One Day in the Summer – Jonathan O’Farrell

One day

 in the summer

I knew it would come.

The heat, the season,

the roses,

 all the parts thereof

and what joys,

what joys are displayed?

But when that time comes,

as surely those blooms unfurl

I ask those questions.

How do I even begin, or end this,

 to feel sufficiently

 the beautiful now, of it.

This day, it is aways othering,

 not my now.

I gave by my hands,

that were indeed loved.

An intended severance,

those acute cuts

 of kindness.

Then a parting gift,

 pressed firmly against my lips,

for a future uncaged.

Goes then, shown gathering

 also so many, seashells,

new memories,

on that sultry, salty, foreshore.

No wild breakers,

yet, there beside

many days may remain

to us, also roses.

“I guess you might describe me as a semi-nomad, at the moment . . . and in the moment, I might change. I am transitioning into a creative life, blogging, photography and, significantly, the publication of my first two photographically illustrated poetry anthologies, this year.”

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Dee- Kristiana Reed

An old friend visited tonight. They said they’d never really left. They were here to stay a while but this time I wasn’t allowed to lock them in a room and lose the key (or bury or throw it from the top window), or they would sue me; which I didn’t think you could do to someone who had forgotten how to smile and mean it, or be called beautiful and believe it. I carried their bags, all the same, up the stairs; the threat subsiding with the whistle of the kettle on the hob. The guest bed wasn’t made so I suggested they had mine. Their blue coat looked at home, carelessly thrown on my bedsheets. Yet their sullen off-centre stare suggested they were here out of obligation, not from any motivation other than to cause a nuisance and eat all of my biscuits. My attempt at conversation was feeble at best. We talked about the weather and when the TV programme ended I asked, ‘What’s next?’. They appeared to love and hate this question in equal measure.


‘What’s next?’


‘You could go to bathe and then bed. You could paint your toe nails, mess up and start again. You could hang those photos you’ve been meaning to cherish for months. You could fall in love. Finish a book, instead of starting three more. Or you could cry as if God has decreed no more rain will fall from the sky. You could think about death and whether it puts an end to loneliness and feelings of the flesh. You could make me another cup of tea and sit with me. Or you could do as you always do, lock me in a room and throw away the key.


What’s next?’


I left two tea bags to steep and fluffed the guest bed sheets. I had accepted my friend was here to stay, but they wouldn’t be sleeping with me.


Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.

Pilferer of Thorns – Iulia Halatz


There comes a day

when gaiety

and ruling stars

are not enough…

Yet I plunge into

the satisfaction of

hologram happiness.


I am slave no more

to my self-deprecation

I am slave no more

to the pilgrimage of water

and the tiny gem of a moon

witness to

all my erroneous choices…


My skin is scaly

and cold

I do not fit

this shifting sands world

I believe in landslides…


A half mermaid

and half tree goddess

can lead

a turbulent sun-ridden dominion

to the end

of want and pain.


We are prisoners

to promiscuous light

and innocent dark

enlivened by fair-featured

butterflies caught in

a smock of diffuse glint…

They loved the light

and died.


The core of the day

envisions what

lies above

the acme of temerity:






I keep it under

layers of boiling


and grope for it

with bare hands.


With burned fingers

and asbestos hearts

We receive response

from the insouciant night:

the indigo skies glimmered

with stars

and the trees and grasses


for the summer wind.


“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.

Broken- 1 Wise-Woman

Clouds smother hopeful horizon

I hear the thunder

See the lightening

Made of metal

Struck too many times

Fractured and cracked wide open

Can’t hold it together

All that’s left is

Constant rumbling in my chest

Spreading out

Stealing gravity

Reverse vacuum

Lifetime spent scrambling to

Pick up the pieces

I’m a tin can

A sham

Jagged and sharp



Nothing in the right place

Can’t make sense of

Any of this


Stumbling round

Blind and deaf

Shock me outta this state

Restart my heart



[1Wise-Woman: “I am living, fighting, and thriving with mental illness and chronic disease and a need to express myself. Writing eases some of the weight I carry.” When she isn’t yanking shadowy strands of leathery clumps of unconscious, and tenderly placing them into word documents, she is creating at A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave.]

It’s the wait that gets me- Sarah Doughty

“It’s the wait that gets me.

Like our first kiss.”

I hear it again. That tick, tick, ticking of that incessant clock. That feeling of inevitability. The one you can feel, deep into your bones, that something is coming. Like a countdown to some unknown ending. And you can feel it in the air, like just before a storm on a hot and humid summer day. It’s that electricity, the uptick in the wind that carries just a little further. The kind of breeze that will make even the strongest of trees creak as they sway to a silent song only they can hear. And if I’m lucky, it’ll come before I lose my mind. Whatever it is that’s coming. Because it’s the wait that gets me. It’s that unknowing. The gnawing ache that will eat away at me until everything hits critical mass.

