Fantasy magazine

From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

The Mermaids of Magonia

I saw them once—
sky sisters, swimming,
curly-hooked surf
collapsing, a squall.
Clouds parted in waves
around the prow of a frigate ship,
flag raised, cannons
primed with water wasps.

I was prepared,
a witch in training,
knowledge knotted,
the first spell undone—
a mackerel sky,
mare’s tails flaring
in a corona,
Calypso’s crown,
a promise of rain.

The second chant
calls cover, rough seas,
favored by pirates,
Magonian men
and their women,
the tempestarii—
weather witches
who summon the storms.

The final knot
unravels, undone
at their command.
Whales breech, spout hail.
A kracken uncurls
tentacles, grey
with rain untethered.
And then they pass,
leaving me behind.

Never again
did they come when called.
And so, I weep,
a barrage, a gale,
a tempest of tears,
run-off hoarded
in water barrels,
pastel echoes
of acid-stained dreams.

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Carina Bissett

Carina Bissett

Carina Bissett is a writer and poet working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. Her work has been published in multiple journals and anthologies including Upon a Twice Time, Bitter Distillations: An Anthology of Poisonous Tales, and Arterial Bloom. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Sundress Publications Best of the Net and can be found in the HWA Poetry Showcase and NonBinary Review. She is also the co-editor of the award-winning anthology Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas. Links to her work can be found at