Three Poems 

This week instead of one piece, we are offering a sampling of poems from the world of the Bonewastes, each by a different contributor to "Acthen Tan: Land of Dust and Bone."


Drum Beat, by Chapel Orahamm


The interval between realizing reality

And escaping it

Between foot hitting earth and leaving it

The sinking of fingers on flesh and form

The hiss of sands against the poles

The set of sun, the rise of moon

The glimmer of hope

On soft lips

The shine of desire

At the edge of eyes

Time ticks away in a spiraling nexus

Disappearing in joy

Swamping the senses in desolation

Tents waver in the breeze

Lanterns undulate

Casting flicks of light

color in jagged shards

Stars spiral around the flames

Dusk seeps into dawn

Slipping toward a fated end


Ephemeral in the morning light

Reminds the people of Achten Tan


Ode to Bone, by Darby Cupid

Strong and hard, you keep me safe,

As I sleep in your lofty shade. 

Your hollowed ivory quenches my thirst

Your sharpened edge, my blade. 

Your structure is my essence,

My body and my home. 

You journey with me, near and far,

Never leaving me alone.


|)€@|) €¥£$, by mad Duryn Pravel (Dan Berison)

What are eyes, but endless liars... perceiving ephemeral ghosts of time, departed.

I descry living things, approaching the inevitable demise of time.

What are these bones, but hollow caged homes.

A framework gilded from extinct beasts.

I touch such death, dealt many years ago...

What is the desert, but savage heat and dust, lamenting activity expired long ago.

I feel the executioner, burning those who dwell...

What are the ribs, but still-rotting flesh,

baked for pleasure by us macabre beasts.

I taste the death, consuming its despair.

What is the almighty God-tree, but a treacherous promise of life. For every day the deadly carousel chooses its victims.

I know the future. Doom rides toward us. 

Resist the beckoning. Escape the reckoning.

For the bony finger of death will soon point at you.

Flee, Duryn. Flee. 


Chapel Orhamm - Illustrator, academic, &  author, they live in the middle of no-man's-land big sky country. They have a passion for slipstream, romance, LGBTQ novels & the odd short story. Straddling the line between grunge and sappy prose, their world can be found online at the Kavordian Library

Darby Cupid isn't sure how she ended up on the giant ant to Achten Tan, but has enjoyed the ride. You can usually find her hiding from her kids, writing YA and MG books. Find out more at darbycupid.com or find her on Twitter @darbycupid.

Dan Berison Weaver of tales, drinker of ales and dancer of rock... in any order. Betwixt my lips and fingers rests a million stories waiting to be told. Author of the Starlab Chronicles and Molly Banjo series, released 2020. Tweets as @StarlabChronic1



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