John Doyle is originally from County Kildare in Ireland, now based in Dublin. He works as a magazine reporter, and has had eight collections of poetry released since 2017. He hopes to have his first novel released this year. His favorite word is “fink”, and his favorite phrase is “we’ll head them off at the creek, you saddle up some fresh horses”.

Working People Go Home Every Evening in Belfast

I am like a drop of water on a rock… Rigoberta Menchú Belfast’s middle-classes control a section of highway that remains steadfastly neutral, football stadium roofs remain isolated from words, thoughts, sinful deeds that may send us a time-capsule we formed a human-chain to keep buried - in perpetuity. Working-classes check messages on mobile phones, on railway lines clicking their purpose into jigsaw-pieces of city-scape mountain-side used to keep under lock and key, messages that tell them illness has passed, illness has come, messages yet to be seen in cars that pass on roads that know better than iron-horse relics, swimming in the sonic sermons of evening’s promise, on waves and waves the skeleton dug into the mountain proclaims. Everyone in Belfast knows this, me a stranger who listens from purgatory, not too pushed about that green, orange, and stoic-red that slows me into all their collages To Be in Japan Wednesday : 11:39pm, a day hands profundity, peace, on its way to forever. NHK documentary features a man of many ages living many times in many aeons, cycling bootcut streets to his rewards - obedient dog, galactic radio-wave inquiries, rest, solitude. If men lesser than time and space stood outside their dutiful wisdoms, if men greater than howling clocks and vicious asteroids stood beside him in prayer - dowsing sunsets, then I believe we may not have these times at all, to make it on the path to midnight, make other worlds, other days of erudite tornados, foolish drownings. Something else made its way up bootcut streets, something time hands over to forever, sealed like state-secrets, forbidden to generations. The ledge measuring all and more he hands me as I drift on Thursday's galactic psalms, mourning closedown does not occur to me - closedown slipped away on a kind, grinning asteroid


23rd birthdays are seen as miracles now, seeing this great disease catch the breath of Mother Earth. Another disease re-appears - from the breadth of a once-roaring bear. Mother Earth, your boy of fluent tongues hears it too - that you are bleeding. Making 23 summers seemed like little to us, music we'd die for back then leaves us little but shame, but then - we have at least 24 more to reflect back, remembering when - and which ears were to blame. Rory’s songs are shrapnel chords shredding down the scales of flat and heartbroken towns, Heartbreak Hotel boarded-up and War Pigs suckling from Volga's festered nipple. Long past 23 we’ll sit Tolka-side, watching sun's resurrection make his song Mother Earth’s eternal ripple; the breadth of her ceaseless lungs widened - by the misneach from hisViolet The true militant suffragette is an epitome of the determination of women to possess their own souls Emily Davison St. Andrew kindly handles lonely soil after poor John Clare forgot where he’d left his pen, though poor Violet we're told had something rotting in her soul, not something Mother Earth had implanted, no-one knew where, no-one knew when. When that window smashed, nothing was left but a gash our brave-brave men cowered as an ill Duke's powers granted mercies to our Violet there and then. Oh how grateful we are, her hysteria won't spread near and far, give her to St. Andrew's loving arms - who’d nourished poor John when he left the farm - St. Andrew vows to keep Violet safe - from further harm; that silly girl who brought shame and alarm, means Europe must show some pride and lock-up those from far and wide - those different ones the master-race must now seek to hide. Silly silly little girl.


It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe
Bob Dylan, 1975

Barbie's beautiful lover-boy bleaches everywhere 
south of the border,

Yul Brynner's missing manhood sits on top, 
conquest complete, 

Barbie's not feeling herself today,
loverboy's fingertips sawn in half by magicians hired by the mob.

Ben's to blame, who'll stand up, who'll call him out?
Ben's a big-talker, sidewalk-stalker, 

Ben inside his New Hampshire nest hands you diamond rings, hands you potions and spells,
when all you wanted from Ben was to know someday you’d be loved.

