Issue #7

Cover Design by Sirenia Maciel

“Let’s ride this journey together as writers, poets and muses.”

—Avijeet Das


Letter from the Editor

I was raised Catholic. It’s an interesting thing to grow up with such a firm faith in a higher power. I didn’t even begin to question the existence of God until I was nineteen years old. It was after something traumatic had happened in my life, and I wondered what kind of God would let this happen? And over the years I’ve asked myself that question many times, I find myself asking it now, in the midst of the struggles we’re all facing during this global pandemic. But also throughout those years of wondering if the faith I was brought up to believe in was ‘true’ or ‘correct’ I studied other faiths, other gods; be it Lilith, Isis, or Hera—Greek, Egyptian, Celtic, Nordic, Roman etc. most of us seem to want something to believe in. To hope there is some sort of power out there, greater than ourselves, that is helping keep the world together.

This issue focuses all on the ideas, notions, and questions that go into believing in Gods and Goddesses; be they from old stories, ancient texts, or completely modern iterations of our creators’ own design—the photography, artwork, poetry, and short stories collected in this Spring Issue dive deep into the dark, beautiful, horrifying, and mesmerizing worlds of being and forces more powerful than any of us mere mortals will ever hope to know.

So whether you believe in the Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Islamic idea of God, one of the many Pagan pantheons of God, a spiritual higher power, aren’t sure what you believe in, or don’t believe in deities at all, I hope the art in this issue will inspire you to believe in yourself, and believe in the resilience of humanity. Please don’t lose hope, it’s the only thing more powerful than fear. Thank you, elephants. Stay strong.

Molly Likovich (she/her)
Lead Editor


The Elephant Ladder adopted an elephant! To learn more about Sukari from The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee check out her page: https://theelephantladder.wordpress.com/sukari/


Check out The Elephant Ladder merch shop!

https://teespring.com/stores/the-elephant-ladder


The Bard Book Club

The Bard Book Club is run by BookTubers Bridget (bBooks) & Molly (magicalmolly), each month they read a different Shakespeare play and watch an accompanying adaptation. But not only that, they also host a LIVE read-thru of the play of the month over on Bridget’s channel! If you’d like to be a part of their next live read-thru, you can message them on twitter or instagram @bard_book

April’s Play: Twelfth Night or What You Will
April’s Adaptation: Twelfth Night (1996 film)

IMPORTANT APRIL DATES:
April 14th @9pm EST: Live Read-Thr
April 24th @8pm EST: Movie Night Watch-A-Long
May 1st @8pm EST: Live show discussion


Featured Poet

In honor of April being National Poetry Month in the United States, we wanted to take the time to feature a poet who we think deserves a spotlight shown on them and the marvelous work they create. After much deliberation, we decided to award the first ever, Elephant Ladder Poetry Month Featured Poet Award to MiMi Zannino (Rosemarie Law).

MiMi Zannino in “Time-Travel with Emily Dickinson” for the Maryland Humanities’ Chautauqua Living History performance at Montgomery College
photo credit: Alan J. Cutler 

photo credit Leo Heppner

MiMi Zannino (Rosemarie Law) has been creating poetry since she could read and write, and made gifts of them for family and friends. As a poet-in-residence through the Maryland State Arts Council since 1989, she has guided over 10,000 children and teens to their poet-within by teaching them to read, write, recite and publish their original poems in anthologies, on posters in buses and trains, and in competitions.

Over the past 10 years, she has been breathing life into the one-woman historical portrayal, “Time-Travel with Emily Dickinson” which she researched, wrote and has performed over 55 times.

In 2019, she researched and wrote her newest living history, “Time-Travel with Virginia Hall: America’s Greatest Espionage Agent of World War II”, which she has been performing in venues from Washington DC to Florida.

She also shares 100 years of American songs through her program: “Music and Memories with Ukulele Rosemarie”.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Towson University, her poems, articles and essays appear in newspapers, magazines, anthologies and books as well as on recordings and internet publications. She has taught creative writing, literature, ESL and Sociology in Maryland colleges, and memoir writing in senior communities statewide.


