Art,  Issue 7,  Poetry

Kingdom of Shards by Madison McSweeney

Mercy goes to those 
who need it least.

Once upon a time 
we built a fortress
upon a deposit of sand
a conception of crystal 
whispering ’bout
the kings we beheaded
when they ceased to serve us,
but nonetheless immortalized
in iron; the queens
we sent to retire
at the top of the tower
and scrubbed from the stones; 
the maiden-martyrs laid to rest 
in dragon jaws. 

The innocent will be 
condemned —
Mother of pearl.

The heat – not from the dragon fires,
but from the sweltering rage
of the masses, a disease
that even the leaches can’t suck out –
turned the sand to glass; 
the malcontents threw stones
the glass shattered
and so we walked
on broken shards, 
the worms below  
eagerly sucked 
the blood from our soles;
incensed,
I snorted a cloud of smoke

The innocent will be condemned
like a shack
built on sand
that’s fossilized from the rafters down
petrified; a rough grey shell, 
mother of pearl inside.

Goldie by Wendy Lou Lou Schmidt

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Madison McSweeney is a Canadian author and poet with an interest in the macabre and fantastic. She has published horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories in outlets such as American GothicCabinet of Curiosities, Rhythm & Bones Lit, and Zombie Punks F*ck Off. She also blogs about music and genre fiction at www.madisonmcsweeney.com and tweets (mostly about heavy metal and horror movies) from @MMcSw13. She lives in Ottawa with her family and her cat.



Wendy Lou Lou Schmidt has been writing short stories, essays and poetry for the last twelve years.  She is also a mixed media artist. Written pieces have been published in Chicago Literati, City Lake Poets, Literary Hatchet, Moon Magazine and Rebelle Society to name a few. Art pieces have been published in Rat’s Ass Review, Three Drops From A Cauldron, The Horror Zine, Young Ravens Review and Still Point Gallery. 

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