Satanic Verse | Maggie Mackay

My new husband calls
for public prayers and fasting.
Covens act in cahoots,
conspire to kill us both
by raising of storms,
casting of a cat’s severed corpse
into the North Sea.
Hunts rage through the land
for women working together
in league with demons.
Against such assaults of Satan
my husband wages a crusade,
first the North Berwick Witches
burned at the stake,
others drowned by tides.


Writer’s Commentary

This is one of a set of ‘Anna’ poems were inspired by a workshop at Riddle’s Court in Edinburgh which was run by Glasgow Women’s Library. Queen Anne was a significant figure in Scottish and British history. She was a strong character who brought the education and elegant culture of the Danish court to her new land. 

I live in Dunfermline, the ancient capital of Scotland where she resided at the Palace and where her son, Charles I was born.


Maggie Mackay loves family and social history which she winds into poems and short stories in her MA portfolio and in print and online journals. One of her poems is included in the award-winning #MeToo anthology while others have been nominated for The Forward Prize, Best Single Poem and for the Pushcart Prize. Another was commended in the Mothers’ Milk Writing Prize. Her pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’ is published by Picaroon Poetry and the booklet ‘Sweet Chestnut’ published by Karen Little in aid of animal welfare. She is a poetry pamphlet reviewer for www.sphinxreview.co.uk