Q & A with MiMi

1. What is a misconception you think people have about being a poet?
That it is impossible to support oneself as a working poet. I supported myself for years as a teaching-artist, poet-in-the-schools, poet-in-residence in hospitals and other settings, and as a poetry writing instructor. During those years I had a small press. First, Garlic Press, then Memory Lane Press through which I sold my books for children and adults. My sources of income and inspiration also included teaching chronically and terminally ill children, and students who were suspended for behavioral issues through the Home and Hospital schools program. I also taught English to speakers of other languages (ESL), English composition, literature, and Sociology at four Maryland colleges and through private and public programs. Most of my poet friends have similarly created a collage of income-producing jobs from across the work spectrum in addition to their purely poetic pursuits.

2. How did you get started performing as Emily Dickinson?
I began to love poetry from the time I could read and discovered her in anthologies. I was seriously introduced to Emily Dickinson while studying English and world literature as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins. I struggled with the meaning of her poems. Soon after, as a poet-in-the-schools, among the dozens of poets I employed as models for my workshops with children, I included Dickinson’s nature poems… Fast forward 20 years— I wake up with the notion that I should metamorphose into the 19th century American poet. Early on in my research of her personal letters to men and women it dawned on me that she possessed more layers of interpersonal intrigue than a Smith Island cake. I felt compelled to slice into those layers and share the hidden richness with others by writing a monologue that wove a tapestry of her poems, letters and biographical facts that were not known to the general public.

3. What is your favorite poem by Emily Dickinson?
Every time I read or re-read a batch of her poems I find a new favorite. If I had to choose I’d say: The Poets light but Lamps (930)

The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate 
If vital Light
Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens
Disseminates their
Circumference —

4. If you could speak to Emily right now, what would you say to her?
Your honesty, courage and piercing insights, as expressed through your body of poetry, has given people heart in tough times and elevated human consciousness globally.

5. Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring poets?
Take a page out of Dickinson’s life: write for yourself first. Then, share with a few trusted people. Be open to feedback from those whose experience you have a good reason to consider. Follow your gut instincts. Read aloud as you edit. Recite over the phone to friends, you’ll hear something, or they will hear something that affirms the poem or lets you know where some confusion warrants a bit more clarity. Give your poems as gifts. Remember that you are never alone when your Muse is with you; so feed her chocolate or raisins or whatever she likes.


Poetry by Rosemarie (MiMi Zannino) Law




To book a performance or workshop, call 443-528-6464 or email MiMiZLaw@gmail.com

WEBSITES
Emilydickinsonlive.com 
mimizannino.com
GardenPartyMusic.com
https://www.poetryxhunger.com/maryland-poets/category/rosemarie-law


“God is a woman.”

-Ariana Grande


Goddess, a small word with such powerful meaning; representing beauty, fertility, lust, love, rage, passion, peace, talent and everything that is right and wrong with the world. It might sound like mythology, but to me, Goddess is the word that represents all the powerful, strong and beautiful women all around the world. Magically to me, came this idea, that this picture was my own representation of the exquisite mix of dark and light, love and lust, passion and peace—using myself as my own canvas. 


Carmen Cabrera (she/her) is a photographer, cosplayer, and writer of legends and horror. She is an advocate for sex positivity, and believes in women embracing their sexuality. Follow her on instagram @carmencaberera.pe


“Because God didn’t write the Bible. Men did, probably uneducated ones.”

-And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard



Austin Webberly (he/him) is studying to be a high school English teacher. He is on staff at his university’s literary and fine arts journal, as well as part of the university’s creative writing group. He has appeared in both The Hidden History of Little Red Riding Hood, as well as The Hidden History of Edgar Allan Poe.


“No one was my master, but I might be master of everything if I wished. If I dared.”

-A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas


The Lady’s Blessing

by Michelle Doering

Nothing was ever as sweet as the lips of someone you weren’t supposed to be kissing. Emily wasn’t particularly proud of this motto, but she did, unfortunately, live by it. It was for this precise reason that she found herself crouched in a stranger’s closet as he laid sprawled out on the rumpled bed sheets while calmly asking his girlfriend about her day.

