My short story and poems, for your consideration, for the 2017 Aurora and Rhysling Awards

My short story’s called “Shoe Man”, is unanimously (if I may say so myself) loved, short and sweet, and can be read online here over at the July issue of Expanded Horizons.

“Contemplation” was originally published in the Cascadia Subduction Zone in July of 2016:-

One African night,

Worn of living, tired of not dying,

feeling deep within my heart

the absolute certainty I did not fit

into the grand scheme,

I raised my face skyward,

regarded the black-skinned sky,

the black-skinned universe,

black-skinned me,

and dug myself an early  grave.

She laughed at me, her lips luscious

red as blood,

red as the blood we drank,

red as the blood we need,

…She laughed at me then

And told me all I would find if I buried myself

was that Mother Earth had not abandoned me,

Undead child of the moon that I was.

In the grave, I turned my face

from sky, from moon, from her,

to the earth,

and waited on eternity

for the answer.

Meanwhile, as human civilization went on and on,

Trees’ roots embraced me, surrounding my arms, legs,

rich loam attached to my eyelashes.

Peace whispered secrets, leaching, into my bones,

filling my emptiness, and I knew

this was the answer.

At length I rose with the African moon, empowered

with what I was – a creature of the Earth like any other.

She was nowhere to be found, but black-skinned men

pounded spikes, hammered tracks

intended to cross the continent, they told me

everything controlled by pale-skinned men, who miser’d knowledge

and had guns.

One approached me, deferring to me, elder to eldest.

I lifted my head to the black-skinned sky,

the black-skinned universe, child of the moon that I was,

a new purpose bestowed,

and set out to give oppressors terror, and to men, freedom.


The Architect of Bonfires was originally published in 2016 in Space and Time Magazine, Issue #127 (also nominated for a Rhysling Award):-

The Architect of Bonfires

Weaves magic to and fro

He knows the art of fire

Makes one for cooking just so.

The Architect of Bonfires

Is a “witch doctor”, a Wise Man

And sees the same potential

In a scared, approaching woman…

The Architect of Bonfires

Divines her tale without being told

He comforts her with soup –

A remedy of old

He admires her midnight skin

Putting his darkness to shame

Marvels at her stark white hair

He knows exactly what’s her fear –

The chaos, the destruction that ensues

When she creates fire out of thin air

She comes now requesting aid

And aid he will gladly give

Yet she will return for magical skills

Not just to survive but to thrive, live

Suspense, danger,

coming to terms with her magic,

personal tests – all that lies in her future

– but for now, some hearty soup will suit her

Just fine

From the Architect of Bonfires


1 thought on “My short story and poems, for your consideration, for the 2017 Aurora and Rhysling Awards

  1. Pingback: 2017 Rhysling Poets Showcase #18 – SPECPO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s