by Clarissa Janeen

Said Seelie to Unseelie Queen,
“What calls you to my court?”
Unseelie said, “There’s one small thing
which I would like to sort.

“You call yourselves the Seelie, 
say you’re happy, lucky, blessed.
But when I bring up these few points,
you’ll see you’re not the best.

“Your people treasure beauty fair
from birds to butterflies.
But I say that you all are vain,
your goodness is disguise.” 

The Seelie said, “What makes it sin
to treasure nature so?
To see all that is beautiful,
admiring the show?

“But you, my foe, are not as dark 
and vicious as you seem.
Your court is open to all things
That would cause us to scream.”

“It’s true,” said the Unseelie Queen.
“They’re present in my court,
From spiders to the scorpions,
We welcome all their sort.

“You give us too much credit, though,”
she said after she paused,
“For we care not for any harm
that our court may have caused.”

“You’re gracious and you’re merciful,”
the Seelie Queen replied.
The other queen just clicked her tongue.
“We care for our own hide.”

The Seelie Queen thought long and hard.
“But that is not quite true.
When humans venture on your land,
What then do you all do?

“You join to teach them justice and
unite your hearts as one.”
The other queen just shook her head.
“What sweetness you have spun.

“Our methods are more often cruel;
our victims rare deserve.
There is no type of punishment
which we choose to reserve.

“Meanwhile,” the queen continued on,
“You infiltrate their lair
and, without asking, clean the place,
pretending you’re not there—”

“We would call that integrity.”
“. . . But if they cause a rift,
even if it’s unknowingly,
Your vengeful hand is swift.”

“Perhaps we are a bit like you,”
the Seelie Queen agreed.
“But you’re a bit like us as well,
on that, can we concede?”

“How so?” asked the Unseelie Queen.
“Well, you’re a last resort
to any desperate mortal
who might call upon your court.”

“It isn’t out of pity, though,”
laughed the Unseelie Queen.
“We prey upon their dire state,
Concocting our own scheme.”

The Seelie sat and pondered this
then said, “Perhaps you’re right.
Perhaps you all are truly cruel
and filled with naught but spite.”

The other queen just smiled at her.
“Think of us what you will.
’Twas kind of you to try and find
some goodness in us still.”

Author Bio

Clarissa Janeen is an author, illustrator, and editor from San Diego, CA. She has a BFA in Creative Writing with a minor in Illustration from California Baptist University; she is currently pursuing her MFA in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing at Emerson and will graduate in 2025. Her writing has been published in Alethia and multiple editions of The Dazed Starling and she is the illustrator of the picture book The Squirrel and the Moon. You can find her online at