She hadn’t even wanted to have sex with him. Not really. It had started with mild curiosity and an interest in his dimples and lopsided smile. Then he was returning her glances and buying her drinks and whispering things into her ear that made her pulse surge. Later, he’d loaded her up in his obnoxious hybrid and taken her back to his place. Emily had surveyed the house through neutral eyes, willfully ignoring the heels stacked by the front door and the lacy black bra draped over the headboard; a choice that she was now deeply regretting. 

Her calves ached and her nose itched, but she didn’t dare move a muscle. All she could do was watch the dysfunctional couple through the vertical slits in the closet door. Dylan or Darrel, or whatever the fuck his name was, was now perched on the edge of the mattress, complaining about the rough shift he’d had at the factory. He was laying it on thicker than Emily’s foundation in high school. 

“I’m telling you, Lucy,” he said with a sigh. “That place is gonna put me in an early grave.”

Lucy walked over to him and placed a kiss on his temple.

“You poor thing,” she cooed. “Hopefully tomorrow will be better.” 

Emily rolled her eyes. No matter what Lucy’s deal was, this man clearly didn’t deserve her. She thought about opening the door and making the whole relationship come crashing down right then and there, but her pride wouldn’t allow it. She didn’t want to be judged by a beautiful blonde stranger and have her end up seeing her as nothing more than a cheap homewrecker. Granted, it was probably a fair assessment right now, but that didn’t make it any easier to hear. Also, she had to keep reminding herself that she didn’t know these people. It was possible that the man would sooner try to pass her off as a burglar than admit to his complicity in this. And so, she stayed quiet, tucked away between an odd mix of winter coats and sequined dresses until the not-so-happy couple retreated downstairs. 

As soon as they were gone, Emily let out a shaky breath and sunk down to her knees with a soft thump. She closed her eyes and counted backward from one hundred. Then she started plotting her escape. First she would readjust her hastily-placed bra so that the wire was no longer stabbing her in the armpit. Then she would crawl out of the closet. Then she would look out the window and determine whether it was possible to climb out of it without hurtling to her death or alerting Lucy to her presence. If that wasn’t an option, she’d try to sneak downstairs. It was risky, but it beat being trapped in a closet all night. 

Tenuous plan in place, Emily opened her eyes. It took a moment to readjust to the darkness, but once she did she found that there was another set of bloodshot eyes less than a foot away from her. Naturally, Emily did the rational thing and screamed bloody freaking murder until the door slid open and she saw that it was just Lucy. Though incredibly relieved that the eyes had belonged to Lucy and not a demon, it still took Emily several minutes to calm her racing heart. During that time Lucy said nothing, just surveyed her with a bland, neutral expression. 

“Um. Hi,” Emily said once she could manage it. “I can totally explain.”

Lucy gave her another onceover and then her posture relaxed.

“That won’t be necessary,” she said. “Come with me please.” 

Not really knowing what else to do, Emily complied. She was still a bit buzzed, but the fright had sobered her up enough that she thought to keep one hand tucked in her jacket pocket along with her phone and pepper spray. 

Lucy led Emily downstairs to the living room where there were two heaping plates of pasta laid out on the coffee table. Lucy offered Emily one and asked her to sit. Emily sat gingerly on the edge of the pristine white couch, but did not touch the food. She was starting to get an eerie feeling in the pit of her stomach, but she also felt like she owed this girl something. She’d already been caught. At this point, the least she could do was sit down and let Lucy say whatever it was she wanted to say. Only, she didn’t really seem interested in saying anything. She was just calmly eating her pasta and acting as though nothing was wrong.

When Lucy finished her meal she wiped the corner of her mouth with her shirtsleeve and asked, “Did you have fun with Daniel?”

Emily’s face went red. 

“I’m so sorry. He didn’t tell me he had a girlfriend.” 

Lucy gave an absent wave of her hand. 

“Don’t worry about it. I don’t care about that. I just want to know if he was good or not.”

Her stare was intense, but there was no malice in it. She looked genuinely curious. Emily squirmed under her unwavering gaze. 

