Poetry Showcase from Jessica Weyer Bentley

a pop art version of Van Gogh ‘Sunflowers’

Jessica Weyer Bentley is an Author/Poet. Her first collection of poetry, Crimson Sunshine, was published in May 2020 by AlyBlue Media. She has contributed work to several publications for the Award-Winning Book Series, Grief Diaries, including Poetry and Prose, and Hit by a Drunk Driver. Jessica’s work has been anthologized in Women Speak Vol. 6 (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Summer Gallery of Shoes (Highland Park Poetry), Common Threads 2020 Edition (Ohio Poetry Association), Appalachian Witness Volume 24 (Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel) and Made and Dream (Of Rust and Glass), Jessica currently resides in Northwest Ohio.


Small tragedies stitch red pain into an intricate quilt,
pure earthen connections of man,
kisses of black serendipity,
wedding together our imminent demise,
painful true simplicity that levels even the most affluent soul,
removing the charade.
We all become dust under the plow,
a mare’s grazing clover,
rising up beneath her galloping hooves,
as she tests the iron confines of the pasture gate. 


Vincent, paint for me,
scratch the piercing cruelty.
The overlay scars in mustard and burnt umber.
The subjects shed their scrutiny.
They let you seethe in your creativity,
dying slowly,
wilting your own shadow.
They praise you now but left you for dead,
to sever your own ear and wound your heart.
You had never lived.
Your acrylics thrive in brazen blue,
the violet hue of your agony.
Oh Vincent,
if they could have used your cipher,
to decipher the wails to be heard.
The sunflower,
your shade from loneliness,
you were drowning,
yearning expelled onto the canvas.

Fox in the Henhouse

Casket of cobalt,
auburn skin pale.
Your turgid hands fold against your patrolman’s lapel.
Lying on satin with ringlets of black.
You have left me to wolves,
you can never turn back.
My little hands grasp the mahogany.
You promised to silence us with your revolving blue steel.
They were called to a domestic,
you showed her-
sapphire and sable. 
You screamed my name,
a young man’s dying last chant.
I scream for you daily inside of myself. 
My plea is reticent,
though breaking my hull.
The waters seep in,
the damage-
An anchor run foul,
lost to the deep.
My reflections are ghosts,
a little red jeep.
I am your poltergeist.
I never sleep.
My little hands grasp the mahogany.
Forever bowing now to the mahogany. 

Bio: Jessica Weyer Bentley is an Author/Poet. Her first collection of poetry, Crimson Sunshine, was published in May 2020 by AlyBlue Media. She has contributed work to several publications for the Award-Winning Book Series, Grief Diaries, including Poetry and Prose, and Hit by a Drunk Driver. Jessica’s work has been anthologized in Women Speak Vol. 6 (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Summer Gallery of Shoes (Highland Park Poetry), Common Threads 2020 Edition (Ohio Poetry Association), Appalachian Witness Volume 24 (Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel) and Made and Dream (Of Rust and Glass) 2021 and online showcases including Global Poemic and Fevers of the Mind Poetry Showcase 2022. Jessica currently resides in Northwest Ohio.

A Fevers of the Mind Poetry Showcase with HilLesha O’Nan

photo by Danica Stradecke (unsplash)
The Rose Garden

 I was the rose garden
that you left unattended.
 I still bloomed despite the weeds
Wild and free,
 I had to find my way through -
the wilderness

Every now and then, a passerby
would stop to admire my beauty.
It was the thorns that
kept others from getting too close-
even to give me water, I thirsted for.
 I suppose I don't mind wailing for the rain
as I have weathered plenty of life's storms.

The Rose Garden II

My dear,
desolated rose
You can't understand this world -
without pain,
but just know
that not everyone abandoned you.

You often let the thorns stand in your way. I tried
reaching out, but I got so tired of standing there -
hoping that you'd see your beauty.
You always said Father Time waited for no one, but I'm not
going to either. Don't let irony get the best of you.
You were always wild and free
So why are you here

in your rose garden?

lollipop Dream

It was a lollipop dream. There
were monsters in their tiny 
castles made of sand and
rattlesnakes with diamond eyes.
The paper tigers chased playfully
while the bears frolicked in the 
daisy fields. It was a lollipop 
dream. Where the sour hid behind a
        sweet facade.

