Size / / /

St. Valentine's Devil coyly seals
stamps to scented envelopes, posting
missives of hidden love for strangers:
secret admirer to the all-alone.

March Devil rounds the burly
woodpile hedge, revealed by the whisk
of tail through slush and hoof
prints in the thin crust of muddy ice.

June Devil collects midsummer fire
flies in a fruit jar, delighted from all
the wicked hours of a well-spent day, dreamy
with hopes for an endless wicked evening.

September Devil packs brown bag
lunches, and sees the little fiends off to school.
Standing in her apron at driveway's end
waves till the bus disappears down the road.

Halloween Devils flog the Blindman
Bluff with heavy cornstalks,
while one left out sulks
beside her crushed pumpkin grin.

November Devil, silent on a rainy day,
pensively draws frowning faces
in the window glaze, adding bristles and horns
almost as an afterthought.

Yule Devils toast schnapps
and make peppermint resolutions
to the New Year, leering ruefully at broken
promises, and evil deeds yet undone.


Copyright © 2003 Tobias Seamon

Reader Comments

A finalist for the 2003 Erskine J. Poetry Prize, Tobias Seamon's work has appeared at such places as EOTU, The Mississippi Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Snow Monkey, and Strange Horizons. His novel The Magician's Study is forthcoming from Turtle Point Press. He lives in Albany, NY. His previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. To contact him, email

Tobias Seamon's first novel The Magician's Study was recently published by Turtle Point Press. Other work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as Mississippi Review, Pebble Lake Review, Santa Clara Review, and Strange Horizons. He lives with his wife in upstate New York. You can see more of Tobias's work in our archives, or send him email at
Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
The air was redolent with machine oil; rich and unctuous, and synthesised alcohol, sharper than a knife on the tongue.
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Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
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