You ever wonder if he noticed -
that now he blows so hard, the smoke's coming out of his own ass?

Barbie's down at the post-office
writing people she wants to dislocate,

Barbie's sent a telegram to Ben,
telling him to send that alimony alibi

in crypo-currency
instead of sending it twenty years too late -

Ben’s on his knees
cleaning that smashed-up priceless vase,

it’s from the William McGonigall Dynasty
he says, another potential client burning smoke on their heels

Poetry by Doryn Herbst: “Power Lines”

Power lines

A milky grey sky
and the power lines are empty.
The swallows are gone.

I walk by where you used to live,
see windows all boarded up.

No text, no call,
no visit.

Unfriended, blocked.

The last echo of a whisper shivers.



Doryn Herbst, a former water industry scientist in Wales, now lives in Germany and is a deputy local councillor. Her writing considers the natural world but also themes which address social issues.

Doryn has poetry in Fahmidan Journal, CERASUS Magazine, Fenland Poetry Journal, celestite poetry, Poems from the Heron Clan and more.

She is a reviewer at Consilience science poetry.

Poetry Showcase: John Grey (April 2023)


My present, my past, can barely spell each other.
American cooking dominates my table.
My accent wavers like an interrogated con.
It’s Fall, not Autumn, 
and the trees are undressing outside my window.

And where are my cricket flannels?
And the Merino sheep 
my country was once said to ride upon?
Or the eucalyptus (California excepted)?

An immigrant –
it’s like being dropped down 
in the middle of a baseball game,
and in swim trunks.

I'm done in by everything from foliage to friends.
The woods are the domain of blue jay, cardinal and woodpecker.
And customs don’t take kindly to my enquiry, 
“Why are you doing that crazy thing?”

And what’s with all this flag-waving.
Like Thackeray’s Becky Sharp,
the country needs to be adored.


I didn’t lay the asphalt 
or paint the lines down the middle,
or engineer the whole thing 
so that it was straight and flat in some places

and up and down, 
twisting like an adder in others.
And it wasn’t me  
who drew the county boundaries,

established the towns,
put up the signs for everything 
from maximum speed 
to “Bridges ices before road.”

I’m the guy behind the wheel,
windows down, hair blowing back,
foot on the gas, accelerating.
I didn’t cut the ribbon,

or open the highway to traffic.
I was just the one
revving and shouting out,
“Thanks, I’ll take it from here.”


Here is the site of the auction block.
Some people came with bills of sale then.
In the museum, I see a faded photograph
of black troopers.
Some of the books I’ve read 
are already coming to life.

I stumble on brick sidewalks
but am raised to my feet 
by sounds emanating from a Gospel church.
Talking of lemonade,
does it ever taste better than when 
it’s ninety degrees out.

Statue of a Confederate soldier.
His fate is being debated in the letters page
of the local newspaper.
Barbecues spring up like mushrooms.
Sauce is lathered on like red shaving cream.

Crows in their mortuary garb.
Lamb on every menu.
Fiddle-head ferns waving 
when they’re not near fainting from the heat.

A row of Georgian houses
shaded by live oaks.
Running, darting children. 
in their yards.
Dockyards bustling but slower
than up north.
Man on the river bank alone with his tackle box.
An Italianate theater preserved from the Civil War Days.
A painting of Robert E Lee in the window of a pawn shop.

Some guy laughing for no reason.
A woman with a racoon on a leash.
An old guy in an Allman Brothers t-shirt.
The smell of chili.
A salty breeze.
And then back to the auction block.
I saw some of what’s happening.
I started and ended 
with what must never happen again.


