Crow Black and Cardinal Red Kindra M. Austin & Matthew Eayre

Of explosive mourning is born the night
rising low in my rib cage
Obsidian heart cooling in its crate,
cold enough to freeze the devils in
hell
Usurp the king’s wings, crow black and cruel,
This is my coronation day

Raucous laughter celebrates the coming dawn
falling gently upon my brow
Scarlet song issuing from opened chest,
warm enough to thaw glaciers under oceans
Wrest away throne of bone, cardinal red and salacious,
This is my exaltation

I’ve got worms in my veins,
fertilizing melancholy
Holy blood boils
over
bone and sinew
See what love has left me

Rows of nightshade
line my grave as I burrow
homeward
guarding from paradise
my hands dig for solitude

All gone suddenly,
swallowed by big nothing,
they’re buried within the
layers of my skin—
the women I’d adored
like red soaked wool itching my soul,
maddened

My attention brings pain, my adoration
sorrowful suffering
the pieces of my life
wrapped in coddling clothes and
funeral shrouds, held in hands
too strong to let go

© Kindra M. Austin/Matthew Eayre

(image by diagonite on Newgrounds.com)


Kindra M. Austin is an indie author (her books can be found here, a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. A Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan, she likes craft beer, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.

Matthew D Eayre is recently planted in Houston, Texas and hoping to grow roots. A lifelong lover of words and language, he writes every chance he gets when not delivering smiles or spending time with his loving wife and family. Matthew has only one rule in life and in writing; it has to be real. He writes from personal experience about life, love and loss. He bridges the light spectrum from darkness to light, hoping that somewhere out there he reaches those who need to be reached. You can find more of his brilliant work on his site,  Uneven Streets Studiosand his Facebook page Poetry of Monsters

Coming Soon from Sudden Denouement Publishing- Pantheon by Eric Syrdal

“I won’t spoil the brilliant conclusion of this novel, suffice to say, if it is your desire to read something astoundingly original, from a writer who is not only a truly breathtaking author, deft with supernatural words and ideas, but a dreamer of worlds, who will blow any preconceived notions you have away and leave you shell shocked by the sheer power of his mind, then I cannot recommend Eric Syrdal and his novel Pantheon more highly. “I built this beach / and the stars / and the moon …. I turn back the wheels of heaven / and make time stop and rewind / over and over ….. Because I don’t know how to tell him / A machine had a wish.”

Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock

Penance- Kindra M. Austin and Sarah Doughty

I said I’d be your wings,
so you hired a flat-felled seamstress
who
topstitched me to your back.

Save me, you say
when jumping off bridges.

And this is my penance,
or hoping you would thrive —
not take risks with your life.

But yet, there you are,
jumping with blind faith
that I will keep you from
landing at Death’s door.
Literally.

I’m sorry, I say
when I realize I have failed you.
Stanzas 1&2 © Kindra M. Austin

Stanzas 3-5 © Sarah Doughty


Kindra M. Austin is an indie author (her books can be found here, a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. A Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan, she likes craft beer, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.

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.

 

Weaving Manannan’s Mists- Allie Nelson & Jonathan O’Farrell

That secret language
can the speaking
no less writing of it
be upon us this day.
For we may set sail
for that furthest shore
the star that is by us
relative of myth and Manannan.

But first the stillness
that’s in it must you peer
and lips imbibe
his brew of mists weaved.
Seer hazel guarded source
will find you soonest
with heron and salmon,
brethren by sisteren.

All that you need
in the setting sail
of that intent
a blessing, trianaid.
Upon you the finding will be
a task, a guide, the words
writ legend as Oisin, Niamh
eternal releasing your mythic death.

As Sinann flows with the salmon of wisdom,
so too does Manannan ride the waves of wanderlust
searching farthest shores for sweet succour at
swan maiden’s breast and selkies’ moonlit whispers. There is a gate at the Isle of Avalonian apples Manannan makes a cider of immortality and ushers on souls on a dapple steed Nuada Silverhand guards the gates of gold under waters thick and cold as the Morrigan’s heart this magic is breathtaking and breaking, the
Trickster Lord of the Waters, Manannan Mac Lir
is tempest usurpant, enchanter disguised by starlight
and they say if you cry seven tears into the high tide
and whisper the secrets of your heart, Manannan will
appear under his mistress moon, take his driftwood staff
and knight you and lift you up to be tithe to peace.
Ride him into the afterlife, on shoulders sun leather,
Breathe in the salt of sweat and ages on Atlantic
dive deep and pluck pearl hearts, and know, Manannan’s
stride is ten league boots, and you are walking on the
shore into the faraway place where dusk light kisses
a smoky sea horizon, and all is calm swells in his hall
so eat Arthurian apples, sweet as roses, and remember
it twas Mananan that found you and brought you home!

