Poetry

Pioneer 2 arrives to greet Pioneer 1

They were pioneers, gathering the people

and turning the marble just so.

It made their lifeboats feel small, they knew they’d outgrown them

and it was time to disembark.

 

The land was fresh, inviting.

The ruins intriguing, worthy of study and admiration,

yet some kept their heads.

What caused their collapse?

 

Communication lines: open.

Hails: none.

Poetry

Space Hopper

If I had seven league boots,

I’d travel up to the stars.

 

If I had three point five league boots,

I’d travel to the highest mountains.

 

If I had one league boots,

I’d travel to every lush space I could find.

 

I am barefoot.

 

I can travel only until I get tired.

But there’s nothing to stop me believing

 

I have seven league boots.

Poetry

We are alive

I can hear you in the music that dances around me.

Feel your arms around my waist

and inhale your intoxicating aroma

as we fly, not fall, into the abyss

that greets us with a full display of colour

and vibrancy.

We could travel through every wormhole, portal

and slit in the fabric of reality

and never lose sight of ourselves

because we build from one another,

never decaying.

Poetry

Cosmic Crisps

I wonder what aliens

would think if they beamed up my brain

and analysed it – my dreams, my memories, my thought processes.

Me.

I wonder if they would sympathize with dream me

telling my boss to go home on his day off

instead of drifting around like a cloud of nervous energy,

or tell child me how to remember

those calculations that always escaped my mind.

I wonder if they would find other humans

as puzzling as I do.

Would they feel cramped with all the emotions I feel but can’t express?

Would they ponder details of life,

the same ones that sneak into my anxieties?

Would they feel comfortable

letting my brain reconnect to me

when I am disconnected to society?

Answers in my Spacer Raiders, please.

Poetry

A prolonged tea break

I’m sitting on top of a ladder, balanced on the rung

gazing down at the world.

Stars are beaded into my hair

and moon dust glitters on my cheeks.

My clothes are patched with space junk

and I’ve tired myself out signing to the satellite

that I don’t want to come down.

They’ve asked me to move, to go back

to earth and mingle with the life once more.

I don’t want to risk my health – there’s a plague

of humans itching to infect me.

To ask me, to corrupt me.

Even Hades has no time for that.

Extracts/ Flash Fiction

A scene from a new idea

Tia’s arm flinched as Lannah adjusted the mechanism at her wrist, using a red-hot needle to inscribe the Tsa markings needed to reinforce both the spellwork and metalwork holding it together. Unable to stop herself from smirking, Tia analysed her friend’s serious expression despite the Elvis Presley track blaring through the spellcrafted speakers on the walls. Although the song was six hundred years old, she couldn’t deny Lannah had good taste. ‘You always get that same look of severe concentration on your face when you fix me up.’

Lannah finished the Tsa she was working on and sat up, rolling her shoulders back with a sigh. Her eyes were dark with lack of sleep. I probably look just as bad, Tia thought. ‘That’s because you are particularly hard to repair,’ Lannah said. ‘Do you have any idea how many extra enchantments I have to put on your arm just so it can keep up with your raiding antics?’ She stretched her arms up, adjusting herself. ‘Of course, if you didn’t feel the need to keep ripping it off every time you get in the slightest bit of trouble, my job would be much easier.’

Tia made a fist with her metal fingers, testing them out. Satisfied, she sat up, facing Lannah. ‘If I didn’t yank it off, then me and the team would be toast right now. My magic isn’t half as powerful with it on, and the colonists down on that planet aren’t the friendliest of people. And they’ve got two witches of their own. I nearly got spell-speared in the back.’

She jumped off Lannah’s white operating table, nearly hitting her head on the lamp the engineer had been using. She shivered. Now that she wasn’t focused on the pain from her metal arm being fixed, she noticed how cold it was in the room. She grabbed her jacket from the coat rack and zipped it up to her chin, grateful for its cosy warmth.

‘Maybe they felt that a team of raiders suddenly appearing to take all their tech away was a touch uncalled for?’ Lannah suggested, making a quick Tsa in the air with her finger. Immediately, Tia felt the air in the room get warmer. She chewed the inside of her check, quenching down the familiar pang of envy that rose up inside her. If she’d been born with witch gene zero, she would be able to use Tsa marks too. But she hadn’t. She had plain witch gene zero one, like the majority of witches aboard the Merlin.

‘It’s not their tech anyway. It’s Cosmic Witch’s,’ Tia replied, running her fingers through her short hair. Still feels weird to have it this length, but I guess it’s practical. ‘Anyway, we’re only following orders. They want it back as quickly as possible, we had no time to negotiate.’ More like we were told specifically not too. The truth disgusted her just as much as it did Lannah, whose mouth had stilled into a thin line.

The engineer turned away to her desk and began typing up her report, absently flicking the music from ‘Love Me Tender’ to ‘A Little Less Conversation’. ‘If you’re ready, you can sign out on the module. The form should already be on the screen.’ She shot a slight grin over her shoulder. ‘Try to be more careful next time.’

Poetry

Light and Space

The universe is in a light bulb.

Stardust coating the filament,

specks of light in the distance

expanding ever outwards,

and comets passing by.

 

The galaxy is in a puff of smoke,

swirling off into the wind.

Planets, stars, dark matter,

all gone in an instant,

or drawn back the next

Poetry

Miss Universe

And I can see the stars

swirling around on her dress,

a meteor shower by her ankles,

an eclipse over her shoulders.

Her earrings are red dwarfs,

her rouge made of cosmic dust.

She freezes the solar systems

and puts them in her iced tea,

which she sips as she admires the galaxies

framed forever on her walls.

Poetry

Hooping

I step inside the circle,

raise it above my head

feeling the muscles of my shoulders and upper

arms. I can turn

clockwise

or anticlockwise,

connect it with my hips,

my back, my legs, my chest.

My heart. And

my mind.

It stops a moment after I stop,

lingering for just that fraction longer

as if posing the question ‘Shall I

go on?’

Poetry

Outside In

Her fingernails have grown into long yellow keys,

toenails rusted locks that refuse to open.

Her eyes are not windows into her soul,

but gateways to the outside of her circular thinking.

Cobwebs make up her thick woolens, and as she waits

on a black three-legged stool to be chosen,

she pulls a blanket of fog around her shoulders

to keep the dry out.

Weather complains that she is messing with his schedule again.