2 poems by David Hay in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Below, Beneath, Blue, Deep, Dive, Diver

Voices in the Dark

How inconsequential are my human words?
                          It is the worms you should have cared for,
They guard your bones with their spineless might.
                    In the morning there was a word, 
                           Whose tone tasted full-sorrow.
There is the maggot, 
   Each crunched leg spells my despair 
    And the crow laughs in the heart
                                                   Of unholy ecstasy.
What are syllables to the speechless black? 
                     The language shaping tongue moves with a liquid grace
                  But human ears are too used to the deafening strokes of violence 
              And we, the abandoned majority, know the monotony of our grief
                        From womb to sepulchre like our first erection, 
Do you know glory like a withered rose?
                    Are the eyeless dogs still panting into their eternal night?
                    The pale breath knows only the stabbings of loneliness,
                 And the Impenetrable night inside my laugh hides life.
        The abandoned churches shall fall
 And the dust of man will fill my children’s lungs
  Until their stories shall not outlast one wolf’s howl.
           Cut the single cord of violence 
Cease and extend the rhythms of the rigid kiss,
   Poetry weaves between bodies dark light,
It breaks against the wordless despair of a silence
            That sets fire to houses.
I caught my 19 year old hand and laughed at the voiceless night
Worshiping the syllables of my living language,
I drank each perfumed sliver of evening;
And on the brink of loneliness
In a mausoleum full of eyes
I went further inside, 
           To know another human heart
               To create autumn with a single utterance 
To reverberate through the cut vein of darkness.
A crow dark as malice cries of the weathered grief,
                     And the sea of my granddad’s once impregnable years 
                             Whispers back the black origin of words.

Beneath the Waves

Beneath the ocean 
Submerged in a cathedral of sorrows,
A boy silent as eternity
Kneels beside pews coated in seaweed.
He prays, transfixed by the candles
Burning through the salt blackness
Delirious he dreams of redemption.

Encircled by moss coated skulls
Of fathers’ past
Observing hollowly his fragile frame
Kneeling at the base of his future years – 
Shadowed by the limits of candlelight.

Ten years old and his skin
Already feels uncomfortable,
As if it is slowly not becoming his,
‘If I killed someone I’d go to prison.’

The Devil open eyed,
Porcupine clawed
Holds him firmly by the shoulder.
Frost covers his flesh
‘God keep my soul safe.’
He mutters,
Before the bitter silence reigns
And the dark light pours
Through the stained glass
Illuminating nothing,
Not even the boy
Knelt in solitary prayer,
Hearing voices rising in the dark.

David Hay is an English Teacher in the Northwest of England. He has written poetry and prose since the age of 18 when he discovered Virginia Woolf’s The Waves and the poetry of John
Keats. These and other artists encouraged him to seek his own poetic voice. He has currently been accepted for publication in Dreich, Abridged, Acumen, The Honest Ulsterman, The Dawntreader, Versification, The Babel Tower Notice Board, The Stone of Madness Press, The Fortnightly Review, Nine Muses Poetry, Green Ink Poetry, Dodging the Rain, The Morning Star as well as The New River Press 2020 Anthology.

2 Poems from the Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 by Norb Aikin

Norb Aikin
from NorbAikin.com/blog

One After Another

The entry was never intended
on being an exit.
You wanted this
         so much;
don't cry when it's over
if you couldn't be bothered
         when it began.
Maintain yourself as a
         one-line drawing
we can see through
to not be you. See, I'm
very concerned
with the very concerned,
and I watch you on a wire
         extended
by the discontent you couldn't
wait to get sick of or from.
You can wish to your god
it'll all be over,
but you're missing the point
         that it's just begun.

Pyroglyphics

When you see the writing on the wall,
what goes through your mind?
There are words that can set you
free if you know their meaning,
or constrict you upon your feelings.
Do you ever settle down,
and take note of your surroundings
         in general?
It's an unformed habit,
uniform in its uncertainty.

To find something first you must find out
if you deserve to know what most words
         are talking about.
It's ok to say no or maybe no,
but they're telling you "I told you so!"
Do you have an answer?
Do you have an agenda that was
         planned for?
Do you?

In the war of you versus you,
who are you fighting for?
You've seen the writing on the wall,
but how many times can you burn it down?

