giftmas_350x350

Night of Promises

giftmas_rectangle

All month long I’m going to be hosting the posts of other people as part of my 2015 Giftmas Blog Tour. All the guest bloggers are welcome to write about anything they’d like so long as their post touched on a December holiday in some way, no matter how tangentially. The blog tour extends beyond my blog as well, and I will do my best to link to each external post from the here and share them on social media using the hashtag #GiftmasTour.

But wait! There’s more!

We’re also giving away a whole whack of prizes (check out the list here) which you can enter to win using the Rafflecoper code below. Whatever December holiday you celebrate (or don’t) winning a stack of books will make it better!

Night of Promises

by Fred Warren

Beneath soul-crushing darkness, a chill, silent shroud blankets the earth
We are alone, shivering, hungry, stalked by ravening despair among the barren trees
We glance upward and notice the stars, distant gems scattered across the inky abyss
One stands out, brighter than the rest—there, in the east!
And we remember an ancient promise that night will have its end

We hasten to fill our dwelling with brave little motes of light
Candles and lamps, shouting against the darkness, tiny echoes of the celestial vision
They flicker and dance, shimmer and shine
We feel a bit braver now, watching them
And we remember an ancient promise that winter’s death-grip will not endure

We wrestle a gnarled oaken burl from our meager woodpile and set it ablaze
Warmth overflows the hearth, searing cheeks, thawing fingers, toasting toes
Huddling around the fire, absorbing the heat of its growling, spitting defiance
We wonder why we ever feared the cold
And we remember an ancient promise that the frozen earth will live again

We raid the cellars, larders, and pantries for a feast–we will not stint!
Aromas fill the air, sweet and savory, cinnamon and nutmeg, sage and rosemary
They enfold us as we eat, drink, and laugh in fellowship generous and loud
We banish hunger from our midst this night
And, once more, we remember an ancient promise that we will not be abandoned

We gather close together–family, friends, and the wanderers among us
Sharing gifts of love, gaily wrapped, freely given, gratefully received
See here! Look at this! Thank you! How wonderful!
We feel our loneliness overwhelmed, melting away; we share a song of joy
And we wonder at promises made and promises kept

Afterward, tired and happy, we drift off into sleep
Caressed by candlelight’s soft glow, safe and warm, comforted, wrapped in love
Yes, on this night, of all nights, we will not despair
For we are here, all of us, together
And we remember

Fred Warren writes science fiction and fantasy, with over thirty published works of short fiction. His first novel, The Muse, debuted in November 2009 from Splashdown Books, followed by a collection of his short stories, Odd Little Miracles, in July 2011, and The Seer, a sequel to The Muse, in October 2011. He works as a military contractor in eastern Kansas, where he lives with his wife and three children. He’s probably shoveling snow by starlight right now. You can find him online at http://frederation.wordpress.com.
————————–

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Ruminate #32 These Vampires Don't Sparkle

Published: Vampiric Fluff

These Vampires Don't SparkleMy poem, Vampiric Fluff, has been reprinted in this anthology edited by Carol Hightshoe, These Vampires Don’t Sparkle.

I’ve previously described the poem as my ‘flufftastic iambic tetrameter vampire poem’ and really, I think I picked that description because I love saying iambic tetrameter because it makes me sound all clever and pretentious. This poem? Pretty much the least pretentious poem evar. Possibly as indicated by the title 😉

ds13

Dwarf Star Nomination: Beneath

ds13My poem, Beneath, is going to be included in the 2014 Dwarf Stars anthology. That means it is eligible for a Dwarf Star award!!1!

Let’s be honest here, my odds of placing in the top three are pretty freaking slim (I’ve seen the anthology, there is some amazing work in there), but dudes — my poem is included! I’m over the moon 🙂

The last time my work was nominated for an award or any sort of special recognition was five years ago when my poem Lovers was nominated for a Rhysling award. So it’s been a while.

This? This makes me happy.

(That cover is for last year’s Dwarf Star anthology. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share this year’s cover yet so… )

 

The Stray Branch

Published: What Won’t Wait

The Stray BranchMy poem, What Won’t Wait, is included in the current issue of The Stray Branch. Some of their stories and poems from this issue are available on their website for free. Mine is not among them LoL but they may give you an idea of whether or not you’d like to purchase the full issue.