“Um, yeah. He was good I guess.” 

Lucy smiled and gave a satisfied nod. 

“I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks so.” 

Emily was thoroughly confused by this reaction, so much so that she stood and cast her eyes toward the locked front door. Lucy placed her fingertips over the skin of Emily’s wrist and gently urged her back down. For reasons she couldn’t quite explain, Emily didn’t resist. 

“Have you ever heard of Lady Lakwa?” Lucy asked suddenly.

She hadn’t, but the moment the name left Lucy’s lips, Emily felt a tug deep down in her chest. The name felt alluring, sexy, and dangerous. All three of her favorite things. Emily sucked her bottom lip between her teeth and shook her head.

“She’s a goddess that my people used to worship back in the ancient times.”

Emily was almost frightened to ask, but as usual, her curiosity won out. 

“Goddess of what?” she asked.

Lucy smiled, showing all of her teeth. 

“Sex and death.” 

Emily swallowed. 

“Those two things don’t really seem to go together.”. 

“There’s actually a story behind it,” Lucy told her. “She started out as the goddess of love and beauty, but her sexual desire was so strong that she was desperate to find a husband as quickly as she could. That husband ended up being Rivan, the god of the underworld. The only problem was that Rivan was not allowed to leave his domain. In order to be married, Lakwa would have to come to him. It wasn’t that simple though, because there had to be exactly one living being with Godly blood roaming about the underworld at any given time. Rivan knew this, and as soon as Lakwa stepped through the portal, he was released of his burden and Lakwa was now trapped there; likely forever since all of the gods know better than to visit the underworld.”

“That’s terrible,” Emily said. What made the story even more terrible was that Lucy seemed to believe every single word. 

“Yes,” she agreed. “But over time the Lady adapted and became a very powerful goddess in her own right. It was then that she began doing young girls favors in exchange for the souls of overtly sexual men.”

Emily swallowed. Suddenly she could tell where all of this was going and she desperately wanted to jump ship before it got there.

“Where’s Daniel?” she asked carefully.

“Don’t tell me you haven’t felt her,” Lucy said, dodging the question. “I can sense her spirit all over you. You wouldn’t still be here if that weren’t the case.”

Emily’s heart was racing faster than it had in her entire life. She wanted to deny it, but deep down in her bones she knew that Lucy was right. The voice that spoke to her at night, the one that kept her dancing after last call and bedding any willing man or woman who crossed her path, that was Lady Lakwa. It made sense in a way that everything else in her life rarely did.

“Where’s Daniel?” she asked again, throat dry. 

Lucy stood and offered a prim, manicured hand. 

“Come on. I’ll show you.”

Daniel was tied to a kitchen chair in the basement of his own home, completely naked and covered in carved, geometric shapes. His eyes widened and followed Emily as she descended the stairs and entered the room. As she watched, his expression cycled between pleading and demanding and back again. Emily stared for a good long while, but for some sick, demented reason, she couldn’t find it in herself to feel sorry for him. In that moment, he wasn’t Daniel, the man she’d been perched on top of mere hours ago. He was every man who had ever wronged her. Every man who had looked at her and seen nothing but warm flesh. Every man who had said something degrading or thought he knew better or wouldn’t let her get a word in edgewise. 

Lucy came to stand beside her and placed a small, sharp dagger into her hands. There was a soft whispering in her head. A voice that didn’t speak in any words that she could understand, but she knew what it wanted her to do nonetheless. She felt primal, hungry, and angrier than she had ever been. 

With shaking fingers Emily brought the dagger up to Daniel’s squirming throat and pressed down. Then, with very little pressure at all, his blood was spilling out onto the floor. Lucy ran over to catch it in an ornate silver bowl. As soon as the blood struck metal the room started shaking, and it did not stop until the vessel was filled to the top. Lucy and Emily locked eyes over the intoxicating pool of scarlet. Then, as one, they bent their heads and began to drink.