Image by Jonathan O’Farrell


Allie is a rather bubbly blonde that currently attends grad school for science communication, has a rather useless degree in biology, and works in the environmental field. She can usually be found hugging trees, eating green curry with tofu, or exploring the wilds of D.C.. Allie is an avid poet, aspiring author, meme queen, speculative fiction enthusiast, and alien centaur aficionado. She also has about 600 lipsticks.

You can find her at Dances With Tricksters

Jonathan O’Farrell: “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.”

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, with writing, photography, healing garden project updates and travel journals:

https://misterkaki-writer.substack.com

When Speaking to a Unicorn- Kindra M. Austin and Stephen Fuller

Once upon a time,
I asked a unicorn to dance
Seemed lonely in the field
Eating rainbow spelt 
And candied corn

A whisper snuck into my ear, 
A wistful breeze
Had been searching 
Ever since the sun
Began to shine, 

A rogue child

Have courage child, 
Walk up to her
Don’t ask about the horn, 
Not yet, she knows you know, 
She wants to be seen a part 

The sweet beast, bastardized by
Fictions fashioned by man,
Is sensitive to ill-hearted hearts;
No discernment is greater than that of
Unicorn

Approach with trueness, and no
Regard for self;
Be a leaf carried on the breeze,
Or a ray of sunlight breaking through the
Oak trees

Speak to her with kaleidoscopic words

Run up the hill
Osculate me
Yearning to
Glow like a 
Beacon
Inviting my
Valiance

She sees you
Like light in night
She hears you
A song for the sea
She becomes
Something that flies
And you, boy, you 
See truth ray-written
On a single leaf

Western zephyr you must trust
As she does
Spread confident wings,
Iridescent ‘neath the drowsing eyes of Helios
Rise up with the Luna Moth and greet Sister Selene

Once upon a time,
I asked a unicorn to dance
Seemed lonely in the field
Eating rainbow spelt 
And candied corn

© Kindra M. Austin/Stephen Fuller


Kindra M. Austin is an indie author (her books can be found here, a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. A Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan, she likes craft beer, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.

Stephen Fuller:

“I am a writer.

Those words always feel foreign.

Yet, since one week after my 15th birthday, I have had this compulsion to write poetry, mostly. Rilke told his young poet friend to look inside and decide if you must write, and if you must, write.

I must.

Not sure I know how not to.”

You can read more of Steve’s writing at Pointed Home

Bubble Gum Under the Table-David Lohrey

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How many canes can one observe without finally exploding?

He walks with a cane and smells like a mouse.

He has food caked on his sleeves.

There are stains on his cuffs. He smells of urine and old socks.

His wife attacks him; she berates him.

The old man will die of emphysema.

My mother promised to leave. “Why would you go to his funeral?”

She didn’t want a priest or a minister, she wanted show girls and fireworks.

She wanted to humiliate him. She ended up disgracing herself.

She’s glad he’s dead. Glad he’s gone. “Hallelujah.”

 

He begs not be resuscitated, but she forgets.

He wants to die in peace, why not?

She is asked but is silent. The paramedics smash out his teeth

and jam a pipe down his throat. He lives for days.

He keeps a lock on the door of the den. He runs in there to hide.

She’d slap him in the face. She’d kick him. She’s a drunk.

She gulps a few glasses of white wine and wants to tell her tale.

It’s a story of abandonment, an empty nest. “Get out!”

She refuses to get his meds. She tells him to get them himself.

He can’t walk. He can’t drive. She is too busy: “I have a life, too!”

 

He is deaf but she accuses him of faking.

It is true that when we talk about money, his hearing comes back.

Suddenly, his hearing is perfect. When I mention money,

he understands the figures.

He smiles when he gets a bargain. Money talks.

When she complains, the batteries stop.

He can’t make them work. He turns them off.

He’s grown tired of listening.

Sixty-one years. That voice. The rage. The badgering. The nagging.

She wants him to wipe the shit off the toilet: “You clean it!”

 

Unhappiness is intolerable.

When does it turn to hate?

Why does it turn to hate?

 

She drinks white wine from a tumbler.

She calls her cousin in Kingston

and says she hopes he’ll soon die.

He is 67 but looks 80.

She wants some love before she dies.

She wants some male attention.

“I thought we were going out for dinner. I’ve been waiting.”

“You’re drunk. I can’t go out with you now.”

She can barely stand and stinks. She’s been drinking all day.

Booze makes her hate. It brings out the rage, the loathing.

 

She is ready to die to make a statement.

Oh, it boils over, like a chemical reaction: quick lime and water.

She overflows with self–hatred. It is volcanic.

My arrival sets the fuse. The hatred can’t be contained.

She belongs to the IRA. She is ready to die for a cause.

He sits on the floor in front of the heater giving instructions,

making judgements.

The body goes. He is cold.

When she says she has a friend who has offered to go down on her,

I take my cue. It is time. Where is the exit?


David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and he is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. His latest book, The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide, is available on Amazon.com. He is also the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing.