Spring Winds | McKenzie Richardson

Winter recedes its frosty tendrils

under the blanket of Zephyrus’ gentle breath

which warms the world under the springtime sun

carrying birdsong on each exhale

to fill the silence that melted with the snow.

 

As the west winds wind and whisper

they whisk away the memories of the chill

knocking on the earthen mounds

to wake the seeds from their winter slumber

in preparation for new growth.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her stories have been published in anthologies from Eerie River Publishing, Black Hare Press, and Iron Faerie Publishing.

When not writing, she can usually be found in her book hoard, reading or just looking at her shelves longingly.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: www.craft-cycle.com

Emerald Afternoons | McKenzie Richardson

Cassie picks another daisy, weaving it into the ever-lengthening chain. As her fingers fiddle with the flowers, she admires the fresh greenery around her. All at once, she notices a face in the leaves, emerald skin nearly imperceptible against the lush landscape.

Sensing detection, the face smiles; one finger slips through the foliage to hover before pursed lips. In the blink of an eye, it is gone.

Rushing to the place it had been, Cassie finds only a trail of morels. She dons the largest mushroom with her daisy-chain, delighting in the secret of sighting a Fae bringing about spring.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her stories have been published in anthologies from Eerie River Publishing, Black Hare Press, and Iron Faerie Publishing.

When not writing, she can usually be found in her book hoard, reading or just looking at her shelves longingly.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: www.craft-cycle.com

Little Plum Trees Dancing | McKenzie Richardson

Snow speckled the mountaintop, but here and there sprout signs of growth. In the glow of the moonlight, the plum trees bloomed, their petals the palest of pinks.

Rafu-Sen stood among the blossoms; her face fierce as she prepared for the coming of spring. Many equate flowers with delicateness, but there is a resilience one so lovely must possess if there’s any hope of survival in a world so cold.

White gown rustling in the fragrant breeze, Rafu-Sen set out down the mountain.

The plum blossom does not fear the cold, it blooms despite the snow. For spring always comes.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Most recently, her stories have been published in anthologies from Eerie River Publishing, Black Hare Press, and Iron Faerie Publishing.

When not writing, she can usually be found in her book hoard, reading or just looking at her shelves longingly.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: www.craft-cycle.com

The Horse that Draws the Night | McKenzie Richardson

Bearing the rider of shadows, bring blackness beyond measure,

muscles straining with the effort of your nightly endeavor

frosted mane dancing against darkening sky

 

like moon beans, its curls and waves tuck us in tight

snowy strands protecting against winter’s harsh bite.

 

Ride on through blackness, prepare the world for sleep

hooves crack against stars as foam falls at your feet

dew descends upon earth, freezing in these chilling months

 

bring on the darkness, my Hrímfaxi, your work is nearly done

and when the night is over, Skinfaxi will bring the sun.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Recently, her work has been featuring in various anthologies through Black Hare Press, Iron Faerie Publishing, Dragon Soul Press, and Eerie River Publishing. She has also published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

Winter Stars Shine Brighter | McKenzie Richardson

They’ll tell you of earth’s rotation, the proximity of stars. As if science has all the answers.

But I know.

Scales gleaming with pearly light, the ivory dragon bedecks the sky, its body made of starlight. Frost spreads beneath each breath, dancing designs onto every surface with the fresh, clear scent of its ancient soul.

If you look into the whites of its eyes, you’ll see the beginning of time, an age long before science. Believe what you will about why the stars shine more brightly in the winter months.

But I’ve seen the dragon. I’ve looked into its eyes.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Recently, her work has been featuring in various anthologies through Black Hare Press, Iron Faerie Publishing, Dragon Soul Press, and Eerie River Publishing. She has also published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

Selected by the editor as a featured submission, July 2021

The Knock Beneath the Ice | McKenzie Richardson

Mama forbids me from coming out this far on the ice; says it’s dangerous. But I’ve never fallen in.

The sky is darkening when I hear the tapping.

Knock, knock, knock.

I furrow my brows, trying to pinpoint its source.

Knock, knock, knock.

Laying on my stomach, I look through the translucent ice like a window to the ocean.

Eyes stare back, mere slits in a ghastly white face, black tendrils of hair like a deathly halo. The creature reaches out webbed fingers, baring a needle-pointed smile.

I run all the way home, never speaking of the Qallupilluit I’ve seen.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Recently, her work has been featuring in various anthologies through Black Hare Press, Iron Faerie Publishing, Dragon Soul Press, and Eerie River Publishing. She has also published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

The Fortunate | McKenzie Richardson

Felix waved to the painter as he ducked beneath the ladder that stood over his front door. The broken lace of his shoe swung as he stepped on the crack in the sidewalk. In the entryway, Felix opened his umbrella and hung it on the coatrack.

Making his way to the kitchen, he scooped up his black cat, Lucky, who came to greet him.

On the wall, sandwiched between two cracked mirrors, a calendar hung with red x’s checking off the days. Felix added a mark over Thursday, November 12th.

“Ah, tomorrow’s my birthday,” he said with a contented smile.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Recently, her work has been featuring in various anthologies through Black Hare Press, Iron Faerie Publishing, Dragon Soul Press, and Eerie River Publishing. She has also published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

Selected by the editor as a featured submission, March 2021.

Graveyard Words: A Tanka | McKenzie Richardson

Chilly autumn breeze

grave rubbings on white paper

faded words remain

speak out names long forgotten

spirits are walking tonight.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Recently, her work has been featured in various anthologies through Black Hare Press, Iron Faerie Publishing, Dragon Soul Press, and Eerie River Publishing. She has also published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

Shadow Walkers: A Tanka | McKenzie Richardson

Walking down the street

the shadows seem to follow

I do not look back

a shiver runs up my spine

and I feel breath on my neck.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Recently, her work has been featured in various anthologies through Black Hare Press, Iron Faerie Publishing, Dragon Soul Press, and Eerie River Publishing. She has also published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com

Gardening: A Haiku | McKenzie Richardson

Unfortunately,

I forgot to feed the plants.

Their bites remind me.


McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Recently, her work has been featured in various anthologies through Black Hare Press, Iron Faerie Publishing, Dragon Soul Press, and Eerie River Publishing. She has also published a middle-grade novel, Heartstrings, as well as a poetry collaboration with Casey Renee Kiser, 433 Lighted Way.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

Blog: http://www.craft-cycle.com