It didn’t take long for the goddess’s blessing to take hold. Almost instantly she could feel her skin healing and hair glowing; her features naturally softening into the best version of themselves. She felt like she was being lit from the inside. Like she could take on anything life could possibly throw at her. She looked over at Lucy and for a moment she could see her as she’d been back in ancient times, her chest bare and her skin darkened from dirt and constant exposure to the sun. These sacrifices had kept her beautiful and young for Gods knew how long. Emily could only assume that it would now be the same for her. The thought made her laugh uncontrollably, and in doing so she rose several feet off the ground. When she looked down she saw that Daniel’s body was gone, never to be seen again. 


Michelle Doering, AKA Michelle D. Ring (she/her) is a freelance writer from Phoenix, Arizona. When not cataloging disturbing thoughts, she can often be found admiring pretty girls and haunting her local library. Visit michelledoering.com to learn more. 


“You are the one you’ve been waiting for.

-Frozen II


Walking in the Air- A gateway to Olympus by Morgan Meenely

Morgan Meneely (she/her) is an artist, photographer, and part-time dungeon master currently residing in Phoenix, Arizona. She can often be found dreaming about magical worlds and stories left untold. You can keep up to date with her colorful adventures on Instagram @sleep_deprived_art or buy her prints at https://www.etsy.com/shop/SleepDeprivedArt


“I have also mistaken pyre for sunlight.”

-Rhiannon McGavin



Bridget Barnsley (she/her) is an avid book reader and fiction writer from Connecticut who has loved the stories of gods and goddesses since she read Percy Jackson in third grade. She is currently in her Sophomore year of college where she is double majoring in Creative Writing and Film. She wrote, directed, acted, and edited the Harry Potter web series Ravenclaw Rules. She loves superheroes, comedy, and expressing her opinions. She is an active member of the BookTube community on her channel bBooks.


Women and femininity. Morning and evening. Maids heard the goblins cry.”

-The Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti


Pomegranates by Irene Marchesini

“Forever is an awfully long time.”

-Peter Pan



Irene Marchesini (she/her) is a full time daydreamer from a small town in Italy. She can often be found lost in some fictional world, planning a trip to the cinema, with her nose in a book or her hands full of paint.


“To the world we dream about and the one we live in now.”

-Hadestown


Whispers from Olympus by Katy Likovich

Katy Likovich (she/her) is a public school teacher in Los Angeles, California where she lives with her dog, Dragon, and her cat, Ollie. She has healthy obsessions with both Harry Potter and My Favorite Murder. Some of her other works can be found in multiple early 2000s issues of Echoes and Visions as well as Wordstock Magazine ’09. She is also the cohost of the comedy literature podcast Classic Faultlines.


“We do not play on graves—because there is no room.”

-Emily Dickinson



Fiona Murphy McCormack (she/her) is from Northern Ireland. She has a BA in English with Creative Writing from Glyndwr University, and an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University.
Her work has been featured in Electric Reads, Germ Magazine, Fearlessly Magazine, Crossways Literary Review, Santa Fe Quarterly, Every Day Fiction, Litro NY, Route 7 Review, Persephone’s Daughters, Crossing the Tees Anthology, East Jasmine Review and on the Anti-Languaist Project Podcast.


“Going to the mountains is going home.”

-John Muir


The Messenger by Katy Likovich

“Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?”

-Beethoven


A Goddess’ Worth

by Maisie Dickson

Her temples were not the most beautiful in the world, but they did their service. Her statue was unusual; they highlighted her long flowing hair, beaded skirt, her thin staff that doubled as her walking stick and most of all her facial features, calm, understanding and loving as she reaches for you with her outstretched hand. 

I’m a historian and time and time again my research sways into the realms of fairy tales, myths and storytellers. I didn’t know a goddess like her existed but why shouldn’t she have? It seems highly unfair that the people she was in charge of—the forgotten, the broken and disregarded—should have to pray to God that doesn’t understand their plight. 

This is the origin story of the Goddess of the Forgotten, and how they loved her. 

When she was born, her legs were tangled. They eventually disentangled but her left leg always remained weaker and would try to tangle again. She grew up walking with a noticeable limp, which she usually worked around. In this way the other gods sneered at her, gods and goddesses were supposed to present themselves as ethereal and prefect, how dare she not care about her appearance? 