BOOKS to Read in 2021: Mutants by Norb Aikin

Poem by Norb Aikin “No and No”

Norb Aikin is the author of Mutants and 100 (Eliezer Tristan Publishing). He is a Mental Health activist
originally from Buffalo, NY and now lives in Cortland, NY. His work has appeared in various online publications,
including Pink Plastic House and Fevers of the Mind. You can find him on Twitter at @AikinNorb

Sonnet from Kristin Garth : Submergence in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Ocean, Sea, Submerged, Underwater, Water

Submergence

Enter the ocean in only a crown 
-fronds over freckles, forgetting round. Cast
yourself in as its slickness, salt surrounds,
seeps deep in your skin - soul exalting as
submergence sets in. What drowns upon sand
will in seawater rise. Wet Eucharist
you swallow, surprised, resurrection and
vivisection of brain.   The loneliest
body, amputated its pain, descends
past depths humans explain, in children's stories
of sunken ships, mermaids, women seal-skinned.
To mundanity, born; in mystery,
end. Wet lips find gilled girls, some with a tail;
you have to go deep in your fairytale.


Sonnet notes from Kristin:
I just wrote this final Girlarium sonnet in which my main character the Gilda, the gilled girl, makes her way from the oppressive male characters who have defined her to the ocean. She feared the ocean too because it represented the unknown which is often scarier than what we do know. But now that the patriarchy has pushed her so far she knows the safest place for her is to be free. She's always had a mermaid inferiority-complex - there is a sonnet about that I published earlier and felt like she is like them but doesn't have a tale and the fairytale romantic hype. It's only when she gets into the ocean though and eventually finds gilled girls and even mermaids and finally be romantic in the way she desires that she realizes fairytales are real. For her to find this one, she had to go deep.

Bio from 2020: 
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket from the Roaring Junior Press. She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

3 Poems by Amanda McLeod from Fevers of the Mind & Avalanches in Poetry Anthologies

Ophelia, Drowned

in madness and sorrow
turn from the depths, child,
and bathe your face in sweet light
let the current be your baptism
instead of your death
emerge clean, shining
know this darkness is not forever
beyond shadow, there is always light
for one does not exist without the other
give the river your sadness
but not your soul
your beauty is needed here
your joy brings joy to others
an ending means a new beginning
but not this kind of end
there is more for you here
than what one man could take away
let another you come forth
stronger
reforged
glistening
make the water your mirror
what do you see,
when you search for yourself there?

Broken 

Broken
Brother night, take me -
Let me feel the coolness
Of your hands on my fevered skin
Sweet darkness -
Drop your midnight veil
The harsh light of the sun
Burns my eyes Sears my lungs Scalds my heart
Pour on me the countless raindrops
That become the flood
Let darkmoon silence
Hum in my ears a mute ritual
Float me womblike in
Comfortable ebony air
My lacquered bones holding
No weight
Glass splinters
Prickle my stomach
Pierce my skin
I pull them out one by one
Careful not to spill my own blood; watch
The glitter spread on towels
Mind my step
Crushed hearts are sharp when
Only stars light the way

Each shard wet with the broken promise
Of an empty vessel

For Leonard; You Freed Me

Someone else brought your words to me,
but I was mesmerized from the start.
Who was this stranger who seemed to know
all my secrets? Where had you been, 
on those endless nights I needed to feel
less alone?
Where were you when everything I wanted
to say was choking me, and the wellspring
threatened to drown the flame
that burned behind the bushel
of my heart?
No matter. A rare gift, pulled
from a shelf with a quiet hallelujah
and my life was never the same again.
The world needed beauty and dignity
and quiet strength, and so did I.
You gave me hope; showed me
the beauty in my cracks and taught me
how to love my damage.

Poems from Amanda McLeod in Fevers of the Mind Issue 1 (2019) “Inclimental Anger” “Day With Perfect Storm” “Anchor” “You Are My Sun, Except When I Am Storm”

Poem “A Song For You” by Abdulmueed Balogun in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Music, Musical, Tree, Song, Sing, Notes

A Song For You

Tonight, wither the leaves of
grief from the thistle of your
mind.

Tonight,
loosen the chain of sorrow
fettering your legs from
treading places of desire.

Tonight, shatter the
velvet of forlorn adorning
your body as eldewiss
embellish the face of gardens.

Tonight, embrace the beautiful
you, you've always been spurning
like odious things

Tonight, listen to this balmy song I compose for you,
tonight, let my melody dissolve into a tomb;
your grievances.

Bio from 2020:
Abdulmueed Balogun is a Nigerian poet and an undergraduate in the University of Ibadan. Writing poetry is a dream come true for him, and every day he strives to stretch his poetic wings. Poetry had changed his perspective of life, and to him, poetry profoundly is a blessing.

He was the runner up in the REFORM NAIJA writing contest - "FREEWILL".

His poems have been published/are forthcoming in: Headline Poetry & Press. Neurol Logical Magazine, Global Youth Review, W-Poesis and elsewhere.