Table of Contents
Even the Damned Deserve to Love
House of Cards
Steven J. Dines
The Fiddler and the Faerie
When Barky Smiles
2 A.M. Window Shopping
Harriet O. Leach
Cloudy New Year's Morning
On Hearing Li-Young Lee Read
Prelude and Coda
Rainy Night Meditation
Harriet O. Leach
Silage Team--Machete Thirst
The Abandoned Playground
Thought Provoking Baked Crescent
and Digital Art
The ebon void of midnight's grace a dismal scene doth know;
Beneath its dreary starlit gaze, a world is set aglow.
This world the realms of men doth know; they call its seas their own,
Its widowed peaks their kingdomed keeps, its valleys their seeds sewn.
And from these valleys, peaks, and seas, their warriors build their pride.
Their weapons clash on brilliant steel an endless fathom wide.
The sparks unleash a burning lust. The children watch with glee,
And all the fathers' smiles faint suggest their sons will be
The masters not of steel or swing but something better, more.
They dream of men who slay their foes by way of arcane lore:
A sweeping of a quiet hand, a burning ball of light,
A missile conjured through the wind, an enemy to smite,
And so it lands upon the foe, his flesh torn loose and flensed.
The dream then ends abruptly with the shouting of a friend.
The enemy has breached the walls; the sparks outside ignite
A bastion born of scorching flame, the city burning bright.
The battle passes 'neath the stars; the children see the day
And many others after that to bear their great dismay.
Their loss has taught them many things: disgust, despair, disdain;
It taught them how to use their minds to learn to wield the flame.
The stars of each of future's nights in deep remorse gazed down
As those who once were innocent arose to claim the crown,
And with each passing of the throne, the fate of men became
A doom far worse than that before: the king had lost his name,
The steels of sword and shield were swapped with magics then banal,
And all the smiles of the past were sold for gold or gall.
Nor ever were they kind enough to give the night her peace,
Nor ever were they wise enough to their own souls release.
And so they likewise pay their debts, the debtors and the stars:
One for putting forth the night, the others for their scars.
RICHARD MACALEESE is a student of the Ohio State University. At an early
age he acquired avid interests in religion, philosophy, mythology, legend, and writing, which together have produced a wide variety of abstract fictions. These interests have since produced over a hundred such writings--the fruits and foils of a compulsive habit.