Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page


by John Marshall

We are in the midst of a vast darkness,
a black tide,
a malignant flood.
Torrid waters and murky clouds
cover our eyes, our souls.

All is rain,
heavy rain.

The sky is bleeding.

Earthen creatures move without sound,
without reason through a sea of red.
Is Love dead?
Surely it seems;
for what are mouths without words,
words without ears,
but a funeral mass?

The thief of innocence is about.
He clefts the fragile feet of children
and gives a daystar the breath of night.

The serpent bites its tail,
bites its tongue;
the bride of Spring drowns in a hail of bullets.

This is fear full-blown,
the synthesis of a nightmare,
a dusky mirror that drives the weary painter
to blindness.

It is a bitter root,
a poisonous flower;
and its time of treason has turned the golden hour
into rust.

© 2011 John Marshall

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