Dust and rot fill her mouth as she eats. The food is cloying. It does not sit well. She is mostly alone but for the sycophantic phantasma who surround her, constantly back-combing her nerves.
In her palace of filthy black, her bony fingers strain the muck, searching for someone who will not cower when she smiles. Her hands bring back nothing but detritus and her heart remains parched and un-whole.
“It has to be a prince,” she tells the fades as they clown and cartwheel around her. Continue reading “The Bone Queen | by Donna Greenwood”
visitors from space
turn us all into cartoons
still in shock from change
although sister is happy
she no longer wears make-up Continue reading “Two Tanka | by Denny E. Marshall”
Every year on the eve of the full Capricorn moon is Saturnalia; a celebration of freedom, a display of unrestricted acceptance and unity. The popular and the pariah become one. The gods and goddesses descend from their lofty palaces in heaven to join in on the jubilation. Even Cronus himself takes off his crown for the night and feasts.
Sofea finishes her daily rituals to her goddess, Aphrodite. Outside her window, the street signs are being decorated with homemade paper lanterns, and her neighbors are stringing fairy lights through the willows near the pond. The sun has not quite reached its zenith, and she realizes she finished her daily rituals much earlier than she has been the past several months. She is vaguely aware that she should be somewhere else—perhaps down the street—helping prepare the cakes for the festivities later on. She continues to gaze out the window, just for a few more minutes, and plans her Saturnalia, the night of spontaneity.
Continue reading “Saturnalia | by Claire Hansen”
The Differences between Caribou and Man
My boots feel stuck, attempting to grip the crackles of ice, as I take a walk through the bar strip off of Allen Street. I still wonder how Caribous feel, as their hooves transform into icepicks, trying to piece through the frost just to move a few feet each time. We are both walks of mammalian life, we both need the air of to breathe, but that is where the similarities end. The migration of the caribou is for survival, as they nomadically roam from home to home, not settling in one place for too long. Continue reading “Two Poems | by J.B. Stone”
Sister Midnight, Queen Midnight, Red Midnight, Red Queen, Carrion Queen, Attic Queen, Sister Twin, Sister Dusk, Sister Eclipse, Sister Arson, Sister Nero, Queen Red, Queen Blank, Queen Tremor, Sister One, Sister Two, Sister of the Velvet Basements, Queen of the Back-broken Chairs, Queen of the Rabid Statuary, Sister of Fortune, Sister of Grace, Sister of Obscurer Elements, Queen Tarot, Queen Serpent, Queen Mourning, Sister Morning: Continue reading “Three Poems | by James Pate”
Maevelin knew she had to save her failing brother. He was the only family she had left since her parents had died when they were children. Even though she was only four years younger than he was, he had practically raised her, himself.
She couldn’t just allow Maedri to die.
“Maevelin, we all have a time to go.”
“Don’t talk like that. I will find help. Surely there’s something I can do,” she insisted. “The herbs and potions the healers are giving you aren’t doing anything to cure your ailment. Surely, I can find something better. Something to cure you of this mysterious illness.”
“I would be more content if you would stay, sister. Sometimes you cannot fight fate.”
“Sometimes it’s up to you to change it,” she protested. “I won’t let you die. You don’t deserve it,” she protested, tears running down her cheeks. “Wait for me, I will come back. I promise.” She thought if anyone knew how to save her brother it may have been the strange oracle that everyone avoided. Continue reading “Daughter of the Gods | by Linda M. Crate”
A city of temples, home to a teeming multitude of gods and goddesses, each with a compound of courts and monasteries, with tombs of saints and sites of miracles, a holy city where religious endowments own and occupy most of the real estate, Ringdongdu might well be called the city of bells, from the constant ringing, tolling, chiming, striking, and tinkling of bells of every tone and timbre, a carillon spread over acres of urban landscape.
Of extreme antiquity, founded by the legendary King Ringdong, who laid out the city with help from a host of industrious angels, Ringdongdu is the cosmological center of the world. Its religion lacks a name and dogma. Believers say no other exists. Like a magical loom that works on its own, their faith unravels and reweaves all other faiths, from primitive demons to the most advanced theological concepts. The people call their highest deity Lord and epithets including the Many-Layered One, which hints at a range of divine ideas, complex and contradictory. Yet serene amid this welter, they dispense a threefold blessing: “May you find peace, love and joy.”
Continue reading “Ringdongdu | by Robert Boucheron”