As she grew up, she noticed her affinity for the night-time, her leg would become stronger, the cool, calming air would relax her and give her strength, she started to notice her powers awakening at night. It started with moving small clusters of stars until she was able to paint using the sky and stars as her canvas and the mortal realm sung in appreciation. 

As her powers settled and she kept shifting the stars, the stars etched themselves to her skin and hair turned the colour of the moon. To aid her in her nighty duties and to manage her pain, she crafted a dark wooden staff, that ended just before her shoulder to assist her through the night-time, often decorated with bluebells and forget me knots. 

We have no idea when they started making the miniature statues and altars. We know that offerings and prayers mainly involved making a copy of her staff and burning it, then the  prayer was spoken and we believe that her followers believed that their prayers etched themselves into her staff and she read the staff in between moving the stars. 

There are a couple of accounts that recall the first whispers of her powers and her deeds as a goddess of the disabled. 

There was often voices that echoed through the night sky, some were songs of joy and celebrations, others were cries of pain and sorrow that rung through the skies, but the most overwhelming were the prayers. 

She didn’t know whether the mortals prayed at night because the stars and the moon were otherworldly, or the stillness provided a sense of comfort that allowed people to pray more often than during the noisy daytime.  

Prayers ranged from simple requests for more rain, for crops to grow and to people to return home beck safely. She often wonders how the other gods handled their prayers. Since she was a minor goddess of the stars and the fact the gods took no interest in her other than to mock and belittle her, she resolved to not meddle in the affairs of the other gods. 

That was until she started to hear the prayers asking for miracles, to give them strength and to save their loved ones who were born like her. Shouldn’t the candlemaker answer their prayers as well? Soon enough as she twirled the stars a prayer rung through the skies clear as day. 

“Please, I beseech any deities who hear me, help me heal my son. I beg of you, please” 

The voice sounded so broken and defeated. That was sound she recognised from her own voice, grabbing her makeshift cloak and wrapping it around her shoulders, she resolved to answer a prayer. 

Speaking the enchantment that make the goddesses appear in the mortal realm she took a deep breath. 

Ψ

Esme had no idea what deity would appear if any would appear at all, so she waited kneeling by her baby boy’s crib, his legs still entangled. Her wife was sleeping in their bedroom and the husband they shared was away at battlefield, said to return soon. 

As she looked towards the small window she noticed a trail of blue smoke that swirled around, eventually the smoke transformed into a woman, she was much taller than Esme, her skin made of the galaxies and stars and her hair the colour of the moon, her long black beaded skirt and her matching top. her staff was long and decorated with bluebells and forget me knots.  

“Your prayers have been answered, young one” the goddess said, her voice soft and inviting. 

Esme slightly trembling from the presence of the otherworldly figure, gestured the crib where her beautiful son slept unaware, she watched as the goddess scanned her cool grey eyes over her sons’ sleeping form. 

“Can you fix him? I’m, afraid that if he doesn’t untangle his legs that my husband will make me leave him in the forests to die.” 

The goddess’s grey eyes softened at bit, Esme still trembling, watched with concern as the goddess’s right hand raised above her sons legs as wisps of  dark blue smoke and small flickering light orbs, floated and swirled around and went into her son legs, they didn’t untangled but he relaxed  his tiny body a bit more. 

“Your son illness will remain, for its connected to his thread of life. However, I’ve made it so he will not experience much pain and it won’t be as noticeable.” 

Esme felt tears drip down from her eyes and sighed in relief, her son wouldn’t suffer as much. He would be okay! He would live! The heavy weight she had been feeling had lifted off her shoulders she felt her body sink into the floor. 

“Thank you, my goddess, I couldn’t, I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t have left him to-” her voiced nearly cracked as her sobs escaped her eyes. 

Esme felt the goddess’ clumsily sit beside her, and her hand felt cool on her skin. 

Esme would later recall that in the early hours of the morning that the goddess granted her son, Lorcan her protection and blessed him before leaving the way she appeared in a fog of blue smoke and orbs. 

