THE WASHER AT THE FORD, by James Matthew Byers


The hooded crow flew overhead,
Confusion followed suit.
Announcing menace, full of dread,
Abiding her salute,

The men below her in the field
Engaged in arts of war
Fermented furor, axe and shield,
Dismemberment and gore.

A side, so chosen in her jaunt,
As Babd released her wrath,
Transforming banshees set to haunt
Upon the martyred path,

Conditioned victory abroad
A tattered, matted mesh
The goddess tethered to a rod
Imbued with human flesh.

Resistance fled before her hand
As terror sealed the gate,
And there beneath in its command
Unraveled people’s fate.

The notable, the wealthy lord,
Amid her wailing cries
Entangled in the thrusting sword
In minutes aptly dies.

Perception and reality,
She shapes in metered breath.
Divisive abnormality,
Entreating men to death

Becomes the method of the mad-
Insane, the soldiers fight.
The battle crow creates the fad
Enlivened on her flight.

A plight revealed within the minds
Of all infested there
Invoked by Babd in bloody binds
Entwined in raven hair.

And as a vast encroaching horde
Surrounds the dying stag,
Arrives the washer at the ford,
An aging, ugly hag …



James Matthew Byers resides in Alabama.  He is a published poet and artist who loves fantasy, horror, and science fiction.


The author looking particularly druidic in a promotional picture for a UK book tour. Reread “Washer at the Ford” and imagine it being spoken to you by this guy!


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