138 x 216mm


52 pages


£7.99 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-27-5


PUB:  7th NOVEMBER 2016















"In Season of Myths we are immersed and afloat in ‘the deciphering stream’ of world mythologies brought vividly to life, with all of their complexities, horrors and magical transformations. These poems, drawn from tales that linger ‘like stains, in a watery map,’ bridge eons, speaking as much about our contemporary experience as they do of the classical and tribal worlds."

Bob Beagrie


"In Amina Alyal’s new collection, the shifty nature of historical perspective is revealed, as is the ultimate inaccessibility of an 'accurate' view of the past. Similarly exposed is the web of fable that snags human curiosity at the very moment it displays its vitality. Through these poems, we learn to pay attention, to trust neither beauty (that self-absorbed coelacanth Aphrodite) nor horror (Medusa may have a penchant for the Sunday papers). The effect is poetry as luminous and unsettling as a Pre-Raphaelite painting.

Read slowly; it will burnish you too."

Rebecca Bilkau


"This is a collection where 'Inside the cave fire lights up'. Vivid moving poems, beautifully spread on the page. Passionately written words from the heart to fall in the heart."

Amir Darwish

Season of myths

Amina Alyal



Swooping up on wings of wax,

forcing resisting winds, easterly,

eyes on the earth’s rim,

a nimbus of blue, on wings

of fear and hope I speed, rising.


I fly above buildings

where spidery circuits of power

grip cities in gossamer steel; on wings

of fear and hope I speed, rising.


High over Leipzig, my wings fail,

the day the force holds fire.


Slowly the wax collapses.

The wall

drops stones like feathers as the wax decays.


Someone else starts building wings of wax.




The priest and the dragon


In dust and shadows he moves and sees,

lamp-lit in darkness, a tower on a hill.


Kiyo makes tea in a house.  He passes by.

She weighs and measures.  He has to pass by.


She stirs him and blends him with spices.

He has to pass by.  He sees a tower on a hill.  


She kneels on the dusky veranda, pouring

him into a cup.  He knocks over a big earth pot


in his hurry to leave, aghast at her clutching

his sashes, late for his climb up the hill.


He recoils and runs, back to the temple.

He shouts about her garments of red cloth


trailing around him on the veranda.

He begs for rescue from her tongue and tea.


It’s a shelter, the round firm thing he seeks,

but also his death.  Her red robes are like fire,


echo the fire in her eyes.  She plunges in a

riot of muslin, over the bell. The monks look.


He will never see the tower on the hill.

The burning burns into their eyes.


They will not forget, they will write into a book

the moment when she wraps her scaled tail


around him, until, under the bell, he expires.  







Shed a fair amount of battle sweat, slaughter-dew.

You should have seen the other fellows,

feeding the eagle, they was.  

I was destroyer of eagles’ hunger, the feeder of ravens.

We set sail, rode the old sea-steed

on the old whale-road, the sail-road,


fighting for Freya’s tears,

lit the bane of wood and sought the serpent’s lair.

Season of myths


so many echoes           drift             global

of old songs                emerge              words merge

and words                    reorganize                    over time


floods recede for                           Ishtar                  who is Sedna

Pyrrha                        is moon-crowned              mistress of the sea

making  stone folk      like a bull’s horns       living with the dead


together go              Mnemosyne and Xelas               the silky way

the sea-shells crushed         weaving  together     the sunset trails

the crushing word    a snowdrop and a stone   for Sun Wu Kong


the richness of aeons       and spaces in           a fathomless speck

measured in                 cosmic scale                    taking up space

one small mind       eternal and endless           taking on time


new meanings           delighting     third person plural

come and go  transforming   third person plural

again                     ego                      becomes


second and first      atlas columns     new wounds

going global                      broken pots                        old

out of Africa           marks making sounds          dreaming too






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Aphrodite rises,

old as a coelacanth, smooth as a manatee,

smelling of salts, rising, star of the sea,

scents rolling

off Rubens limbs, splashing stone tiles.

Shells crush, shoals flee.


Bits of the sun splinter and skip

off the water.

She rises, a monster.

Her head bounces off the moon.


In dim lighting, candles flicker.

Bath waves surge, powder blue, sage green,

pumice lying by loofah, seaweed sink,

sponge breathing leaf tea,

champagne weakened in afternoon air.


A man with a trident sucks himself out of the sea.


She climbs up oozing rocks,  

her waves washing volumes away,

washing away castles.

Her revolutions catch the sun.





Pan and Syrinx understood


After the story falls a pregnant hush.

A meaning must be found; there is a need

to find out why the nymph became a reed

and why the god grasped flesh that made a rush.


Perhaps the meaning is he was inspired

by loving her, to introduce an art;

or nymph is rite, and reed religion’s heart;

or nymph is river, he Nature, by which rush is sired.


The tale congeals, assuming crust on crust;  

the nymph, the god, the reed, relinquish awe,

the body of the story lost, transformed to straw,

joyful exposure dancing into rust.  


Pope, you were right, but what you said indeed

was, Fools rush in where angels fear to read.