Poetry from David L O’Nan in Fevers of the Mind Issue 3 The Darkness & the Light (Nov 2019)

The Mystery of Mount Sterling

They washed the blood 
From the rocks to the seas
A wall of towers
Crash to the ashes of banging drums 
Still heard in rumbling hungers
Of Mount Sterling
In the orphanages, in the cries of lost land,
We can now march as the spark off the re-energized phantoms.


Say goodbye in hallucinations
Where we saw Heaven in a viewmaster
In the distances, in the hint of the kingdom
But, when do we begin running towards the golden flash?


Captured me, erased me
Severed the ties of cultures and families 
Washed me in the clots
And left me there a mystery
Waiting for the crows to connect the dots.
Your Stare
I climbed out of your watch, your stare 
And stopped time
To erase hours that leave me bare
To age defacing me
To the crippling of the bones
I will be resurrected as the spotted falling leaves.

Sleight of Hand

My blood is an old soul
That should be pumping through a robotic poet from classic times
If I’m breathing, you will hear me
When I’m not, you may hear me more
How else can you see these supposed fast-moving clouds dream –
As slow motion tantras through a heartless sky? 
This current world is too loud for me,
Yet it isn’t nearly loud enough
The art is secluded
The arteries are clogged,
Filled with supernovas and suffering 
And they call this a sleight of hand.

Come Possess Me in the Rain

The conduits all say that I invented myth 
and magic all in one breath.
There is a mist in the cold air
On a Greenwich Village Halloween night 
I can not feel the electricity
Only the forceful druids, and the chanting wish of death


They hold me up and say 
"Come Possess me in the rain" 
Licks the cold steel to my skull 
Possess me, with me
Real and muted by the shame 
In an execution style parade
What is the impression of a concrete stain?


They are practicing Shakespeare
They are faux Warholas and bohemians in sunglasses 
Without a notion of care
And I’m in this shadow that you feel at the river
Cold to the touch, blood like paste
The arrows kill the stars in the nuclear waste 
In the air, decaying the ground

Now I’m expected to love all
As I’m pierced to these skyscrapers
Bound and bullied
My hands shaking off frost
It takes every breath in my lungs to 
Release all my cowardice and all the vapors

Like this militant view of my skewering 
They drop me off like unused flesh 
Love was only the invention
Off the roots of an untimely reptilian dream 
And hate grew in the garden
And shook the city lights to the seas
There isn’t a Picasso left


Digging up from the cracks
I crawl up through Cherry Lane 
And I watch all the faints
And my nerves constantly dance an alarm 
I am rushed in my steps
I am hushed in the slivers of my brain


In my mind that never sleeps
In my possession they fed off for years 
I can only find truth and humanity
And live like I’m the Palomino
Dodging in and out of the hustling of fear



Wolfpack Contributor EIC Bios:  David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan

Short Poems by David L O’Nan

Poems by David L O’Nan : A Prince Was Born on Chartreuse Street & short poems

4 poems by Karen Mooney from Fevers of the Mind Anthologies”PTSD” “Broken” “Kintsugi” & “Rich Pickings”

Glass, Shattered, Window, Destruction




PTSD

Guilt, fear, anxiety, strangled by
restraint translates to anger
Blazing like full sun, falling in shame
hiding behind the covers of night

Piercing howls in moonlight
belie the charming macho front
Jovial, authoritative character
The strong silent type, he won't talk

Asks why you want to know
Resents his own body's ruthless
betrayal of his darkest secrets
yet he takes them out, on you

Broken

I found you this morning,
all folded up, tucked in
at the back of my mind's drawer
The one marked 'do not open'

Perhaps, it wasn't closed
tightly enough, over filled
contents ready to spill
if touched by hoping

You appeared in jewelry boxes
cards, photos, concert tickets;
in a souvenir mug that cannot be
held; its handle long since broken

Kintsugi
for Stanley

Smashed on life's floor
our jagged edges
made handling difficult.

Confidence and strength drained
through the fractures, hairline cracks
and missing pieces.

Tenderly and courageously
we gathered the shards
of ourselves, repairing,
filling gaps with a lustre
to celebrate the transient
imperfect nature of life

A marriage of elements,
handled with care;
creating a vessel of hope

*Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold - built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art*

Rich Pickings

You escaped the landed gentry
where your beauty graced halls and walls;
pursued by men eager to demonstrate
their prowess; but you, game enough
to leave, took a flight to lesser lands.

A migrant at heart, you could fend,
plumping up when not driven to flee,
settling to raise a family.

But, caught up in the business of life,
your head elsewhere, crossing
the road proved treacherous.

An iridescent sheen, purple and green
clothed your fragile body, your neck,
circled in pearl, lay bent and broken.

A game old bird; even in death,
you were viewed as rich pickings
for the buzzard who stood over you.


