Jeannie Marschall

close up of man and woman touching the grass

Jeannie Marschall (she/her/any) is a teacher from the green centre of Germany who also writes stories, time permitting. She enjoys long walks with her dog and cat, foraging, and tending her semi-sentient vegetable garden while inventing tall tales with her partner. Jeannie mostly writes colourful SFF stories as well as the occasional poem. She has a few short pieces lined up for publication this and next year, for example with Black Spot Books, The Banshee Journal, and QueerWelten magazine. Longer works are in the pipeline. Find her on Twitter: @JunkerMarschall or Mastodon:

Living Riposte

trigger warnings: racism/ableism, exclusion/persecution
mentions of violence (in aggression and self-defence)

They claimed that our way had run its course
that our old, outdated, out perform a few spells between roses
would not be enough to save us from ruin
And in truth we knew nothing at all of all these hard
metals alive with the colourful lightning of
more than enough of each one who came born sleek and tough
doing more than, more than their share while we bore them
nothing but air, a few flowers, and verdant green mass.

And really, we’d really have lived with just
being a side-line, a not-very-useful addition to visions, just there but
Out-dated ran quickly away to un-wanted with scorn turned to
greed for what little we needed we ended up blindingly cast
out into a world become hostile, that hurt with a thought
because light came a-hurting and hunting it down so
of course it, wood, it would stalk around towns –
I was stunned when it greeted me, meted out nothing but care.

I slumber; the ground I have found feels my presence more kindly than augured
The glow that I carry is slow but familiar to They Who But Teem but
It seems I can hear someone slinking along, searching
weakness, a long rod of lightning in hand
And I stand, knowing cornered by instinct and
hated for nothing but breathing; I stand
All and not all alone on the low rotten grown
And I out-weigh out-last out-reach even thunder as I
Grab for just one tongue of green on the ground
Pouring in not the violent jagged and gleaming but my
Liquid and supple and dreaming and show what they
mean when in days long forgotten they called it a

hedge witch

Packaged, purified, pristine
white-as-sweet-snow crystals
have somehow lost their glamour,
and now the tooth-baring shine seems shabby.
I weigh a two-pound pack in my palm
and it says
Look here, how we boiled down life and sterilized it,
taking the richness, exiling flavour
kicking it out in favour of
see eleven, aitch twenty-two, oh eleven,
aggressively cheap white uni-dirt for sale.

Ah, but,
I want to be as decadent as any sensing soul was meant to be.
Let me honour instead the labour of sunshine and love,
roots, leaves, worms, fungi and a cloud full of water
that is a plum, a pear, a peach
a pawpaw pulled plump from the leaves,
and crisp, pebbled pods full of peas.
Let me praise the growth and the growers, let me
bite through abundance, gushing over my gums,
delightful, and sweet-tart, and real,
more so when they are wild and hard and
still-warm from the garden
in tangy-sour deformed perfection;
and maybe there’s bruises, a blemish, a brown spot
where a bug bit in, delighted, just as I did.
I do not mind:
In a world that’s selling us diminished for divine
give me rich brown coarse uneven mellow
full-mouthed raw cane sugar any time.