Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Passionplay" by Runolfson and Crow

Drop by Dragons, Knights & Angels as we wind down our last year of operation (and our staff joins with the TSR crew to launch MINDFLIGHTS). We have some excellent poetry coming out for your enjoyment.

Our most recent offering is "Passionplay" by J.C. Runolfson (whose Rhysling-nominated "Advent" was one of my fave SF poems of last year) and Jennifer Crow.

This was an entry in our 2007 poetry contest at DKA, with the inferno/paradiso theme.

The opening lines:

Within the eternal city,
the streets lead to shadowed alcoves,
to open squares filled with light.
The streets lie dappled below the coming storm.

John Kuhn's "Separado" and
other DKA Contest Winners and Poems

Last year, John Kuhn won the first DKA Poetry Contest with "Statuary." This year, he won it with "Separado." One word "S" titles are working for John, as is his fine gift with words.

The theme of the contest this year was inferno and/or paradiso.

Here are the opening lines of "Separado"--which means "separated" or "estranged" in Spanish:

On my tongue
In my tongue
All the way through
My salt pork tongue

Yes, he chose "inferno" as his focus, and it is one with one foot in the gospel of Luke and the other in the science fictional realm that he works through his theme.

Second place went to "Sky Vendor" by Holly Dworken Cooley, which opens thusly:

as if in a trance
she walks around the village
carrying the sun and the moon
slung at either hip like babies
for sale she says

The three honorable mention placements went to Karen A. Romanko's "Atlantis," C.K. Deatherage's "Black Hole," and Jenny Schwartz's "Paradise."

Please visit and read them all.

"Satanic, Versus"

Talented Mikal Trimm takes a stab at "black as"...in "Satanic, Versus."

Read it at The Sword Review.

The first stanza:

they say black as night
but night is not black,
its dark vestments pierced
with moth-holes
where the brightness escapes
to burn and burn and burn

It's worth your time to read the rest...

Another Nifty from Samantha H.

Be careful what you pray for

"The Werewolf Prince" by Samantha Henderson is another fine speculative bit of poetry by one of my favorite SF poets.

The last stanza will creep you out.

Read it at The Sword Review.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Revisiting a Rhysling Award Winner

Read Joe Haldeman's "Eighteen Years Old, October Eleventh"

It's gorgeous. Here are the opening lines:

Drunk for the first time in her life,
she tossed her head in a horsey laugh
and that new opal gift sailed off her sore earlobe,
in a graceful parabola,
pinged twice on the stone porch floor,
and rolled off to hide behind the rose bushes.

It gathered dust and silt for two centuries.
The mansion came down in a war.

"The Ransom of Planet X"

Karen Romanko's "The Ransom of Planet X" is up at Dragons, Knights & Angels.

A taste:

We were out Sol's way,
angling for goodies,
but Sunny's a miser,
and won't tend to share

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"Freebasing the Moon"

Mike Allen is a terrific and wildly imaginative poet, and he doesn't disappoint with his latest offering at STRANGE HORIZONS, which opens thusly:

Seek the pusher in the bands
of shadow cordoning the trees.
Silver glitters in his cratered eyes,
pockets pregnant
with moondust in dimebags.
--Freebasing the Moon
By Mike Allen

"Five Wisdoms of the Snow Queen"

Marcie Lynn Tentchoff lets the Snow Queen drop her icy advice over at Ideomancer with "Five Wisdoms of the Snow Queen"

Opening line:

Never, when you meet a soul mate
tell him so,

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Choosing My Rhysling Faves: Hard!

Well, yesterday, I finally filled out my ballot for the Rhysling Awards, and this morning off it went in the mail.

Choosing short form poems was pretty much a cinch. There had been some I kept going back to reread--always with pleasure--so those were my top three.

Long form was harder. I really had five I loved, and choosing three, and putting those three in order was so hard. Still, there was one that, after multiple rereadings, kept yielding surprises and delight and made me feel things in that really deep place that poetry has a way of slipping into. So, that was number one. The others that didn't wear on me on rereading went to 2 and 3.

I did not vote for my own nominated poem, "Into the Heart." I like it. I think I did a very good job with it. I am proud of it. I like it better every time I read it. I done good.

But when it came down to it, I couldn't say with all honesty it was in MY top three. I suppose some poets will vote for themselves, and that's cool, but I'd have felt like a total dork.

So, best of luck to the nominees, and I hope my choices for number one win. Heh.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

"Flyboy": A Sestina

Lucy A. Snyder offers us a sestina--you don't get those every day, and I LOVE sestinas, but am too chicken to try writing one yet--called "Flyboy."

