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 Nov 2023

you no longer have image. in photos your cheek² sharpens, vectors.
That cis-tem is now only a speck.
Mushrooms didn’t exactly sweep sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, but much like their real-world inspiration they persisted, growing in the damp, dark crevices of the creative minds of every generation. They were a template for the anxieties of each age, seasoned with the fears of the era.
Stories of extensive evil, in which the threat is not a single villain, nor even a man-made pollution monster, but systemic structures of harm in which we are all complicit, offer tools to think through real-life problems, which are rarely fixed by defeating one villain.
My most hearty and luxurious greetings fam, hope all are doing well. Friends, I feel like I often start this column by saying I can’t remember what happened in the previous episode. Today, I honestly cannot remember a single thing that happened last time. Fam, so many things happened lately and my brain has been all over the place. I had to move! I am getting too old for this kind of lifestyle and now I’m not going to unpack anything because I will just have to repack and move again at some point. I don’t know if that is
Writing While Disabled 
Well, when people say writing every day, I think some people take it too literally. I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about writing every day. People use the term dailyness to mean consistency. Write Consistently. Time-wise, write consistently. You build a practice. Because remember what I said earlier, a writer is someone who writes. It's about being in the present. Writing has to be a present practice for you. That's all it means.
Issue 20 Nov 2023
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