Size / / /

For my child
in the new land.
The only spell
I ever learnt.
Of needles and sleep.
 
There'll be the warehouse.
Sewing machine beating
out years and days.
There'll be the markets.
Curled lock-ups at dawn,
hungry side streets,
armfuls of snides.
Stutter of tarpaulin and steel
against the morning dark.
 
There'll be the man at the gate.
Stand back, he'll say.
There's nothing to see.
His fists and radio-crackled voices
of a country where tv light
smooths to white-sheeted sleep.
 
There'll be running
over slanted pavement
as the bricks the metal
the glass
will not yield.
 
Say it.
"Some entered rivers,
became the stones and the weeds.
Some crawled into basements,
were the dark and mice behind doors.
Some sought out the soft ground
to spend their bodies
to the flowers and roots."
My child
in the new land.
This is the only spell
I ever learnt.
 
That you won't know their open-jawed vans.
Or watch car lights blur into rain
as they bear you through night.
Won't be curved metal wise
through the staunch tight sky,
or spoken into a windowless room
to learn just what you're worth.
 
That you'll sleep
as the earth spins as
the cities swell
and the walls breed
as the glass smashes
and the fires spread,
sleep safe as this lonely spell
holds you in a secret place
until a lazy gardener
cuts you awake
and no one remembers this.




Ruth Jenkins writes speculative poetry and interactive fiction on cities, coding and magic. Ruth's writing has previously appeared in Goblin Fruit, Scheherezade's Bequest, and Verse Kraken. Her website is fractoluminous.tumblr.com.
Current Issue
30 Mar 2020

The Strange Horizons team presents new speculations with climate at its heart.
The Wi-Fi is shallow, a miracle drizzle that broke the heat wave blockade. They say in 10 years the internet will never flow here again.
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Porpentine Charity Heartscape's “Dirty Wi-Fi.”
If half my kindergarten cohort was dead by the time I hit sixth grade, I would be mopey too.
By: Jason P Burnham
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Jason P Burnham's “Cairns.”
“I’m Rosie,” she says. But I just call her the kid.
By: Tara Calaby
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Tara Calaby's “Three Days with the Kid.”
Fixing my pipes, for the plumber, / is a simple thing. He whistles gently as I tell him / about the yellow eyes I saw last night.
Between us, there are threads of doubt, unwinding spools like spider webs across the scalded earth
what the map said was once a buffalo jump
By: Kaily Dorfman
By: Camille Louise Goering
By: Brian Beatty
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kaily Dorfman
Podcast read by: Brian Beatty
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents poetry from the Climate special issue.
Solarpunk reminded me that growing your own food is a thing, that we can make or grow something rather than buy it, that technology can help us redirect the trajectory of the world.
Thursday: Bridge 108 by Anne Charnock 
Friday: Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters edited by Sarena Ulibarri 
Issue 23 Mar 2020
Issue 16 Mar 2020
By: Lisa Nan Joo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Thompson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
100 African Writers of SFF - Part Fifteen: Ghana
Issue 9 Mar 2020
By: Leah Bobet
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Emily Smith
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Mar 2020
By: Innocent Chizaram Ilo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Cam Kelley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
By: Dante Luiz
Art by: DAPENHA
Issue 24 Feb 2020
By: Mayra Paris
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 17 Feb 2020
By: Priya Sridhar
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: E. F. Schraeder
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 10 Feb 2020
By: Shannon Sanders
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 3 Feb 2020
By: Ada Hoffmann
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: S.R. Tombran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 27 Jan 2020
By: Weston Richey
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: