No need for sculling across her home sky, a god floats on her back. Perfectly white with no threat of rain, her hair billows softly about her head. In one palm she buoys the sun and its heavy, pleasant warmth. In her other palm glows the silver of a strayed moon.

The miniscule ghosts of the forgotten dead ride bumblebees, a travel option with a barbed guard as protection against songbirds who mistake them for grubs. The ghosts mostly linger in the dense viridity of wildflower stems but can climb adroitly to sip a drop of nectar. 


Her ghost walks before her, her shadow trails behind / Thru the dismal slough of passions drowned. / How long it took to come to terms w/ the / Imperfect self, off-hand loves, and casual cruelty. / Her ghost will rage in time / But her shadow resists extinction. 

Mandolin, dulcimer, and flute are we, an antique threesome devoted to music’s will–the magical pluck, hammer & breath of melody. Our versatility of form and timbre brought us as guests to the wedding, as mourners to the funeral, as spirits to the dance. We sing but softly now. 

A detour in a snowy wood leads her into a huddle of ancient oaks whose umbrella canopy preserves the understory dry as history’s old bones. / The wind kicks up and leafy tongues howl tales of curse and blood feud that teach the lesson of roads too well traveled.

Ormandy’s ghost in blacktie shroud lowered his baton. ‘Flight of the Bumblebee not Roadrage of the Hummers. Again.’ The spectral orchestra produced a wailing cacophony. ‘Why?’ he asked. ‘Please maestro,’ said young Piccolo. ‘The bees died before us.’  

Despite the weak gravity pull of the evacuated planet, Hecate lost thrust power in the ionosphere. Her occupants listened in dread wonder as her Earth-forged hull turned receiving antenna for radio waves–a symphony born of space-harpists and star-sailing dragons.

He never imagined / Those paper dreams / In bold enablement / Would lead to this: / His theft of the copper Moon, / For his true love’s delight, / Desolated oceans / And cracked the mantle of hope. / When Moon misses Sun’s caress / How dull the rock, the real.

Bones of ancient suppers scatter underfoot as the emerald dragon charges into our midst. Cruel is our campaign to curtail his reign of terror with axe, club, and magic, but while he lives the planet sickens. It’s our task to remedy what we have wrought.

The weather is near sentient here. Winds scraping the planet’s arid surface carry the detritus of bitter salts & granular dust & slam it in the face of rock and living things alike; they give lift to dragon flight yet toy, cruel & catlike, with our spaceships (92)

Dickens had them all by their twisted metaphors: Oliver alone and hungry but posh enough to know a fish from a butter knife; the Artful Dodger wearing his craft over a heart of gold; and Fagin embellished with revulsion, rags, and false bonhomie.

Only navigation wizards have the acumen to parse the void, their inborn organs of magic absorbing its molecular communications and drifts of un-anchored time. For Jack, it’s not innate, nor even cerebral, more a wing-and -prayer anticipation of hazard.

The ozone layers but fragile wisps, the sun killed most living creatures but triggered the human magic of wizardly-AI interface. At last humanity had hope of survival through engineering innovation and its corollary cruelties. Black despair flew them to the stars but magic grew fickle in alien climes.

I married foolishly and compensated for the tedium by gaslighting him into believing he’s a character in my Great American Novel, a sweeping saga of multiple lives. In the last chapter, he’s smashed beyond saving by a bomb. Now he rots and moans in the guest room.

I keep stolen wine in my cellar but my secrets are encased in amber & sold to tourists who delve deep into our bloody history then visit the gift store. The killings, the betrayals, they all go home with their new owners, and I can drink my wine without remorse.

She irons charisma on her husband’s shirts & shrewdness along his pants’ creases. She stands behind to keep the starch in him.  When he’s elected mayor, she irons elegance into her gown and wrinkles from her cheeks. For his interns, she heats up a tire iron.

In search of whimsy, a waif in velvety moss cap blithely caroled birdsong as she skipped from daybreak to nightfall, poking into cobwebs and nooks in search of oddities wherewith to adorn her slightness be it Xmas tinsel or a tender word flown free of torn paper.

The spaceships were Earth-constructions at a time human ingenuity & wizardry peaked, but no one foresaw the violence of the asteroid belt or the space beasts they called dragons. Even warded warships broke & burned like vintage matchsticks (360) 

He wears bargain-basement suits for work; she shops in consignment stores. His sole asset’s an old Mustang, hers a real pearl earring found in the park. His desire is a hurtling meteor, hers a blazing comet. When they kiss, stars migrate to their eyes (100 plus).

The garden club hypes me as the annual novelty, a willow-human hybrid. Not my fault. / In the downpour, my skin barked, my toes rooted, and my mind wandered the hills of dark forestry: ship masts, log fires, baskets. / My wind-blown rags weep for a fairy tale.

Around the wishing star sprouts a willow tree whose weeping tendrils deliver the gifts: for the deserving–love, puppies & gold, rescue for trafficked orphans, and medicine for refugees; for the villainous–victims, cunning, opportunity & blades.