Size / / /

We weren't expecting shepherds,
and nearly tripped over them, since
we were looking at the sky. There haven't
been sheep here for a dog's age, but shepherds
have never required sheep
to guard, just wolves
to guard them from.

A bitter night, on which the stars
could pierce like elfshot, burning cold,
and John pointed and said to me,
"There's Vega," and was corrected
by a shepherd, who, after all, would know.
Shepherds were experts on the stars
before astronomy had a name.

I said as much, and the shepherd's face
yawned into a grin. She said, "Would you like
to hear the wolves?" And I said yes, of course, because
how often do you get to stand
with a pack of shepherds on a starry hill
and have them call to wolves for you?

The first shepherd howled, the others
joined in, and from over the dark line
I thought must be a ridge came a chorus
in reply, and all the hair
on my body stood on end
at two harmonies exactly the same.

Shepherds grinned, tongues lolling, teeth flashing,
eyes glinting green, and we swallowed
hard and thanked them hastily,
and hurried home, careful not to stray
from the path for fear of wolves
or shepherds in the night.

 

Copyright © ccc

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Tracina Jackson-Adams lives in the Snow Belt and actually likes it, in a masochistic kind of way. Her poetry also appears in The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Star*Line, and The Modern Art Cave. She has also had fiction published in Strange Horizons.



Current Issue
27 Jul 2020

Stefan škrtl další sirkou a zapálil jednu ze svíček, které s sebou přinesl, pak další a další, dokud je neobklopoval celý kruh. Hanna nakrčila nos. Svíčky vydávaly zvláštní zápach, ale ne nepříjemný. Připomínal čerstvě posečenou trávu. I jejich tmavě olivová barva byla nezvyklá.
半透明の大江さんが洗面所から出てきて、いつもと同じようにテーブルに向かう。見えない食パンにバターを塗り、見えない新聞を片手に頰張る。まるでパントマイムだ。私はフローリングの床に座り込み、一連の動作を眺めた。
By: Amel Moussa
Translated by: Hager Ben Driss
Many things in my kitchen resemble me; I relate to them; we entertain one another. Water, fire, and electricity vegetables, water rich fruits, and dry fruits
أشياء ٌكثيرةٌ في مطبخي تُشبهني أتماهى مع هذه الأشياء ونُؤنسُ بعضنا.
He ignored her remark, ignited another match and lit a small candle. Then another one. He continued until a circle of candles surrounded them on the stage. Hanna scrunched her nose. The candles exuded a strange smell, but not an unpleasant one. It resembled freshly mown grass. The color was unusual too, a deep olive-green.
By: Eisuke Aikawa
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
The translucent Ōe-san steps out of the bathroom and sits at the table as usual. He spreads butter on an invisible slice of bread, takes a bite, and chews it, holding the morning paper in his other hand. Just like a mime. I sit on the floor and observe his movements.
Issue 20 Jul 2020
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By: JD Fox
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Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
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By: Kimberly Kaufman
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Issue 30 Jun 2020
By: Carlie St. George
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By: Janelle C. Shane
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Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
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Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
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Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
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By: Keaton Bennett
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