'Hex' by Jennie Farley: A poetry review
Jennie Farley has had two collections published by the fabulous Indigo Dreams Publishing, a press known for mythical poetry, exploring the boundaries of humanity and folklore.
'Hex' certainly has this element of magic.
In the poem 'Sacrifice', Jennie describes the pain of how a mermaid trades her tail for a mortal man:
'two spikes. At each/step I take I tread on blades'.
Jennie explores biblical references and first person narratives from powerful women. In 'Salome':
'My eyes feast upon the gore at your gaping mouth' - there is no repentance here and this reminded me that historically, when there have been queens in power, war has been much more likely to be waged!
The title poem 'Hex' is a little cryptic,
'How did they work it, this dark magic...Me, I took up my felt - tipped pen, sketched her face'. For me, this suggested a form of voodoo, or the power of the writer's/artist's pen in comparison to the power of a spell.
Folklore is explored through the myth of Robin Hood: Poem, 'Blood Brothers',
'braving sticky green spears to the fence/where the ferrets were nailed'. This a great example of Farley's rich language and blunt imagery, which stays in the mind.
The collection is largely fantasy and imagined situations and so the poem 'The Summerhouse', exploring dementia or Alzheimer's, stands out as anomaly:
'Someone's pruned the roses but it isn't/Keith's day, at least she doesn't think so.' This poem must be placed for a reason and so I wonder if fantasy is one way of coping with a loved one's illness?
The last poem 'Flaneuse', looks at dying gleefully:
'I visited my grave last night...Everything seems different now - more colourful, more rich,' - a wise musing on a reality we must all face, painted with positivity and contentment.
Hex can be purchased from Indigo Dreams Publishing here.