Whatever happens, I’ll be ready. And I’ve learned, over time, to assume the worst. That way, it might not hurt so bad. But every once in a while, I’ll let myself hope for something better. Like when we shared our first kiss. Or the night we first made love. Those moments were well worth the anticipation. Unfortunately, I won’t know about this one, until it actually happens.

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Shipwreck – Allie Nelson

There’s the pull of the tide of Azazel, dragging me down to obsidian depths where lampreys from alien worlds suckle at the teat of Leviathan.  Your arms are the Cambrian ocean, and I am a fabled creature long extinct, many legged like a sea scorpion, scuttling to your lips to latch on with pedipalp that can breathe both in and out of water.  My progeny will leave your bosom and flee to the shore, shipwrecked on pearly sands, and weave webs to capture sparrows and dragonflies and voles.  Feasting on your salty skin, I know the great extinction is fast approaching, be it comet or climate change or ocean acidification, and your shores will dry up and your cliffs of ice at the poles will pummel me as glaciers crash against my chitinous exoskeleton.  This is just a metaphor for how we fight, me the small arachnopod navigating your waves, for you encompass worlds with your H20 and I am just a small resident in your underwater hotel room, and you are the whole of Atlantis.  They will say your treasures were buried ten leagues below when your pride became too great and you challenged the gods, but I know Jormungandr was thrown into the sea because he grew so great he could eat the nine realms, and you are ravenous – for my kisses, for my sex, for my breasts bobbing in your aquatic hands and my whole body in the mud of the Dead Sea, healing in your salt.  It is all a dream of sailors, to marry a mermaid, to pledge their troth to a nokken that fiddles desire and tricks on cold Norwegian seas where my ancestors roamed.  And so I say, Poseidon, grant me one wish.  To forever be your siren, singing humans to doom at your breast aback the undertow of your liquid love.  I will serve you well I promise, o my captain, for I am like a buoy, constantly riding out tempests with cheery red and yellow paint so my lobsterman – you – can find me and the Maine treasures below.  The ocean takes all, nutrient overflows and algal blooms and bodies rotting so only the feet float above, and it has claimed me since I was baptized in your cold New England waters.  In truth, we are the shape of water, which has no shape, but we can boil, and we can steam, and we can bubble, and we can freeze, so I say, let us be the transformation of each other and discover what this love means when the mast falls and the captain’s daughter falls for the admiral.  We can be pirates of the Milky Way, plundering nitrogen oceans for diamonds, sailing Jupiter’s storm, and all the while I will be singing sea shanties (all sea songs are composed in your honor, oh great Oceanus) and throwing prisoners off the plank.  The sea is not merciful, the sea is all-consuming, and so we feast on each other, drinking down starlit riptides.  I fill my belly with the waters of God’s Deep and then I know, I am just sand and coral and dissolved calcium carbonate, a statue sunken deep, and you cradle my wreckage so softly, so love, consume me with your gravity, and let me drown.

If I cut a word in two… Iulia Halatz

I wouldn’t have lusted

for your limbs

softened with

iron syllables.

I wouldn’t have lusted

for your shiny dark eyes

like the sea

lit by two moons…

We could wake up

to what we were…


breathing the air of

another planet…

basking in an estranged sun…

When winds

herald the evening

the stirs are in the


and the communal

place of storms.


braved a lackless sea

for naught

My kisses tell you

of another small

and drifting planet

where water

falls from the sky

and blows away

the ink of dusky clouds.

The sands tug

at my feet

and quarrel like ghosts


blindly in the whirlwinds….

There is a hole

in the world

where you stood

brazenly stealing

the burnishing silver

of two Moons.

Yet you continue

to hurtle constellations at me.

You fumbled for Orion

and you stumbled

as I inhabit

my spell-forged star

to enhance


the clear lights of greener planets.

Oh, how I miss my autumn roses!

They carry the pungent smell

of sea and decay

to your world of

liquid sands

and honey torpors.

My finitude and fragility

are yours

The heart you melted

drips down with

dews of late

that put the sands

forever in my soul.

I have a sieve

that sifts

grains from dusts.

They heat and burn

my skin

like thousand cerulean touches

that freed me

from the toils

of lingering moons.

I will love you

for a hundred years of Blue

and for the handsomest years

of Grey and sand Yellow

that will follow.


“Writing is an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I am the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not because of a polished world. Writing out of love is painless and herbivore. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’. Nevertheless, some words are so expensive that we are better left with them unspoken or write them with the ink of a Ghost…” She is a teacher, small entrepreneur and cyclist.