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The shadow of a six-foot
crucifix stretches across
the back lawn, half-hidden by
walls of red climbing roses.
Hawthorne, lemon grass, and herbs
line the stone circle around
the old house, scenting the air
with protective promises.
A ball of virgin wool and
knitting needles hand-carved from
Jerusalem olive wood—
sharpened to a lethal point—
sit on the weathered porch swing.
Beyond the garden, hidden
in the trees, a well-tended
still continually brews
garlic-flavored moonshine with
Reverend-blessed holy water.
Silver-beaded scarves and shawls
hang in rooms to ward off chill
and unwanted visitors.
Generations of wisdom
taught by grannies fills the home
and defends when vampyr hunt.

C. H. Lindsay (Charlie) is an award-winning poet, writer, and life-long book-lover. Mostly blind, she lives with her “seeing-eye” husband, library of books, and a cat who is in charge. She's a member of SFWA, HWA, SFPA, and LUW. You can learn more about her at
Current Issue
25 Sep 2023

People who live in glass houses are surrounded by dirt birds
After a century, the first colony / of bluebirds flew out of my mouth.
Over and over the virulent water / beat my flame down to ash
In this episode of  Critical Friends , the Strange Horizons SFF criticism podcast, Aisha and Dan talk to critic and poet Catherine Rockwood about how reviewing and criticism feed into creative practice. Also, pirates.
Writing authentic stories may require you to make the same sacrifice. This is not a question of whether or not you are ready to write indigenous literature, but whether you are willing to do so. Whatever your decision, continue to be kind to indigenous writers. Do not ask us why we are not famous or complain about why we are not getting support for our work. There can only be one answer to that: people are too busy to care. At least you care, and that should be enough to keep my culture alive.
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