black leather boots kick
fine soil down from a cliff-side perch –

disperses into an ill-coloured cloud,
the way my brain feels.

i draw your attention to
the deadly nightshade berries,

ripe with summer. shades of
affection and oxygenated blood.

they call it devil’s herb, a relative
of tobacco and wolfberry.

i call it a pretty thing
on an ugly day.


sydney mcneill is a 23-year-old poet from edmonton, canada.  she lives in the small moments that slip through everyone’s fingertips all the time.  she likes to promote inclusive art at and to scatter her writing around the internet (some of which can be found at

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.