Black Petals Issue #94 Winter, 2021

The Sphinx at Night
BP Artists and Illustrators
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary-Chris Friend
Basement Dweller-Fiction by Justin Swartz
The Beating of Their Wings-Fiction by Brian Maycock
Does the Bogeyman Live Downstairs?-Fiction by Clive Owen Barry
Dark Little Boxes-Fiction by C. M. Barnes
Death by Midnight-Fiction by Charlie Cancel
Forearmed-Fiction by Jan Cronos
Inconceivable-Fiction by Rich Rose
The Wolf's Den-Fiction by J. B. Polk
Treachery-Fiction by Ramon F. Irizarri
Tumour Wakes Up-Fiction by Alexis Gkantiragas
The Opal Ring-Fiction by Michael Dority
Flora and Fauna-Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Gnaw-Flash Fiction by Tony Kidd
Mad Money-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Madonna of the Damned-Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Special Teeth-Flash Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
The Death Set-4 Poems by Hillary Lyon
Five Haiku-Poems by C. D. Marcum
Misanthrope-Poem by Donna Dallas
The Wish Tree-3 poems by Christopher Hivner
Nebulous-3 poems by Juan Manuel Perez
The Sphinx at Night-5 Poems by Meg Smith
Nameless-Poem by David Barber

The Sphinx at Night


Meg Smith


Giza, March 2006


I fell, a sprinkling of gold leaves,

and I know myself now.

I walked about the walls of my city.

It was good to laugh beneath

the strings of lights, and green towers,

amid prayers, and blue clouds.

Every street opened to me, like veins

of ripe plums, and I breathed in

the taste, and sighed.

I walk toward you, still,

filled with something whole,

until the sky fades to amber,

and only my dream of fire,

fever, knowing, wakes

in the desert tide.



Amphibious Mundi


Meg Smith



Someone has to count them,

their pearls of egg mass,

shimmering, and not yet knowing,

as they return to a pool

now marked by a rusting pillar.

Someone has to reach them,

a finger to their fingers,

as the sun slashes across

the tide of noon,

sweeping all silvery drops.

Soon, they take space,

in low music,

and fill us, as with stones.

But they will remain, counted,

as the green of their heaven

fills with rain.



A Family Constellation


Meg Smith



I released them both the same way --

no flash-flood, no starburst --

the quiet of dim rooms, in poetry I summoned

within the dark space.

Now, their light fuses

within its own furnace.

And, I, atoms and dust,

wrote life large in my belly;

now, birth runs, undone.

I wrote you from every book,

and wore my sorrows

in a gold ring.

The cosmos falls backward;

the cave opens itself once more.



Sing, Summer Demon


Meg Smith



I'm dancing in blue flames.

The ferns and vines gather,

weaving and snaking the shade.

We must all build,

like a moss gate, a circle of stones.

Only then we will keep

the roof of the sky from shattering,

from crying out in the midst of our song.



Straw Maidens


Meg Smith



We stand, broom to broom,

our shadows drawn long.

The air crackles. The wind sighs,

and the torch falls. The flame tears,

like a ragged hem, and no cry goes up. Remember us,

all we have given.

You stand strong, and eat, and dream

in our fortress of ash.


Meg Smith is a writer, journalist, dancer and events producer living in Lowell, Mass.

In addition to previously appearing in Black Petals, her poetry has appeared in The Cafe Review, Pudding, Poetry Bay, The Horror Zine, Bewildering Stories, Strange Horizons, Dreams & Nightmares, The Dwarf Stars anthology of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, and many more.

She is the author of five poetry books, and her first collection of short fiction, The Plague Confessor, is due out in fall 2020. She welcomes visits to

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