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THE NIGHT BEFORE YULE, by Daniel Stride   Neath the Nothing Night of Yuletide Glassy snow caves gleam and glitter, Frozen fangs of frost protruding As the dismal darkness deepens. Over misty moors and mountains Whistle winds and wolves in wastelands, Shrouded shadows wander softly Bringing fear to beasts of burden. Ever since the solstice […]


THE PERSUADERS   we rise just after the heat of day has pressed life flat our deliberations inflating the indrawn breath of evening a cool murmur across the skies robes of scarlet, pale amethyst, robust plum we don against the encroaching night, realm of mystery and allusion   we gather darkness into ourselves Pluton’s immeasurable […]


WENCH, by Scott Hutchison   Nary a man doesn’t review the merchandise upon entering, wary eyes scanning tables and corners and me. They stride or stroll or slink in the door smelling of earth and blood, wet horse, rust, and a rankness all their own. They clap and call out Wench!–I pause, then saunter over […]


INHERITANCE, by Mary Soon Lee High above, the dragon watched the king and his young son approach through deepening snow. Flew down when they drew close. Her laughter boomed from the rocks like an anvil dropped on granite. “Back again, Xau? And bringing your princeling with you?” King Xau knelt, weaponless, crownless. He bowed so […]


THE ALLFATHER’S RAVENS, by David Sklar Beside the sleeping Odin, Memory yawps about the flavor of his master’s eye. And Thought, his brother, hungrily recalls, perched on the Well of Knowledge, gazing down at Memory pecking at the sodden orb, which sank beneath his beak, bobbed up again before he plucked it from the sacred […]


ROLE– by Scott Hutchison   His fearsome tribe is battle-ready, brawny, broad of shoulders, scar-muscled. He is small, a runt allowed to live. Never once at the forefront of a charge. Not his place. He brings up the rear.   Still, his table-companions raise a cup, acknowledge his role, his steady tactics: the enemy who […]


UNVICTORIUS–by Christina Sng   Carrion sit at his window, Curious, awaiting patiently For death’s eventual visitation.   Time has passed, Accelerated before his eyes. So much to do, so little time.   But he is resigned. He’s paid his dues To the demons outside.   He unclasps his heart And watches in the dark As […]


AN ORACLE, by Ann Keith   Putting your concentrated might Into your spirit, you will fight The whole day long, and into the night, And all the night till dawn. Though the heavens rock and the clouds be rent And the driving icy rain be sent Against your face like splinters of flint, You will […]


THE ROYAL DOORS, by Eliza Victoria You fold your hands and talk of your sorrows. That is the only way to get through the day these days and the only way to get through the door. Oak and birch, painted silver, as large as a cathedral and just as heartless and empty. A face appears […]


A TALE AT BEDTIME, by Mary Soon Lee   Lie still and listen well. “Yes, Mama, I know,” said Prince Keng.   Before the dragons flew to King Nariz, before the time of demons, Batar was the greatest horse lord who ever rode the eastern plains, yet he thirsted for more power. So Batar fell […]

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