greece.

But each time, there are refugees on a raft

and I rise from the tide to save

and ferry them ashore.

Crossings are my vocation,

so distant from the days of Avalon

when that island of apples and green rushes

sweeping the lake

was my home and altar.

My place to heal and charm.

Most remember me

as the veiled sorceress

who incited sin, manipulating knight and maid.

even my half brother the king

whose bed I shared and shadowed with lust.

But scholars barely mention

how I wept with Arthur's head in my lap

(on a boat wreathed with lilies)

lamenting all I had done

and vowing as I kissed his eyelids

to forsake my darkness and carry those

caught in distress.


Wendy Howe is an English teacher and freelance writer who lives in Southern California. Her poetry reflects her interest in myth, diverse landscapes, and ancient cultures. Over the years, she has been published in an assortment of journals both on-line and in print. Among them: Gingerbread House Lit Magazine, Not One Of Us, Mirror Dance, Strange Horizons, Witches & Pagans Magazine, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Coffin Bell, Corvid Queen, Liminality, The Poetry Salzburg Review, Eye To The Telescope, Eternal Haunted Summer and others. Her most recent work will be forthcoming in Silver Blade Magazine and Polu Texni later this year.

Author's note

"Morgan Le Fay Reflects On Her Fate" was partially inspired by many of the refugee crossings I read about on-line or in the newspapers. There were incidents where overcrowded rafts or boats became vulnerable and capsized. Some immigrants tragically drowned but others were saved. At this point, I thought of how some ancient or mythological force may have guided them and inspired their rescue. One of the figures who came to mind was Morgan Le Fay, who was responsible for ferrying King Arthur's body back to Avalon. I wanted to explore the idea of how a manipulative and selfish person (especially one with great power) could repent and turn her life around; thus invoking her latent but hidden sense of humanity. When I read the guidelines for this beautiful magazine, I thought the classic theme of sin and redemption would mirror the idea of how myth never dies but continues to evolve and hold a significant meaning in our modern world.