i woke in good time of that cursed bell- Lois E. Linkens

i woke in good time of that cursed bell
that juts across the path of shimmered stone
and wrenches minds from warm sleep’s gentle swell. 
i woke amid the covers quite alone—
my love was gone. but ne’er to keep away,
i rest in calm assurance of this truth. 
he dozes miles north and hours too, 
for now i tumble from his palace roof
atop his hillock green. An ample hue
to paint pastoral dreams that sooth and calm,
but oh! i would i’d rest upon his arm
and let that cruel ring of loud alarm
awake us two, from easy peace or fright
and leave the tempest raging to the night.

Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.

Tempus fugit-Erich Michaels

I imagined walking across the ocean floor
The immortal lobsters and jellyfish my friends
I said, “I wish I didn’t have to breathe.”
I thought of wasted time and dreams deferred
Of taking this split life and making it whole
I said, “I wish I didn’t need to sleep.”
I thought of money wasted, as hard to swallow
Of elevating myself above base needs
I said, “I wish I didn’t need to eat.”
I thought of myself as being set free
My life as a slave to the clock departed
She said, “Stop it! Why wish for death?”
Confused, I reflected on what I had said
Of what could be gained by being free of need
No need to breathe, sleep or eat
It was at that moment I realized
Just what I had really wished for

Erich Michaels describes himself as  “just trying to share the human experience.”  He has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, but find himself writing SOPs (lather, rinse, repeat) in order to make a living, which can be detrimental to the creative process.  You can find him on the road to recovery at Erich Michaels.  Every journey begins with a single step, right?

the heart asks pleasure – samantha lucero

when you become a parent,
you become less 

a p p a r e n t.

until i disappear completely,
i can weep into the liquid face of a mirror
and speculate about who used to dwell in
my iron & carbon skull, before i was
the me that faded.

i held onto me like a movie ticket
in the back of my wallet
the one we all keep
that just becomes a tomb
like a placeholder in our hearts
for a special day we end up

i’m perfunctory now, roiling,
knocked up by rainstorms
and lightning writhing down like a noose
on his red beard, drinking snake oil

maybe the world’s a cat’s eye and i am shattered faith
my shoulders a hewn epitaph of hopes
am i lucid dreaming, i never fell asleep.
these days, i lie down in a trance
and never wake up.

[ Samantha Lucero is the phantom haunting six red seeds. ]

Dawn Chorus-S.K. Nicholas/A Journal for Damned Lovers

Down by the river on a bed of leaves, we shed our skin and touch. We are lovers high on romance. We are lovers drunk on each other’s bodies and a mixture of vodka and gin and random shots of something that has left us with tears in our eyes. With your hands above your head, you submerge them in the cold, green water that flows so slowly without a reason why. Whispering into your ear, I tell you things no one else knows, things that have been kept inside through fear, the same fear I tasted on your lips the night we first met. The newspapers tell us that we are close to war. It’s on TV, too. But then we always are, and the saddest part is that we are even at war with ourselves and will continue to be until the day we die. Looking into your eyes, I can see you’re wearing the mascara you stole from Boots. Told you not to, but what good did it do? Still, you look so beautiful, and yet… And yet there will be a day when we go our separate ways and these tender moments will be left to fade. It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, but how sad to think that there will come a time when moments such as these will be wiped from existence? Maybe it’s the booze talking, or it’s just my writer’s mind going into overdrive because of the fear brought on by the missiles North Korea are amassing. Lifting your hands from the river and playing with the curls of my hair, you ask me what I’m thinking, but I tell you none of this. Instead, I rest my head on your chest and describe the dream I had last summer where the earth was knocked off its orbit and shunted into outer space. It was a warm and bright day, and I was walking down the street of a local town by the name of Ampthill when the ground shook and the skies were sucked of all their matter. Within seconds the land was plunged into darkness, and as the air in my lungs ran dry, I turned to my right and could just about make out a young girl looking at me from the window of a library. She was waving, and as my vision dissolved, I couldn’t figure out if she was waving hello or goodbye. Raising my head, I ask you what it could mean but you give no reply. With a faint smile spread across your painted lips, you’ve silently slipped into sleep.

S. K. Nicholas is blogger at myredabyss.com and author of A Journal for Damned Lovers.  To learn more about S.K. and A Journal for Damned Lovers read Jasper Kerkau’s interview with S.K. and his review of A Journal for Damned Lovers.