Issue Five

The Fairy -Tale Issue

Fall, 2021



When the days darken and turn cold, Sycorax, like all crones, likes to spin tales by the fireside—and fairy tales are her favorites. They speak in the language of dreams, stirring the deep pools of our hopes, fears, and aspirations. Come, warm yourself by Sycorax’s hearth and listen. She offers you thirteen reflections on timeless stories, an appropriately magical number. They are based on: Snow White; East of the Sun, West of the Moon; Sleeping Beauty; The Wizard of Oz (not traditional, but surely belonging well with the rest of the company); Vasilissa the Beautiful; Jorinda and Joringel; Little Red Riding Hood; Fitcher’s Bird; The Goose Girl; The Six Swans; and Cinderella. 

Though the heroines (and heroes) of these tales suffer, they also triumph. Is it any wonder that so many of the poems in this issue feature birds? Here there be ravens (Sycorax’s own bird), swans, owls, geese, grackles, and, yes, chickens; even houses share something of the nature of birds, whether they fly like Dorothy’s farmhouse or stand on chicken-legs like Baba Yaga’s hut. The poems are inhabited by wolves and witches, storms and snow, blood and betrayal—and the birds’ gifts not just of wings but also eggs, fragile but full of promise.  

Try on these poems, slippers to your dancing feet, wings for your sky-deprived shoulders. Find the single one that’s meant for you, or take them all.

Sandi Leibowitz

Table of Contents

Blood Red  – Jennifer Crow

The Second Course – David Sklar

She Needs   – Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman

The Gifts They Gave While Beauty Slept   – Maya Chhabra

Dorothy’s Poem   – Lorraine Schein

On the Care and Feeding of Your Chicken-Leg Hut – Rebecca Buchanan

The Acoustics of Dissenters   – Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman

Curiosity – Lynette Mejía

Riding Red – Anne Carly Abad

Fitcher’s Bird Sestina – Allyson Shaw

Hiding  – Mari Ness

Nettle Girl – Maria Schrater

You Don’t Know How This Ends – Lynette Mejia