It's over at Strange Horizons. Here's the first stanza:

The baseheads call me Daddy Luzz like I'm fly.
I was my momma's first, a cream-faced baby boy.
Pops thought I was ace, raised me like a king,
named me for the light of the Las Vegas sun.
Or maybe pale Lucifer. No one would know
to see me now: sun burnt my skin as dark as Coke.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Four DEP Poems Nominated for Rhysling

Here are the four poems published in DEP ezines that are up for Rhysling awards:

Short form:

Malcolm Deeley's "Two Cathedrals", published in DRAGONS, KNIGHTS & ANGELS.

Mirta Ana Schultz's (er, that's me) "Into the Heart" , published in THE SWORD REVIEW

Long form:

J. C. Runolfson's "Advent", published in THE SWORD REVIEW (make sure to click on pdf or html at bottom to see the whole of the poem)

Marsheila Rockwell's "Pilate's Wife", in THE SWORD REVIEW


Monday, April 30, 2007

John Kuhn and D. Kopaska-Merkel at TSR

A couple of poetic goodies for you over at The Sword Review.

First, another rhyming bit of science fictional gorgeousness from John Kuhn titled "Modulation", constructed in parts that tell a stor and from which this excerpt:

She yet remained his wife, endured his chill,
and walked behind him cloaked from head to toe
to save him from temptation’s harmful blow—
for fragile grew the system from that pill
whose wiry tendrils pulsed to somehow still
the pulse of flesh and stifle ardor’s flow.
So fragile did the system in him grow,
and yet it bound like iron his once-free will.


From Davic C. Kopaska Merkel comes "Leviathan, rising", which begins:

the pond, a dark fathomless pool,
pulls the house into its wild
fishy frontier, furrowing the garden,

I think you'll enjoy them both, the science-fictional and the mythical-fantastical. Go, read.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pasadena Star News Article

Nice little article featuring Debbie Kolodji and talking about speculative poetry:

"Temple City Woman has Passion for Sci-Fi Poetry"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Visit the new (and nicer) site for Dreams & Nightmares.

I still haven't read the latest issue I received, or my Mythic 2, but then, I'm so behind on my reading...

Patricia Kelly's "Hierophany"

I like how this poem has that bit of mystery that the reader must puzzle out himself/herself:


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I got so excited when I saw familiar and fave names on there: Valente, Romanko, Tentchoff, Kolodji, Simon, and a poet whose growing strongly on me, Vanderhooft.

Head over right now: GOBLIN FRUIT, Spring 2007 issue

And as a special happy bonus, a writer/poet I simply love, and a nifty blogger, Samantha Henderson, has won the Faerie Queen Contest over there with "Queen Elizabeth and the Fox." Marcie Tentchoff ranked third. Great showing!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Get a Poem A Day: National Poetry Month

Knopf will send you a poem a day throughout the month. Subscribe by sending a blank email to this addy:


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Donna Royston Reviews MYTHIC 2

In fact, Mythic 2 can be viewed as its own fantasy universe, with a heavenly realm of gods, a middle realm of lesser magic and human enchantment, and a lower realm where all the magic has drained away, leaving imperfect memories and forlorn longing for opportunities for erudite display. So why don't we, as a way of exploring what Mythic 2 has to offer, take a grand tour through all its mythic realms?

Follow Royston on that tour in "Strange Horizon Reviews Mythic 2, edited by Mike Allen"

Monday, April 2, 2007

Rush over to HELIX for a feast of spec poetry

HELIX offers several poems in their current issue:

"What Happens in Space-Time"
by Greg Beatty

"Berry Cobbler"
by Samantha Henderson

"I Can Feel the Drilling"
by Drew Morse

"Prometheus Bound"
by Mikal Trimm

"Loup garou"
by Serena Fusek

"E-Meter Messiah"
by Mary Horton

The last listed by Horton and the one by Trimm both include some Christian references.

Check them all out.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

List of Rhysling Nominees up at SFPA Site

Visit the SFPA site for the list of Rhysling Award nominees in short and long form. All nominated poems are speculative and were pubbed in 2006, and all will be included in the 2007 Rhysling Anthology.

Yours truly is listed in the short form category for "Into the Heart."

