desert night sky
Photo by Mark Basarab on Unsplash

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Echo Oasis by Seth Ketchem


winding through spires & spires

of constructed carbon,

he scurries on foul feet,

stumbling on pale cartons

& the towers linger

where the powers lie

& the creature scampers

under a drowned black sky


a beast prowls through purple fields

where wisps of light crawl through cracks

of grass, glimmering like the

eyes attached to that stalking,

mystic creature of shining,

sheening earth—dirt aligning

to match the stars she bathes in.


to a barren land, she strides,

he creeps. in a sandy

waste they meet.

but a clear pool of water lies between them,

a mirage, they think, the star-soaked screen.

so they peer,

they see their reflection:

in blankness, a truth-filled projection.


Seth Ketchem is a writer, a student at Ohio State University studying Astrophysics, and an employee of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. His work has been published under the Kenwood Publishing Group and in the Young Ravens Literary Review.

Author's note

When writing more fantastical poetry, I tend to draw loose inspiration from Egyptian mythology, and "Echo Oasis" is no exception. I find the Egyptian portrayal of deities as animals or animal-headed beings oddly compelling. More specifically, I think it is puzzling that Set's head is depicted as an ambiguous animal known simply as the "Set animal". When writing "Echo Oasis", I wanted to explore this idea of ambiguous animals that are known only through context, the world around them, and how people interpret them. What makes a creature's nature? And how can one creature truly be different from another?