myth of the horse king


From perilous dreams, the horse king
rose, so sure he’d be remembered
in the daylight.

He declared that everything was
indeterminate, unnecessary or incomplete,
and with batteries, many A’s,
he asserted iron-clad existence.

The once and never horse, ambivalence
on a bike, mentioned in a margin
for his bravery, and in a footnote,
impartially decapitated by a jury
of his peers.

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Chalcedony, a distant and unfriendly planet,
orbits an old-fashioned chartreuse sun
in an unsociable spiral galaxy.
It’s a centimeter or two away from earth
on a standard map of the universe,
Mercator Projection.

In a café on the planet’s surface,
it’s Monday morning, neither late nor early,
and Manique, of humanoid appearance,
is sipping a humanoid coffee.

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the invisibilities of ilhabela


This is what Jandira told me—

The invisibilities will ascend from ground and green,
from fields of stubbled corn and furrowed dirt,
from the Amazonic jungle
through the tree lines to the turbulence above.

Now I’m perched in a jacaranda,
and set to fade like Carroll’s cat, the great auk and the dodo,
with my telescope trained on the far horizon
where the welded night’s creation is rising with the dawn.

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dragon development stages

Yesterday’s a mirror where you
see no more than your reflection,
and tomorrow hides beyond the
windowpanes. But today is filled
with mysteries and wonders, and all
you have to do is look.
That was what Louisa told me
on the day she said goodbye,
before my weather turned to winter,
with snow clouds in the bedroom
and hailstones in the hall.

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a sip of moon water

rainymoondayWhen it rains on the water moon, I sip my aqua vitae and watch the droplets trickle down the acrylic. Sometimes I wonder what the wood ducks are up to, or whether I should feed the cat, or whether anything exists at all beyond the plastic.

If not, the tins of salmon in the pantry must be for me.

Marginally more seriously, Charles Payseur of Quick Sip Reviews fame writes shortish reviews of speculative fiction short stories. They’re very handy for busy humans and water fowl, like the wood ducks and I, and he’s just done Fantasy Scroll Magazine Issue 11 including a review of my story The Water Moon.

the water moon


The Water Moon appeared in Fantasy Scroll Magazine. FSM started in 2014 with the aim of publishing thought-provoking fantasy and sci fi, and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. In 2015 they published a paperback anthology of their 2014 stories featuring a number of big name authors, and they produce a podcast of one story each week as well as the bimonthly magazine.

‘The Water Moon’ is in part based on my experiences in South America, and I’d like to think the piece says a little about belief systems and the violent acts that can arise from them. Continue reading

the medusa

The Medusa‘The Medusa’ appeared in the Canadian In Places Between 2013 collection of short stories from the finalists in the Robyn Herrington Memorial Speculative Fiction Contest. The story took first place in the competition. The contest is run by the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, who very generously help new writers by providing brief critiques of the submitted stories.

One source for ‘The Medusa’ was the curious myth of the headless mule. Continue reading

the moon mirror lake

moonmirrorJacyuaruá, the Moon Mirror Lake, is part of the mythology of the Tupi-Guarani people of the Amazon, and it features in various legends. In one, female warriors dived into the deep lake and retrieved pieces of jade to carve into Muiraquitã amulets with supernatural powers that they gave to their lovers. While the women did the diving, the men drank fermented cassava juice and watched the football (probably). Continue reading

inconstant light

InconstantLightThe slightly eponymous ‘Inconstant Light’ appeared in the August 2013 issue of Plasma Frequency Magazine; it was published by Plasma Spyglass Press and was freely available online.

The magazine  aimed to publish stories which resonate, but probably not at an actual plasma frequency, which would be many megahertz and would require ionized gas rather than paper. The story is set in an alternate world where things are a bit different, and there are some mythical aspects to do with the hard-to-pronounce and mysterious Jacyuaruá, the Moon Mirror Lake.