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EVERYWHERE THE SERPENT SLAIN

EVERYWHERE THE SERPENT SLAIN, by James Frederick William Rowe: The thunderous passage of heroic feet Has crushed under heel The skulls of serpents The hills were once alive With their slithering But no more For all are dead Slain in antiquity That we might live unmolested Safe and sheltered Freed of their threat But the […]

BEFORE THE VILLAIN

BEFORE THE VILLAIN, by Alexandra Seidel: Should I give up now because it’s fate? Should I bury the sword handed to me through seven generations of firstborn mages in the watery soil of the moor? in the coal-hot sand of the desert? in the soft black earth behind the house? The seer promised me a […]

DUSKRIVEN

DUSKRIVEN, by Keith Kennedy: Broken teeth reflected back at me — the axe blade a mirror — blood on edge and face both, setting sun a glorified backdrop. Underfoot, skulls and hearts — the important parts of men — turned to mush by marching boots and planted strokes. In small valleys, blood flows away churned […]

THE CHRONICLE: FRAGMENT THIRTY SEVEN

THE CHRONICLE: FRAGMENT THIRTY SEVEN, by Robert William Shmigelsky: the Wars of Men: history doomed to be repeated from time to time — Chrono [1] from that familiar comfort zone you materialize out of thin air find yourself surrounded by thick and, for the most part, impenetrable waves of sorcery-induced mist — the living blue […]

CONFRONTING THE DEMON OF HIDDEN THINGS

CONFRONTING THE DEMON OF HIDDEN THINGS, by David Sklar: On a winter day, at a mountain’s feet, from a dream more ancient than language, three men went out to stand against the darkness within the darkness: the Oak Man with a bamboo staff, the Reed Man with a staff of oak, the Water Man with […]

GILGAMESH (WHAT THE SUMERIANS SEEM TO HAVE MISSED)

GILGAMESH (WHAT THE SUMERIANS SEEM TO HAVE MISSED) by David Sklar: When first I sought my brother in the Kingdom of the Dead, I did not know exactly what I hoped to find. Not forgiveness, for I did not put him there. Not an apology; he did not put me here. But when I walked […]

MIGHTIER THAN

MIGHTIER THAN, by Keith Kennedy: Pile on — brothers of carnage add your rage, make pure your lust for death. In times of consequence, let there be no other reason but the one that delivers blood. Feed off the ache of a dulled blade, as it moans, loosed from its housing once more, to create […]

I SHALL NOT DIE HERE (BALLADE OF A WARRIOR BOUND)

I SHALL NOT DIE HERE (BALLADE OF A WARRIOR BOUND), by Jason M. Waltz: Pulled taut, Oh! so painfully taut, cold links stretched tight — chains draped in quantities self-wrought. Loathed, debased, abused — endless pains never dimming, never hiding darker stains of iniquities untold, retold, sold ado . . . All lost; empty favors […]

LAMENT FOR THE FATHERS

LAMENT FOR THE FATHERS, by Joshua Hampton: Heed me, Sons of the Fathers, huddled round the great hall’s hearth, let’s hear such tales of war and woe, of kin and kind unlike us, once told on false fiddles and lying lyres strung with catgut slanders, screaming sweet songs of dreadful deeds never to be undone […]

METTLE

METTLE, by Scott Matthews: This climb must be my ending quest, glory paves the road behind. My trek onto this mountain peak, the last hill left to climb. Temptations many did I slake and oft’ my way was woe. That I might pass through yonder gate I’ve bested every foe. There came a time I […]

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