The forest fell from the sky – Jonathan O’Farrell

(Melo – phoenix days)

My foot strides again, over even regular municipal cobbles.
Oh that we had time for civic pride, dear Melo.

Catching up my mind’s eye,
breath-taking,
aghast, imagination fails
and;

The non accommodating cafe chairs now suffice;
for although reclining cats
by the ‘Castelo’ passage
still pose,
the grid and a currency of electrons became useless that night
of the furnace wind.
Not that they needed mobile telecoms the felines, just Bombeiros.
The cats needed mobility, too close to the fire, fur!

It strikes me hard, the light, the dark
and many shades convergent.
Not so subliminal, charcoal.
You can have it back now, your town
‘any colour,
so long as it’s black’,
or, ashen grey at a pinch!
Torches, hairbrushes, a table, art, tool handles, wind up radios, pencils.
All, or most, Incendiary food,
need I say more?

Another cuddle with a scruffy friend some consolation,
as we navigate now primeval carbonised slopes.
Ruefully I survey a spot with forested mountainsides,
between night barking dogs
and intimacy.
Charred, jet black giesta stubs adorn the place,
where I might have called it forest home.
That arson night the accelerant intoxicated forest,
rained incandescent offerings,
on the innocent in their nightclothes.
The firestorm proclaimed, ‘Trajectory Lottery’;
have a tidy roof over your head? – Not any more!

And still we my gentle watchers and I
are knowing of quiet celestial bodies
and fiery characters, all in time and rotation.
Good people, not perfect, but good, struggle.

The remote prospect of novel non-religious house front tiling,
seems to recede, just a little,
In the sooty face of trauma.
No space in the stable this season.
Actually, no stable.
Give me a hammer with a shaft in situ, nails.
Oh, and yes, timber, again.
Then stable.

Auto-estrada,
autopista,
autoroute,
Autobahn, this time
compass pivots north-east,
but, will swing back, again.


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.

As rich a creative experience the current life is, exploring Portugal, France, Spain and later Ireland, by this time next year I hope to have ‘settled’ into a ‘tiny house” or similar, with sufficient land nearby. The vision, to create an abundant garden, a garden for lost souls, lost and separated loved ones, under the sun. A meeting place, with coffee, inspiring books, poetry and healing, however it may arise.

You can find more of my photography and poetry on Patreon

Critical Mass – Nathan McCool

There used to be a lake here but
it too is just drained now.  I may have once
been a ghost of water
able to enter and exit places without recognition,
able to touch a mouth and not leave a
taste or a mark – just
the sensation that something has been there
to calm a need.
Some days now I’m more just the spirit
of fire.
A ghost of smoke
A ghost of echoes
A ghost of ghosts
And I could truly be of the same amount
of use. My grass is overgrown.
Hasn’t been cut in weeks and I just
don’t give a damn. All my guitar strings are dead.
My Social Distortion vinyl skips on all my
favorite parts
because that’s where I’ve accidentally placed myself
again.
My fingers pressing in involuntary, pushed
by the weight of all I’ve done and failed to do.
I’m so full of everything. I’ve taken in so much
of what the world has to give, and I’ve
tried to take back so much of what life has
stolen. But sometimes I still can’t feel it.

There used to be a lake here but
it too is just drained now. I break in
in the middle of the night and step right
into its tomb.
This crater overflows with me
and I think maybe nothing and no one
will ever be able to hold all that I am now.

Madness-Sarah Doughty/Heartstring Eulogies

I’m more than ordinary madness. I’m not a temporary fix, but I am your devil in disguise. That desire setting you to burn like liquid fire flowing through your veins. Let me make you my paper and write all night with ink on my tongue, inciting those flames to grow. Then you’ll never want anything else.


Sarah Doughty is the wordsmith behind her website, Heartstring Eulogies, author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed Earthen Witch universe, a collection of novels and novellas, all offered for free (https://thesarahdoughty.wordpress.com/useful-links/). To learn more about Sarah and her books, check out her website (http://thesarahdoughty.wordpress.com/about) and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13753138.Sarah_Doughty).

The Attic-Rana Kelly/2nd star to the Left, straight on ’til morning

I give until I’m gone.

open my rib cage

scrape my heart

onto your plate

where it goes cold

and then I remain

an empty hope chest

in the dusty corners of

attics

with kindling made of

broken rocking chairs

and cracked porcelain

dolls

Judy dress forms

Full of pins

And yellowed walls.

Weaved in among the

wood

In a neighborhood

of condemned houses,

waiting to be burned.


[Rana Kelly was born and raised in the Deep South, and now resides in the Southwest.  Her poetry, personal essays, short fiction, and photography has been published in anthologies and literary magazines far and wide over the years, from Caesura to featherproof press, FM to Ceremony Collected. Her first novel, Until Her Darkness Goes, was published in 2015.She’s currently writing her second novel under a pseudonym.]

I Have to Turn My Head

https://www.facebook.com/bookeofkells

The Weyward Sisters: Hand in Hand – A Collaboration from the Women of Sudden Denouement

Stand, a nighean.
Call the moon.
Bring your Wolves
With you.
Let down the flames of your hair.
The Great War
Has come again.
 – Rana Kelly

In the end there will be fire and ash
But to us it will be like the Fourth of July
What could be more powerful than women
Standing together in solidarity
We’re taking a page out of Lilith’s book
The one you never read
We will not lie on the bottom
We will stand side by side.
Hannah Wagner

skål,
Thrills the Viking Whisper ice –
splinters of the north wind
Of the high noon blood of sister-raiders slain
The shield-maidens dine
Tonight, too.
Samantha Lucero

It is well within the fires
of burning words
and stolen wombs, ravaged,
we have birthed a beast.
Swaddled in the souls
of her mothers of fire
and maidens of ice,
she has been touched
with the wisdom of crones blazing,
and she will cast
her shadow upon the ashes
of their bones.
Nicole Lyons

hail the harlot
and crown the courtesan,
for she has seen seduction’s beast
and let it swallow her.
let her tread its veins like footpaths
and sleep upon its heart.
Lois E. Linkens 

We stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters
Warrior women all
We draw down the moon and hold her as our shield
Our pens will be our swords
We will no longer be silenced
Hear the chorus of our voices
We shall ROAR!
Christine Ray


Nighean is Scottish Gaelic for “lass.”

Lilith is considered to be Adams first wife who would not lie beneath him in bed. She wanted to be his equal.

Shield maidens were Vikings who fought alongside the men in battle.

Weyward Sisters are a reference from the witches in Macbeth.