My poem retelling of the Pandora’s box myth has been published!
In my mind, “Gifts of Gods and Men” is in part about how a ruler sets up the first human woman to be blamed for spreading sickness and death into the mortal world. Readers are of course welcome to different interpretations.
The poem is in the Winter 2020 issue of The Cascadia Subduction Zone, which contains visual art, reviews, flash fiction, and more poetry. Digital copies of the magazine issue are available from the publisher’s website for $3 (USD).
The girl clutched locks of long hair to the top seams of the moss green linen of her dress. Her free hair streamed sunset above a white fog cloak. She flew against blustering sighs of wind above the hills to her mortal clan.
I am Siren, she thought. The mortal folk will hear my song.
This time, she concentrated not on the music but her words. The mortals never understood her music.
They will hear my words. All my heart will go in them!
“There!” a voice called. A lad by a whitewashed cottage on the hill pointed up to her. “T’is a keening woman!”
“She mourns before the death. Pop’s end is near.”
Stinging tears slipped past Siren’s russet lashes. Hear my song of life, not death. Do you not hear my words?
I checked the robotic mouse that was waiting on an X taped on the floor.
Okay, my owlish friend, time for the test. I said, “Catch the mouse.”
The larger robot on her perch turned her head to blink unevenly at me with yellow eyes. Her beak opened into a shrill “Whyyy?”
“What?” I asked. “Go hunt!”
English responses to commands wasn’t in her code. I scanned the project’s access log on my tablet then shot my chair across the floor to the desk where I could better view our 3D data projections.
“Huuunt?” Her beak clicked at the end of the word.
Limbs of feathery plastic fluttered.
Her talons clenched around my head.
Happy Saturday thoughts from a science fiction literary convention. Be safe!
we might appear
to any sentient life that
misread our tendencies.
Content on this page was previously posted, August 2017.
Thoughts flitter past:
void of color and pattern.
I am rock,
not the powerful creature
full of energy
body and mind.
Both rest, waiting.
light creeps into mind’s crevices,
returning life to stone flesh.
Originally posted as “Predawn Pallor” (2009).
“You won’t fly again,” they said.
My wings spread.
I rise on my exhale.
“Voices Left Behind”
My father-in-law was told after a war injury that he would never walk again.
My aunt was told that she died years ago.
I have known people who believe that once broken, one is broken forever.
Yet I heal.
Don’t listen to the voices that would keep you from spreading your wings.
Content originally published in 2017.