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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Liminality"
This poem is from the October 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It also fills the "liminal time" square in my 10-1-17 card in the Fall Festival Bingo.


To be fey in a mortal world
is to live forever in the fringes.

It means inhabiting the liminal times,
somewhen between this century and another,
neither day nor night, rain nor shine.

It means walking along the liminal places,
somewhere that the forest touches the field,
one foot under the hill and one over the iron rail.

It means playing the guessing game
in every encounter, never being sure
when it's proper to laugh or to cry,
a wanderer between two worlds
with manners and values to match.

But oh, it brings its wonders too --

doing magic to science and
science to magic and learning
things nobody else has seen,

glimpsing the little firewyrms
that live in cigarette lighters

and the silicon roses underhill.

So what if it requires concentration
to keep one foot in each world without
drifting away into invisibility?

Liminality is the power
to have your cake and eat it too,
while all the other mortals go hungry
lest they be trapped underhill forever,
and the fair folk know not what they have.

* * *


The fey are generally unable to pass for human very long, due to unusual traits such as physical deformities or odd behavior. Thus they resemble people on the fringes of human society due to disability or neurovariance.

Liminality is the borderland between different times or places. It holds the power of transformation.

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