Literary Yard

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‘Athena to Arachne’ and other poems

By: Chella Courington

Athena to Arachne

I can’t suppress envy
when your touch

teases wool
fingers long & agile

twirling the spindle

I warn you
no mortal wins

your bulls & birds
divine debaucheries

will succumb to my gods

I shred your tapestry
thread by thread

whip your arms
bloody your hands

leave you dangling
in a web of deceit


Arachne’s Doom

It’s nothing to weave a noose
for fingers used to pulling the weft

through the warp, threading purple
yarn into Europa’s broken heart.

Wool’s more pliable than hemp
yields to my touch, turning

into an S for me to squeeze
my threads together before coiling

one loose end over the center
passing it through the top eye.

Night drops as I slide the other
loose end down the twine

toward my throat to catch the knot.


Medea’s Regret

I turned my boys
into murderers

handed them a robe
of gold filigree smeared
with white

flowers of hemlock

to deliver
to their father’s new love.

That bitch beauty of Corinth
offered him
(sire of our boys)

wealth and royal status

called me a hick
from the hills of Colchis.

Her hands unmarked
by berry thorns

touched the quick
of his greed
his desire to reach beyond

just as he lusted
after the golden fleece.

Jason should be
the one killed.

His blond locks shaved
his winsome smile
severed by sharp flint.

He should be nailed to wood
horse dragged to an open field
and near his last breath

amid a committee of vultures


Chella Courington (she/they) is a writer and teacher whose poetry and fiction appear in numerous anthologies and journals including Lavender Review, Spillway, and Gargoyle. With three chapbooks of flash fiction and six of poetry, she recently published a novella-in-flash, Adele and Tom: The Portrait of a Marriage (Breaking Rules Publishing), featured at Vancouver Flash Fiction.  A Pushcart, Best Small Fiction, Best New Poet, and Best of the Net Nominee, Courington was raised in the Appalachian south and now lives in California.


  1. I like the creative point of view. Myth often
    diminishes and vilifies women. This POV is refreshing & relevant to our time. Plus the poem reflects a sensitivity to language. Bravo!!

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