It seems appropriate that this poem be published now. I wrote it as a part of a poem-a-month challenge, just like the one I’ll be starting on April 1st 😉

Wildfire

I’m working pretty hard on the edits for Fae today, but I find that my productivity stays highest if I take little breaks in between to do other stuff. It keeps my mind sharp (ish LOL) and keeps the words from beginning to blur into one another.

One of the things I did today as a break from edits was to go through all the active* pieces I have and decide which ones were due to be trunked. The following poem is one of the condemned, but I like it well enough that I decided to share it here before moving it into the /Retired/Trunked folder. Sadly(happily?) I don’t have a schmexy photo to go with it.

Wildfire

Charred skeleton
reaches blackened limbs,
cutting lines, like lightning
through the slate sky.
From trunk to twig,
flashes of scarlet and orange
pierce and flicker,
marauding across its surface
as ashes drift,
and mingle with dirty snowflakes
which sizzle and snap
then vanish into nothingness.

*stories and poems I’m attempting to find a publisher for

apple

Eve

So I wrote this poem a while back. The bad news is that it’s about as subtle as a cast iron frying pan to the face, which makes it a wee bit tricky to place in a publication. The good news is I still like it, so I’m going to share it here instead of trying to sell it somewhere.

Because I can. :-p

Eve

Eve was the first feminist
biting into that apple
not because of a serpent’s whispers
but as a giant fuck you to
the man trying
to hold her down

Yup, subtle as a frying pan to the face… but I like it 😉

Disturbed03Cover600

Published: The Choice

My poem, “The Choice”, was published in this month’s issue of Disturbed Digest. Bonus points? My name made it on the cover. I love it when my name makes it on the cover 🙂

“The Choice” is a short little zombie poem that I am quite fond of, and I am totally blown away by the company its keeping. I mean, do you see those other names on that cover?

You can pick up a copy of this issue by clicking on the cover image (which will take you to the store).

 

Published: Potty Party Girl

Gold Dust MagazineMy bizarre little poem Potty Party Girl is now available in the latest issue of Gold Dust Magazine. I’d never in a million years imagined I would get Potty Party Girl published before I stumbled across this magazine, but when I did I couldn’t resist submitting it. I suspected the fit might be perfect. It turns out the editors agreed with me.

If you click on the cover image over there it will take you to a page where you can download this magazine in several different formats, or read it online for free. If you read my poem I would very much like to know what you thought 😉

Sale: Hereditary Delusions

Every Day Poets LogoGreat news!

My poem Hereditary Delusions, which I wrote after being inspired by a NaNoLJers prompt from Beth Cato, has been accepted for publication by Every Day Poets. I will definitely update again once I know its publication date and one of the great things about EDP is that you can always read it for free.

One of the most amazing things about this poem’s acceptance is the timeline, I have to say. I submitted it yesterday and received a response today. EDP is always a quick responder, but that is pretty amaze-tastic. I must now submit something else there to find out of this is a new trend or an aberration. I’ll let you know 😉

ETA: I don’t actually have a poem appropriate to submit to EDP today. I’ll have to write something. So I’ll get back to you about the response rate thing whenever that happens. Regardless of how that turns out — I’m a happy camper today 🙂

Published: Hold This Camel

Tombstone - Photograph by Rhonda ParrishMy poem, “Hold This Camel” has been published in Volume 1, Issue 3 of The Germ.

Hold this Camel came to be when I was looking at a poetry prompt from the April poem a day challenge which said to make the title of the poem ‘Hold that ____’ and the first word that popped into my head to fill in the blank, was camel. Not ‘thought’ or anything which made sort of obvious sense right away, but ‘Hold that camel’. I really, really, really wanted to write that poem. And I did. I had to change the that in the title to a this, but I pulled it off and I’m pretty pleased with that.

Issue 3 went on sale recently and puts me in some pretty good company with other writers, poets and artists. I can’t wait for my contributor copies to arrive 🙂