More info about the Rhysling Award here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Three Rapunzel Poems

Hat tip to Jaime for these:

"Rapunzel's Mother" by Carolyn Williams-Noren

"Rapunzel" by Rosemary Dun

"Rapunzel" by Arlene Ang

"An Atypical Reaction to the Death of the Sun and the Moon" by Mikal Trimm

Read: "An Atypical Reaction to the Death of the Sun and the Moon"

this is the shag-time, the leading edge
of oblivion, baby, I'm
not just making this up, tomorrow
we'll all be gone, dead
as karma and electricity, dead ...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Alchemical Post-Its:
A Primer on Fantastic Poetry

Read Robert Frazier's article "Alchemical Post-Its: A Primer on Fantastic Poetry"

You can point toward the Odyssey and Tennyson and Blake and Poe and any number of precedents, but for all intents and purposes, science fiction poetry existed in a dormant state until the latter Sixties, when poetry began regular appearances in science fiction publications on both sides of the Atlantic. To cite two of several high profile examples, poems were consistently collected in the Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction anthologies and New Worlds.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Winter Issue of AMAZE: The Cinquain Journal

Cinqains are cool. If you're not familiar with them, head over to read the winter edition of AMAZE.

I particularly enjoyed Zhanna P. Rader's two.

These aren't speculative or Christian, really, but they're still fun.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Karen A Romanko's "Rooms"

DKA has published "Rooms" by Karen A. Romanko.

Spacers work to save a dying world. What will happen to those who must stay behind?

Here's the first stanza:

As our world prepared to die,
spacers on five-masted schooners
worked to save its mementos--us--
for transport to a promised land

She connects the science fictional with the spiritual in the closing stanza, and does it nicely, too. A conclusion full of hope and welcome.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Scifaiku Manifesto

A fun manisfesto to read, instructive and concise, graced with examples. If you've never read or written scifaihu, why not delve into this web page first:

While SciFaiku is open to experimentation and flexible in using the rules of its form, it nevertheless draws its inspiration from haiku. As with haiku, a poet strives to convey a sense of immediacy -- to capture a moment, to make readers feel that they are part of a scene. This immediacy might be obtained, for instance, by incorporating words that strike directly at the senses -- sounds, smells, visions... In striving for directness of expression, SciFaiku avoids abstract concepts and metaphors and describes rather than philosophizes. Leave the implications to the reader's imagination:

Digging up an ancient city,
finding the print
of a tennis shoe.

On Speculative Poetry

Grasping speculative poetry seems to be a matter of what you read during your formative years; to me the idea of "speculative poetry" as a description of something distinct (or to continue my analogy, with a different taste) from "regular" poetry seems as obvious as daylight and shadow; to folks who haven't encountered the flavor before the idea can result in a blank stare. They're not at all familiar with applying the concept of world-building to poetry.
--from The Plasteel Spider Factory

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

"Moonology" by Albert Goldbarth


We think we see the "face" of the moon,
there isn't any culture's folklore
that says otherwise; but what if it faces
the other direction, mouthing something
dark to our understanding, against
its dark place on the night? The voice
in the belly. The sting in the conscience.

Read the entire poem at The Georgia Review.


If you don't have your copies of THE ALCHEMY OF STARS or THE RHYSLING 2006 ANTHOLOGY, drop by, read my review at amazon.com, and get your copies.

You may also purchase RHYSLING 2006 and THE ALCHEMY OF STARS from the SFPA. I'm sure it helps support this excellent organization.

And if you have these two wonderful books, please post a review. Mine are the lone reviews there, so far.

New Poetry Today over at TSR and DKA

Visit Sword Review for David Kopaska-Merkel's "Dreams of Starlight", which opens with:

As the ship moved, or its frame of reference altered,
as the distance from here to here grew long,
the gaps in conversations grew like vines that strangle buildings.
She had no events to tell, while homebody he
had graduations, births, deaths, achievements and disasters.
Then the big disaster

Mr. Kopaska-Merkel edits DREAMS & NIGHTMARES, a long-running magazine of fantastic poetry.

Then drop by DKA for R.L. Copple's "Dimensional Shifts":

Dimensional travel at your fingertips,
Folding reality upon itself.
Live a cardboard life,
Or find Nirvana in pointlessness.

Read all of both. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Karen Romanko's "City of Imaginary Friends"

The Sword Review has published this nifty poem. It's both sad and delightful. And I love her use of the h and c/k sounds in this stanza, which yet quiets down to a hush of sibilance when it's time to stretch out and catch the child's voice that summons them back:

They busy themselves with hijinks,
their hopscotch and their stickball,
with heads cocked, always listening


Read "City of Imaginary Friends"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Why I'm Weeping Over My Keyboard

Not to worry. It's for a happy reason. I got good news a few minutes ago:

I'm nominated for a RHYSLING AWARD!