The Funeral Man

No one knows his real name,
but they called him the Funeral Man.
Tall and slender,
with a dead stare, he'd appear
in dreams out of nowhere, in a hearse.
His skin was 
almost shadow-like 
Was he a shadow of his former self?
He kidnapped unsuspecting victims
and then would disappear,
as fast as he had appeared,
leaving a trail of smokey fog -
that didn't lead anywhere.
Who was this creepy -
strange dream drifter
While those who dreamed of
him didn't know who he was,
it was said that his 
arrival meant trouble
was to come.

Unknown #1

Take me back
to that night
on a cold October
I would have held your hand
I would have listened
I would have loved you
I would have danced
with you under the moonlight
and the blanket of stars
would have kept us warm

The Rotten Apple

She had an ugliness
      about her
yet many
  couldn't see it right away -
like a slowly rotting apple.
Bright and wholesome
  on the surface -
you didn't know what was 
underneath her facade
Until it broke down
and she had wormed her way -
to your core.

Unknown # 2

I drank
the delirium
danced with the moon
 and slept
with the wolves.

Unknown # 3

She stares at her reflection in the mirror
Barely recognizing the woman staring back at her.
    Thinning hair
  Time worn skin
Her beauty has faded gradually over the years
like a faded rose petal
dried and pressed -
in the pages of a book long forgotten.

Her memories are no different
Shattered fragments
  sharp and dull
Scattered like broken glass
She then hears music playing at a distance.

"On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
Warm small of colitas
Rising up through the air"    

A faint smile crosses her lips
To a memory that croons inside her soul
She sways to the music 
and drifts to a time lost 
Yet, not completely forgotten.

 Young, naive, and in love with love
and a childish notion that time was limitless.

The Drunken Ballerina of the Night

The pine trees swayed
     and danced
Whispering a song
     to the night

 A chorus of animals
      sung along
as I drunkenly walked
deeper into the forst
with the moonlight
   being my only guide.

I swayed
I danced
like a drunk ballerina
Singing my own song
       and the crickets
       chirped along.

Past Parades Fade Through All Your Egos

You marched up and down 
the Kentucky roads in your own narcissistic
parade. You waved the red flags,
but no one seemed to notice as they 
caught up your broken boy charm.
No matter how many times I tried
to save you from drowning in your
thought, I always ended up being
the one to blame. You let your folks
talk about me as I was nothing.
Every time there was a problem,
You'd waltz right to your mom's apron 
strings. My feeling was invalid when I 
tried to turn to you.  You turned the
cards around and I was the crazy one.
I always stood alone whenever I stood up
for myself. You let me drown in despair, 
and the one that ended saving me was myself.

2 new poems/writings by HilLesha O’Nan : “In Patagonia” & “These Walls”

Poem/lyrics by HilLesha O’Nan: “The Preacher’s Wife”

Poetry by HilLesha O’Nan : “Small Town Hearts” “Two Wolves” & “Living with the Mirrors”

Bio:HilLesha O’Nan is a blogger, writer, photographer & marketer. She is co-editor/founder of Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art. She runs the blog tothemotherhood.com for over 15 years

The Watchtower by R.M. Engelhardt – Bob Dylan inspired poetry

The Watchtower

So which one are you troubadour?

With your guitar and lyrics 
Of change?

The joker who sits as witness?

The thief?

There are many here among us 
The tarot cards laid out upon our tables
The watchtower chosen :

Deception Destruction Ruin

Perhaps it was all a joke
Perhaps we did not listen in time
Hendrix gone all too soon

Never understanding the words

But the businessmen kept coming
Drinking up our wine, corporations
Destroying this earth 

And all along the watchtower
The princes kept view

But the hour is now
Too late 

And the voices were ignored

So what songs should we sing? 

If not the songs of troubadours
And the prophets who told us all?

The poets of lost time and 
Darker days who came & 
Bared witness to all

Now gone
Forever with the dust of time

~ R.M. Engelhardt

BIO: R.M. Engelhardt is a poet, writer & author who’s work over the last 20 years has been published in such journals as Thunder Sandwich, Full of Crow, Rusty Truck, Writers’ Resist, Dry Land Lit, Rye Whiskey Review, Hobo Camp Review & many others. He currently lives & writes in Upstate NY and his new books of poetry are entitled “DarkLands” (Published By Whiskey City Press 2019) & “We Rise Like Smoke Poems Psalms & Incantations”  (Published by DeadMansPressInk 2021)

Both are now available on Amazon.com

Wolfpack Contributor: R.M. Engelhardt


More Bob Dylan Inspired poems from Elizabeth Cusack (Poetry on the Rocks for Lonely Hearts)

Muse Blues, Part 2

You learned who your friends were
In times like those
You walked through the wreckage
With infinite joy
You smiled and said
Whatever pleases you. 