Everything flourishes,
even the weeds 
that edge the borders
where garden and grass divide,
accompanied by bud and limb,
scrawny flowers flexing their stamens, 
and the beginnings of shade,
	occasional insect eruptions
	to disturb the glory,
a swallowtail freeing itself at last
from the cocoon,
	another insect swarm,
	like morning haze
	at nightfall,
a man on his knees wielding a spade
at a time of unobstructed, uninterrupted growth,
days no longer hiding in the dark
	but stretching out,
	repairing winter’s glaucoma-clouded eyes,
so everything is clear, distinct, and individual,
	except for the insects
	who move as one
	across the hedge-top,
no more blearing adaptations needed,
forsythia, roses, no longer need be modest,
	can host those incessant insects
	for a time
	and emerge unscathed,
for beauty, from the subtle to the voluptuous,
is now the easy part,
blooms in all the colors I’ve been missing,
	for as windows open,
	yellows and purples do to,
though the house is screened
but outside, everything’s admitted.


On dying streets, the people congregate. 
There's no life in the houses. 
The stores are boarded up.

But on the crowded corners, 
inside and outside the barber shop, 
folks laugh and joke like breathing, 
smoke cheap cigarettes, 
pat the cheeks of babies, 
reminisce on the blazing history 
of a burnt-out three story tenement.

The neighborhood has to get together
or there is no neighborhood.
Street signs wither on their vine.
Empty lots are like cancer cells
threatening to spread.
Everyone's bitter at the lack of jobs.
The work gets to choose
and, these days, it's looking elsewhere.

But there's no hello 
that doesn't want to be there. 
There's no goodbye 
that leaves more than it stays.

Sure there's gangs. 
And there's drunks. 
And there's junkies. 
But the good survives 
so the bad won't have to.

Bio: John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Stand, Washington Square Review and Rathalla Review. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and Open Ceilings.

Poetry Showcase: James Schwartz (April 2023)

In Every Doorway

In winter’s night the Poet’s heart, 
Recalls soul’s flight to depart, 
To the March morn waiting for, 
The Poet to pen the night before.

In every doorway lies a poem, 
Yet only one direction driving home, 
A collision of his str8 pubbing, 
And my queer disco clubbing.

Lost and found lips perchance, 
Intertwine to dance to trance, 
Airwave by Rank 1, 
The sound of our scape begun.

In doorways and lilac night charms, 
Of harem and haven in his arms, 
The perfection of men goes to show, 
In the dark all poets glow.

In every doorway lies a poem, 
In his wilds I build my poem, 
Of muse and ink and literary labor, 
And all our dreams we sink and savor. 


Dark smoky cabarets are secret worlds,
Populated by the tacky, camp, and lonely.
Shadowy men smoke glowing cigarettes, 
Illuminating carefully cultivated stubbled faces.
White Christmas lights blink in corners, 
Blonde mavens add that Hollywood glamour.
This is our world on lost weekends.
Catty gossip over electronica songs, 
The DJ has my memories.

"Cabaret Days"

She’s beautiful as she steps onstage, 
Another Saturday night at the cabaret. 
The audience applauds her presence, 
Her blonde mane, 
Her powdery face, 
Her sequined gown. 
Everyone clinks cocktail glasses together, 
Screaming for her magic, 
Which she dazzles them with. 
As the lights dim, 
And her liquid lips mouth to something old, 
Something new, 
Something borrowed, 
Something blue, 
One by one everyone creeps near the stage, 
To offer tips of money, 
And reveal in her ungrateful smile.


I love the hours after midnight
After his eleventh shot
When he becomes what
Before he was not.

I loathe the hours after dawn
Before he’s out the door
Having put on again
What he was before.

"After Hours"

After hours passion unites, ignites room.
Silken musculature, metered desire.
The groaning bridal bed with groom on groom.
Love’s spirit sings sonnets, Lust’s still higher.
Of unrestrained rain, drenched a capella.
Unattired, unabated, understood.
Unrequited under night’s umbrella.
As if unquenched Uranian love could.
Our afterhours of unmasked hours.
Unschooled, unclenched Uranians lie.
Alone unraveling, untold heights high.
I think we need to give this one more try.
Ungrounded gyrating, felled flesh and feet.
Still unfilled by the still when our lips meet.  

