Size / / /

We scatter the bird seed

which is guaranteed

not to germinate,

and realize once more we've fallen prey

to misleading advertising:

The seeds immediately sprout

acres of jays

that, in some cannibalistic

parent and child reunion,

turn on the remaining seeds

and devour them before more jays can appear.

All this appetite at least provides a check

on the suddenly exploding bird population.

Now I'm scattering the remaining seeds

into the air by the handful,

watching the jays

appear for a moment in midair,

snatch up the airborne seeds

before they themselves

are swallowed by the sky.




Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
Current Issue
25 May 2020

Standing in a boxlike room. I see my feet. Yellow-blue light, like fog.
By: Dana Wilde
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Dana Wilde's “Abductions.”
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I didn’t expect this story to be so bonkers actually.
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Issue 11 May 2020
By: Gabriela Santiago
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Issue 20 Apr 2020
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Issue 13 Apr 2020
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Issue 6 Apr 2020
By: Elizabeth Crowe
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Issue 30 Mar 2020
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100 African Writers of SFF - Part Fifteen: Ghana
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