Candle Pins Cover

by Jacqueline West

Alban Lake Publishing
( or
2018, 62 pages, $6.00


Fears and superstition spawn some very curious beliefs and can make for some beautiful and haunting poetry.

I like what the poet did with these notions.

“Unexpected Guest”: If scissors, a knife or needle falls to the floor and sticks upright, legend tells us, an unexpected guest will soon appear. There’s drama in this poem.

In “Spider’s Web” from Primitive Physick, 1747: “For an ague, six middling pills, of cobwebs. I never knew this fail.”

Of course, after ingestion, you wouldn’t think those scurry insects would take over a person’s body, would you?

There is lots of eerie stuff in this one, from “Magpie” to “Crossroads” (and the author provides this as an example of how to bury criminals and suicides). This is all material to make you shiver, shudder and perhaps stop reading, if only to return to your sensibilities.