Selected poetry from “The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America” 

James Schwartz is a poet, slam performer and author of various collections including “The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay & Amish in America” (available on Kindle 2011), PUnatic (Writing Knights Press, 2019) & Motor City Mix (Alien Buddha Press 2022). On twitter James can be found under @queeraspoetry for a follow.

https://feversofthemind.com/2022/10/10/an-overview-of-james-schwartz-book-sunset-in-rome-from-alien-buddha-press/ https://feversofthemind.com/2022/11/04/poetry-online-anthology-the-artist-never-sleeps/ https://feversofthemind.com/2022/07/20/poetry-video-links-by-james-schwartz/

Poetry Showcase: John Dorroh

Bio: John Dorroh (he/him) may have taught high school science for several decades. Whether he did is still being discussed. Three of his poems were nominated for Best of the Net. Hundreds more have appeared in journals such as Feral, River Heron, North Dakota Quarterly, Loch Raven Review, and Selcouth Station. He had two chapbooks published in 2022 – Swim at Your Risk and Personal Ad Poetry. He is a Southerner living in the Midwest.

"How's That for a Monday?"


Today will be different.
No, really. It will be.
I’m giving the day 
to whoever’s in charge
& stepping out of the way.

I will take Sanford 
on a walk & let him 
sniff & yank & pull
me into his world.

We will eat chicken
salad sandwiches at
the edge of the lake
& drink ice-cold water
from the blue thermos.


The bed went unmade
& no one seemed to
care. I skipped washing
dishes & didn’t clean
the tub. I took a nap
at 2:15 & woke up 
with a dog in my bed.

I planted bulbs & Sanford
dug them up. His sweet 
floppy ears made me love
him even more. How can
I scold him when he begs
for a hug?


I meant to call the urologist
to confirm my appointment. 
I failed to attend the Zoom 
session on securing investments. 
The concert in the park was post-
poned so we had beers in the Irish
pub instead.

I took two huge bags of clothes
to Goodwill. The line behind the
store was eight cars long. We
listened to an Oldies station
and slurped our Moto-Mart
sodas with long straws that
could reach out and grab a star.

I accidentally left a pack of
chicken thighs in the kitchen
sink since 9 in the morning.
I think I should not take a chance 
& spoil what’s been a very nice

"Teeny-tiny Accolades for Escape"


Tell your mother::I’ve gone sculpting
once again. Like so many other mornings
when there was dew::when there was desert.
When there was an unpleasant task at hand
that I kept putting off, like postponing
an eminent surgery to correct the manner
in which I breathe.

Tell her::I’ll see her when I’ve chiseled
and puttied and cleaned up my mess. Tell
her not to be sad:: to get in the car and take you
to get ice cream – any amount, no limit,
flavor of the day or something you invent. 
Make it a perfect time for skipping school. 
::Hand her a napkin:: when she gets that look 
on her face.


Thank you for being a conduit. (What’s that?)
It’s a bridge, dear:: a pathway::a way to connect
two different things to celebrate::flow. You will
understand one day::when you meet someone
you think you love.

"That Which Appears Perfectly Repurposed"

The old bread knife with its stale teeth can’t saw through a sweet roll. Like so much danger to a big brown bear or a bad dream that knows how to punch a hole into your glib, lifeless soul. It was useless at the last five picnics but someone keeps forgetting to sharpen it. It may be past all that, dull and ready for being repurposed: a gray metallic strip, the perfect width for patching the slit in the corner of the compost pile, the entrance/exit for werewolves that get inside at night, the ones that wear the garlic necklaces like professionals who know exactly what they’re doing. They are smart, devious creatures, catching you off guard just when you think you’re safe, like an indestructable virus that morphs from one form to another, adapting to new cues in the environment. I ordered a new knife, hand-crafted in Germany in the Black Forest where the big bad wolf with his red breath tricked a little girl into letting him take a peak inside her goodie basket, letting him punch a hole in the beautiful brown crust with one mahogony-colored claw,  sharper that any one of the teeth on my new knife that costs me and arm & a leg.