Size / / /

Behind coded invitations,

long night journeys,

country house gatherings

of like-minded men—

behind the fear of women,

banishment of servants,

locked doors, shuttered windows,

guards to ward off spies—

behind cloaks, hoods,

symbols scrawled on vellum,

books of lore and learning,

circles of protection—

behind scrying-glass,

crystal, speculum,

the lighting of a candle

and the speaking of a name—

you never know.

That is the truth of every incantation.

You never know

what will come to the flame.




Tim Jones lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His first collection of fiction, Extreme Weather Events, was published in 2001, and poetry collection Boat People followed in 2002. With Mark Pirie, he is currently editing an anthology of New Zealand science fiction poetry. For more about him and his work, see his website.
Current Issue
21 Nov 2022

As far back as I could remember, Oma warned me about the bats. She said they would eat me if they found me exposed at night. But I knew the green light of the moon would protect me, even when I was still smaller than Oma.
The truth is: / she does not have to bend into a ceramic plate to carry us beautifully, & my father / isn't the hand that will break her.
the rattle of the rails, the shuffling-muttering of hundreds of passengers nestled in the one long limb of you
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