Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

Though the Moon Be Still as Bright

My brief, stark story, Though the Moon Be Still as Bright, is the lead in the latest issue of Cabinet des Fées, Erzebet Yellowboy’s labor of skill and love. Better yet, immediately following it is Christine Lucas’ On Marble Threshing Floors, a story of the Byzantine Amazon Maximó whom I mentioned in my essay about the Akritiká folksongs.

Erzebet discusses these connections in her introductory editorial to the issue. And wonderfully perceptive reviews have appeared for my essays and poetry in Stone Telling.

From Jessica Wick, co-editor of Goblin Fruit, in her review of Stone Telling 1:

“By far and away my favourite nonfiction piece was “A (Mail)coat of Many Colors: The Songs of the Byzantine Border Guards.” I can’t even pretend detachment. It was just cool. Athena Andreadis places the area’s folk-songs into regional context, history context, into context (again!) against similar Western traditions, and she ties the whole thing into the transformative (and preservative) nature of borderlands. My imagination — and my interest — are both certainly captive, and just as I reached the end of the article and was thinking, Man, I’d really like to hear some of this sung aloud, what should the article provide but some audio of Nikos Ksilouris singing a Cretan rendition of the Death of Diyenis. And, man, let me say again: Cool.

From SF/F critic Sam “Eithin” in his review of Stone Telling 2:

This poem calls up strong echoes of classical Greek hero tales, with its bitter, proud, bronze-voiced evocations of flame, ruin, and exile, but the issue’s focus on women and the ties between women makes it a particularly interesting read. It’s an away poem, looking back but resolutely orienting itself forward; remembering, but never regretting a choice.”

Even though I’m a feral loner, I’m not immune to the motivating power of recognition. Which brings me to my last piece of news: Two poems of mine were accepted in Bull Spec. They will appear in their summer and fall issue. Perhaps Rose Lemberg, the editor of Stone Telling, was right when she told me, “The wilderness is populated by nomads who happen to greatly enjoy your clanging cymbal.” Although I must put away my shaman’s drum for a while — grant deadlines are looming.

Images: 1st, Before the Desolation, by Heather D. Oliver — a portrayal that echoes in Though the Moon…. 2nd, small wooden ship, the Cyclades, Hellas.

6 Responses to “Though the Moon Be Still as Bright”

  1. Asakiyume says:

    I love this little wooden boat.

    –I left you a comment at the CdF website, but I wanted to add that I liked the phrase “for a while all was honeyed almonds.”

  2. Athena says:

    I’m happy you liked it! Two kernels of the story are the mercilessly beautiful Cycladic islands and the half-smiles of the Kouroi and Kores statues. Seagazing was a custom in my country — but of course women did the waiting. I wanted to reverse this, and place it in a time when women’s roles were neither narrow nor obvious.

  3. Caliban says:

    Beautifully told story, lovely reversal of stereotyped roles.

  4. Athena says:

    Thank you! I tried to make it as limpid as the water in Aegean coves. This is the universe of Shard Songs which you also glimpsed in Dry Rivers.

  5. intrigued_scribe says:

    Absolutely beautiful story, again, and its timeless shades of a tale passed down through the ages remain just as vivid.

  6. Athena says:

    Thank you, dear Heather! Down the ages indeed — as your beautiful drawing shows, a story that echoes in that universe.