Ψ

We have different accounts that after this miracle that Esme and her family told the story to others around the villages and that’s when the other’s started to pray to her. She would hear them and attend their wishes, giving hope to those who lost it long ago.  

The first alter was made on the anniversary of her first visit to Esme’s house.  It was made of stone and had many candles, wreaths of blue bells and forget me knots and copies of wooden staff were made and written on. They were lit and the embers drifting in the balmy night, many watched as the stars swirled and moved in the sky, a sign that she was watching over them. 

It has been discussed about whether the goddess attended herself, as every bit of evidence says that she came when the prayers called for her, that she treated those who prayed with the respect and kindness that was never shown to her by the other gods, so why shouldn’t see have attended a party in her honour? 

There are few stories that say she sneaked into the celebrations and watched them unnoticed, other theories say that she watched from the clouds and let them celebrate on their own. 

The more evidence of her existence becomes known the more I find fascinating about her. Her imagery was the night, the dark and the stars, cold, mysterious and magical, she was a minor goddess, assigned to move the stars and tend to her garden, yet she was a symbol to those who are different, who are out casts and looked down upon. She treated others with kindness that was not shown to her, she tended to prayers with great importance and always gave as much as she could. 

She didn’t care that she had issues with her body and she worked around them; she presented herself as she was, not as others thought she should be.

Researching her story, I found that people who fear the dark and the unknown can be blind to the beautiful and amazing things that reside in the darkness. 

Her name has been lost to sands of time. Some say she never had a name to begin with, or that because her existence has been lost to the world for centuries that she never truly existed and that’s why she has no name. 

I however have taken it upon myself to give her name that means ‘night’ and ‘dark beauty’ 

Layla


Maisie Dickson (she/her) is a demisexual content creator and storyteller who lives in
regional Australia & when not reading, writing or illustrating you can find her escaping into a book with tea in hand. You can follow her adventures on Twitter: @maisie_dickson and
Instagram: @maisie_dicksonsws


“A hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength but by the strength of his heart.”

-Disney’s Hercules



Nori Rose Hubert (she/her) is a poet, short story author, essayist, blogger and author of the forthcoming novel The Dreaming Hour. Her work has appeared in The Rio Review, Feminine InquiryMusings of a #LonelyFeministHothouse, and online in Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, Corvid Queen, and Coffee Table Coven. Her poetry was featured at the 2015 Art as Activism showcase hosted by the Gender & Sexuality Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and she previously served as an Assistant Editor at Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. A lifelong Texan, she currently divides her time between Austin and Dallas. When not writing, she enjoys baking with flowers, collecting tattoos, cross stitching and hexing the patriarchy. Connect with Nori on Twitter & Instagram @norirosewrites or on her personal blog.


“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

-The Tempest by William Shakespeare



Alannah Taylor is a London-based writer. At the moment, her work focuses on emotion and sensation, often coming back to thinking about water and the sea. She likes dogs, chocolate and wine. 


“Being a hero doesn’t mean you’re invincible, it just means you’re brave enough to stand up and do what’s needed.”

-Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan


The Summing- Sometimes when you call out to the void, it calls back by Morgan Meenely

“Although they are only breath, words which I command are immortal.”

-Sappho


Emily by Sirenia Maciel

The Elephant Ladder would like to thank everyone who made this issue possible:

  • Patron of the Arts, Susan Marie Doyle for always making the dreams of our staff and our contributors possible.
  • Our Graphic Artist, Sirenia Maciel for creating stunning artwork for our cover and our new merchandise.
  • All you wonderful elephants! Thank you for always supporting us and our dream of giving artists of all walks of life a platform and a voice!

Follow The Elephant Ladder on twitter @LadderElepant and on Instagram @theelephantladder. If you’d like to help fund the next issue of The Elephant Ladder, please consider donating to our ko-fi page at: http://www.ko-fi.com/theelephantladder Lastly, if you’re interested in running an ad in the next issue of The Elephant Ladder, email our Founder, Molly Likovich, at theelephantladder@gmail.com


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