Poem: Shifter Song

Shifter Song

A poem by Sam Oliver [Eris]

I am a lizard

With fire and ice

My teeth are long

My tail has spikes

I am a lizard

With heart of gold

Wings in the red

Of tales untold


And now it is time to change.


The song of the shifter

Forever and now lost

Sung through the times

When all was bitter frost.


When all was bitter frost,

We put on warm scales

Our hearts like unbled molten gold

Our heat locked in our tails

When all was bitter frost

We grew hard with scaly snouts

For shifters never feel the need

To harbor any doubts.


I am a bird

With flames in its tail

Fire in its feathers

To live without fail

When ashes are made

I rise up again

Immortal, undying

And proud to defend

My young from the hunters

Though I’ll never see

Them grow from the hatchlings

I know them to be

I’ll trust in my beak

In my claws

In my flame

When time comes to run

I’ll burn just the same

Heat like a nova

Expands in a blast

Never dying, never dead

A form built to last-


But now it is time to change.


A song for the shapeless

Unwanted, unbelonging

With hearts ever changing

And minds never dying


A song for the shifters

Forever and now lost

A time without cold

In lava we trust.


In lava we trust,

Our forms grew their feathers

Our hearts grew their wings

Our flames swallowed all

In lava we trust,

We were immortal at last

For shifters seldom shift

To be fragile as glass.


I am a spider

Who sits in he/r web

Waiting and watching

And spinning in time

Lies and the truths

Both intertwine

We could be friends

Or lost enemies

It matters not

If careless you’ll freeze

And keep in my web

Of scattered, shattered past

Until I remove  you

For food–

Or the company

Are all spiders lonely?

We could spend always

Right here

I weave the right time

To spin out of line

And sing of the pasts that I fear.

Regret the last thing

With four limbs to swing

And another four holding you back

A spider can weave

The very threads of-


Now, it is time to change.


A song for the broken

The shattered and shapeless

The shifters all sitting alone

A song for the ones

With no shape to themselves

And nothing to call their own

A song for the heartless

The faultless and perfect

Their forms without err or sin

Their features are sweet and their smiles are neat

To disguise the turmoil



Are all shifters lonely? Or is it just me?

I want to be whole


My friends are all gone

Or hidden

Or wrong

But one day I’ll be with

My kin.


©2012 Sam Oliver [Eris]



This poem is making me cry. Enjoy.


4 thoughts on “Poem: Shifter Song

    • Thanks! Oh, I went back and put some tags in. This poem is probably the most serious work I have ever written, which, considering its theme, is sort of shocking to me. But you know what they say, write from the heart. The middle bits and the last bits made me shiver as I was writing them, it was like the parts where I was describing the shapes I- I mean the narrator- took was just buildup to that one point. Like without it, the poem would mean nothing.

      ….Also, yeah, new profile. :3? I haven’t a clue why. Just felt about time for a change since the old one was both verbose and outdated.

  1. such a wonderful poem lovie. i was a little confused when you went straight from the lizzard to the phoenix. but then you tied it all in the middle &finished it gracefully@the end. there is a line in stanza 12 where you have “he/r” is that right or is it supposed to be “her”
    very best 🙂

    • Oh, that line? He/r is what I use for fluid folks. It’s read like it looks but it’s more than it seems, if that makes any sense. Alternately, H/is or H/im or S/he, etc etc. I don’t often have truck with the third gender stuff; this is a simple written solution, for me, and whether or not anyone else uses it, it’s what I’ve taken to doing. I don’t much care whether people think it’s wrong or right, it feels better to me.

      About the poem in general: goodness gracious, this one was a challenge in some places. I found myself always going back to mess about with it, to make the stanzas fit, and even at the end I never did a repeat of the shifter song chorus flavored for the spider, but that’s okay, probably. I might go back to it later and fix it. We’ll just have to see.

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