You were beautiful and they were vicious
Screeching at reflections
Until they fell down or fainted.

The smoke filled the rooms
They learned tricks from you
It paid the rent that kept getting higher.

They wrote a story but 
It never included you
You were just there to deliver the goods.

Fourth Street/Joker

You were a sorcerer
You strolled backstage
In your Cuban heels
You were part of the show.

It was vicious —
The stakes were so low
You waited in the wings
Your cup full of poison.

The stalls filled with snakes
The knives came out 
There was no other way out 
So, you took it.

Song and Dance Girl

Referring to his immortal 1965 San Francisco Press Conference in which he said, "I'm a Song and Dance Man".

I never thought spermatozoa was phallic
But there you go
I just thought it was seed.

I won’t sing in singsong for any choir
I won’t raise my voice any higher
I don’t care about the funeral pyre.

I am a song and dance girl
So, build a scaffold and burn me
If it makes you feel prouder.

Slightly Nicer

It’s time to draw the line
Before I fall apart
If it weren’t for the music
I wouldn’t know much
Out on the border
The going gets rough
Don’t ask me for reasons 
I might tell you too much.

Big Hotel

I tried to kill the serpent
His eyes were like an owl
They were big and blue
And they followed you around
No matter what I did 
I couldn’t beat him down.

I had to get out quick
They were coming for the bill 
It was gonna be big 
And when they saw me 
They said, “Well, well, well.”

I had no money and no Cadillac
There was no way to leave
I couldn’t get back
So I stayed in that big hotel
Way downtown.

Dead or alive
I don’t know which
I am still here —
And they still come around
Him and his friends
Looking for a pound.

The lines are long 
The hotel isn’t breezy
You won’t find a friend
There’s no cleaning lady
In the Big Easy.

I Threw It All Away

Early one morning half past four
A stranger knocked up on my door
He brought two albums from 1974
He was crashing but he was alive
I came out to meet him
He was bent over my records
Then he looked up sideways
And saw this sandy-haired girl 
She was very much alive.

He handed me two albums 
One from Clive on Columbia 
Four bad boys from Boston 
The other from The Faces 
Then we walked down the cliff
For the first time since I’d run away
I was feeling alive.

He dug me right away
He said, “Misery enjoys company”
I knew just what he meant
Then he flashed me a pirate smile
We came back up from the beach
He was breathless and I was yearning
He fell down on my bed
When he surfaced my cat was lying on his head.

The stranger said, “I’m the devil, baby
I’m a space traveler, too”
I knew what he said was true
I threw it all away
I moved to the border where I stayed
After seven years I’d seen enough
There was no one even left to bluff
He left matches and a daughter, and that was enough.

Poetry on the Rocks for Lonely Hearts Submissions from Elizabeth Cusack (inspired by Bob Dylan)

Many more poems from Elizabeth Cusack (some Inspired by Bob Dylan)

Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack

Bio: Elizabeth Cusack is a recovering actress. Ever since playing Rhoda Penmark in “The Bad Seed” as a child, deservedly, she has endeavoured to keep up her end of the bargain. Elizabeth has been blessed with the best of teachers over the years, mostly from the school of hard knocks. She has championed and performed in fringe theatre in America. Elizabeth edits her favourite poet while not otherwise inspired by her muse to write. 

Blurb for “Before the Bridges Fell” by me (David L O’Nan) from Robin McNamara

author of “Under a Mind’s Staircase” with Hedgehog Press


David L O’Nan’s poetry reads like the American landscape. Filled with hope, passion and despair. If you like Charles Bukowski then you’ll like these poems. A very relevant poet in today’s indifference to mankind’s suffering and abandonment. There is a strange kind of comfort, a familiarity within the poems like: 

Living in This Toxic Coalmine with the opening lines:

‘There are fields that no one wants to breathe There is a reality in which we cannot be.’

A Coffee Shop Chronicle has the beautiful Bukowski-style lines:

‘She’d drink vodka until 3 A.M. after

Saturday night excursions. She had men

howling for her and laughing at watered down jokes.

She could play violin like Alice Hartoncourt, with the beauty of the moonchild spirit.’

A highly relevant poet for the times we live in who paints an Edward Hopperesque canvas across the pages with his words. Highly recommended.

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!