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   “This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.”
   ―William Shakespeare, King Lear

Shadows shift in a dark tower
Where Roland came, boyish and ruddy.
A princess doomed, an empty bower,
Shadows shift in that dark tower.
The fate of kings who’ve lost their power,
In bones and entrails, blind and bloody.
Shadows shift in a dark tower
Where Roland came, boyish and ruddy.

   “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
   W.B. Yeats, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Through mandrake groves and tangled vines,
Though thorns and midnight howls …
How silently the moon pines.
Through mandrake groves and tangled vines,
Enchanted love, intoxicating wine.
Briar’s rose and midnight owls,
Through mandrake groves and tangled vines,
Though thorns and midnight howls …

   “Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind”
   ―William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Beneath a bank where violets grow,
Where fairies dewdrops seek—
Through oxlips and musk-rose, a river flows.
Beside that bank, where violets grow,
A midnight witch, Titania bold. Her lantern glows
Amidst sweet eglantine. Her lover sleeps
Beside that bank where violets grow,
Where fairies dewdrops seek.

Dr. Anna Cates teaches college and graduate level writing, literature, and education online. She has published a variety of books (poetry, fiction, and drama) through, and She resides in Wilmington, Ohio with her two beautiful kitties.
Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
The air was redolent with machine oil; rich and unctuous, and synthesised alcohol, sharper than a knife on the tongue.
“Leaping Crane don’t want me to tell you this,” Poppy continued, “but I’m the most dangerous thing in the West. We’ll get you to your brother safe before you know it.”
Many eons ago, when the first dawn broke over the newborn mortal world, the children of the Heavenly Realm assembled at the Golden Sky Palace.
Winter storm: lightning flashes old ghosts on my blade.
transplanted from your temple and missing the persimmons in bloom
immigrant daughters dodge sharp barbs thrown in ambush 十面埋伏 from all directions
Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
Issue 22 May 2023
Issue 15 May 2023
Issue 8 May 2023
Issue 1 May 2023
Issue 24 Apr 2023
Issue 17 Apr 2023
Issue 10 Apr 2023
Issue 3 Apr 2023
Issue 27 Mar 2023
Issue 20 Mar 2023
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