Editor's Note




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Archived Issues

Keith Allen Daniels, has been publishing poetry since 1972. His poems have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, SomePIG! (an "arachnoid poezine"), Weird Tales, Recursive Angel, Poets of the Fantastic, Narcopolis, Once Upon a Midnight and numerous other magazines and anthologies.

Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@indiana.edu.

All materials copyright 1996-1997 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creators.

The Houri and the Hoplites

by Keith Allen Daniels

    As curvy as the space
    around collapsars, a starlord
    of a high albedo strain,
    she is lounging with the languor
    of iguanas, she is squamous
    in her crystalline domain.

    For long and long
    she's drifted here in darkness,
    pariah for the violence of her will,
    conjecturing stochastic, strange
    encounters, and dreaming
    of another chance to kill.

    Some scales have broken loose
    and float around her, a torus
    of detritus -- a tiara
    bejewelled like the diadems
    of yore. In time invaders come

    to mine her surface, to pry
    encrusted prisms from within --
    a race of armored hoplites,
    avaricious, enamored
    of her lapidary skin.

    By slow degrees she sheds
    her wonted torpor, the interlopers
    wither in her gaze -- a gaze
    like that of some affronted Gorgon,
    a relict of the vaunted glory days.

    The hoplites cease their hopping,
    stand there frozen
    in postures nearly comic or obscene,
    like pieces in a pixilated
    chess game, a game whose only
    winner is the Queen.