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Elf-Shot by Allis Hamilton

Allis Hamilton is an Australian woman who creates poems, paintings and music. Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals published in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland and Scotland. She was a finalist in the Montreal International Poetry Prize (Canada), the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing (Australia), and a semi-finalist in the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (Australia). She was also featured on a BBC Radio 3 programme: Freeness. When not making work, she is often found sleeping out under the stars, listening to the birds, or watching ants.



“In other days any unaccountable deaths of animals and humans were believed to be due to ‘Elf-shot’…’Stroke’ in the sense of paralytic seizure, is a word we still use, probably unaware that it originally meant ‘Elf-stroke’.”                       

Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee


I didn’t see the sidhe who fired the shot ––

it could have been generations since ––

but I slipped through the crack

between life and death,

by my wits and a voice in my head.


‘Go to sleep now’ I hear, and trusting,

I fall into a comatose stasis ––

little did I know, I had only minutes

before being enthralled by the bleeding

from animal to some sort of vegetable.


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