Now, to understand why this would bring me to tears, when you're probably going, "What the heck is a Rhysling award?" you have to understand how much I love poetry, and how much I admire so many speculative poets, such as Joe Haldeman, Samantha Henderson, Mikal Trimm, Marcie Lynn Tentchoff, Deborah P. Kolodji, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Mike Allen, Karen Romanko, Bruce Boston, and a host of others who, in comparison to me, are glorious unicorns to my little mushroom gnat self.

At least, that's how I see it.

So, to have one of MY poems in the Rhysling Anthology for 2007, for short form poem published in 2006, well...

I cry. That's what I do.

Thanks to the person (or persons) who nominated me. I'm just utterly astonished.

(First posted to Mirathon)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

"Basho on the Back Road to Camelot"

Deborah P. Kolodji's scifaiku sequence, "Basho on the Back Road to Camelot" is up for your enjoyment at DKA.

Here's my fave in the sequence:

moving line of ants
the sword in the stone
remains still

You may also want to saunter over to The Sword Review, where Deborah's "The Launch of Red Spot, Jr." is posted, and whose opening stanza follows:

She wore red
to match the new spot,
we were all bored
with the white ovalness
of last year’s surface fashions.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Thirteen Ways, Times Two:
Speculative Homage to Stevens

Delightful. You really need to treat yourself.

First: Read the classic by Wallace Stevens: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird The first way of looking per Stevens:

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

Then go over to HELIX and enjoy Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Holy by Lawrence Schimel. Here is his first way of looking:

Among the twenty billion stars
that hang like eyes up in the sky
the black hole is a wink.

Go. Read. Have fun.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"Return to the Mutant Rain Forest" ONLINE at CHIAROSCURO

Bruce Boston and Robert Frazier's much-honored poem is online. The blurb at Chiaroscuro, where the poem appears, says this:

"Return to the Mutant Rain Forest" won the 1988 Odyssey Poetry Award. It first appeared commercially in Masques III (St. Martin’s, 1989) and was reprinted in Year’s Best Horror Stories XVIII (Daw Books, 1990) and Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror III (St. Martin’s, 1990). In 2006, it received First Place in the Locus Online Poetry Poll for "Best All-Time Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror Poem." This is its first appearance online. For more on Frazier and Boston, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Frazier and http://hometown.aol.com/bruboston.

The opening stanza:

Years later we come back to find the fauna and flora
more alien than ever, the landscape unrecognizable,
the course of rivers altered, small opalescent lakes
springing up where before there was only underbrush,
as if the land itself has somehow changed to keep pace
with the metaprotean life forms which now inhabit it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

S. Henderson's "Cinderella's Funeral"

Loved this one, but I have a thing for fairy-tale milieu stories and poems.

What happened to Cindy after her royal wedding? Well, it's not probably what you think:

"Cinderella's Funeral"

Gorgeous final imagery.

SF Poetry at The Sword Review

Two Scifaikus: "Flash Frozen" and "Common Cause" by Richard Magahiz

"For Love" by Jaime Lee Moyer.

Terrie Leigh Relf's "And Still I Breathe."

Paying Markets for SF Poetry

The wonderful and talented Karen Romanko has updated the paying markets list for the SFPA.

See the list HERE.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

"How Angels Fledge" by Jane Lebak

Jane Lebak specializes, it seems, in writing about things angelic (and often speculative).

Her poem "How Angels Fledge" was chosen as an honorable mention in DKA's first poetry contest.

It begins:

I beheld God in full,
Eye to eye, witness to Creation.
But wrenched from the grasp of glory,
The itching in my heart
Compelled me into the gusts of time.
July first, if I'd kept track of days.
I landed and found you: New. Needy.
And me: Warm. Protective. Fierce.
Guardian--me. After so long, me and you.

Read it at DKA.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

SFPA Dwarf Stars Award Winner

From the SFPA site, news section:

The Dwarf Stars Award is given annually to the best short-short SF poem of the year. To be eligible, a poem must be 10 lines or less and first published in the previous calendar year. The winner of the 2006 Dwarf Star Award is "Knowledge Of," by Ruth Berman. In second place was "The Stepsister," by Peg Duthie, and in third place was "Prayer Causes Stars," by Greg Beatty.

The winning poem was published in Keren issue #10.