Bio from 2020
Karen's poetry has been published in USA, UK and Ireland. Most recent publications include Fevers of the Mind, Re-Side Zine, Spillwords Press, Poetry NI's Four x Four, Pendemic.ie, A New Ulster and the Honest Ulsterman. A joint pamphlet Penned In with local poet, Gaynor Kane has recently been released by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. 

https://www.amazon.com/Penned-Karen-Mooney/dp/1913499545/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=karen+mooney+poetry&qid=1621605659&sr=8-1 



Poetry Feature for Linda M. Crate from the Anthologies

holding onto dreams

I remember
being bullied as a child
for everything:
being shy, my weight,
the color of my eyes,
my laugh, my refusal to
drink underage,
my clothes, my sensitivity—
anything perceived as weakness
was a weapon they’d use
against me,
it wasn’t until my uncle
took his own life
I realized that i didn’t want to die
just wanted the pain inside
of me to wither away like a flower before winter;
and I feel so guilty for being so lost
inside my own pain
that I didn’t realize he had struggles
of his own—
but he told me to chase my dreams
relentlessly and never let them go,
and so, I am here holding onto this anthem;
hoping one day I can make him proud.

check on the strong ones

I never want anyone to feel
so lonely, so empty, so useless,
unwanted or unnecessary as I did;
and so, I am the friend that will always
be there no matter how bad
it is for my own mental health—
the friend that will always make you
laugh and help when she can, the one who
will never tell you her struggles,
the one who says she’s fine when
she’s really not;
you all need to remember to check
in on your strong friends
because sometimes even our knees buckle
sometimes we cannot tell you the well rehearsed
lie that we are fine
sometimes our bones are heavy and our hearts
become stone leading us to the bottoms of oceans—
sometimes we need help lifting ourselves out of the waters
of our fevered minds, sometimes we need someone
brave enough to face mountains that are not theirs to face,
someone who will listen instead of waiting to speak

For as Long as I Remain

when i think of home
i imagine house
of my parents,
they live in a place with
an ageless face
whose beauty sighs in clouds
and blue skies and trees tall as
skyscrapers;
it is in the fields and forests i spent
a lot of time growing up—
the loner no one understood
unraveled herself in thick puffs of white clouds,
endless blue skies,
choruses of rambling creeks and babbling brooks,
in fields of orange wild lilies growing by the side
of the road,
in the wings of butterflies and crows;
there is peace to be found in the heart of this place
so i focus on those memories when i can
because not every memory is potatoes and gravy
some are heavy stones i try to chisel away—
but in nature i found pieces of me
that music and books couldn’t give,
and a peace that will cleanse me for as
long as i remain.


You’re Always There

when i remember home
it is inevitable
that i remember you
i wish sometimes
the rain could wash away
past memories,
but you are in my recollection;
in my bones
haunting me over and over—
when will it ever be
enough for you?
you hunger for something
that was never yours,
and i told you no;
but you tried to take it anyway—
then at college,
when i was finally loosening my petals,
beginning to feel safe
you found me;
“i bet you don’t remember me”, you grinned
all i could do was stare like a doe
caught in the headlights
of a vehicle
gutted by a ruthless hunter
hungry for blood
no matter the cost—
why couldn’t you leave me alone?
the forced kisses i insisted
you didn’t take,
the attempted rape;
now when someone tells me
i have a pretty smile it’s a trigger
and you are shooting over me
over and over again
until all i want to do is crawl
into the bones of a past self so you
cannot torment the current me—
it never works,
you’re always there.

This Place Isn’t Mine

i miss living in the town i grew up in, home cooked meals and dusty dirt roads; a village
of trees and stalks of corn taller than me—there were always adventures to be had in the
woods, always secrets the wind would tell me; i would always uncover some new
mythology of my name and bones—i miss being able to wake up to a sunrise and see a
sunset clearly, where the hustle of city life wasn’t so predominant; a place where i didn’t
feel threatened simply by existing—i miss the moments spent in tranquil nature, listening
to crowsong and dancing beneath the moon; visits to the beach or standing in the creek,
hearing the psalms of trees—i don’t like this place of endless sidewalks, buildings, and
the omnipresent arrival and departure of vehicles; i like the music of the country better: the mooing cows, the cawing crow, the songbirds, the barking dogs, and singing crickets;
everything is better than the constant beeping and whirring of people focused on being
somewhere other than where they are—i just want to wrap myself up until i can be
husked and boiled away from this place and come out shimmering, new, beautiful, and
reformed.

i understand why

found a puzzle piece
of me
you all tried to keep
hidden from me
all these
moons,
and i understand why;
the dark feminine says respect me
or perish
so the lot of you’d be dead
for all the disrespect you’ve always
dished me—
but I’ve stepped into
my power and magic,
and i feel more secure about
myself than i ever have;
it is easy to make an insecure girl
bend to your whim and will
and make her doubt herself until she
succumbs and obeys—
but i am no longer that little girl
who is terrified,
i have become the terror that will haunt
you in your nightmares;
i will not apologize because you should’ve
apologized for not accepting me as i was.


the girl that loved you died

my heart was a wilted flower,
and you plucked the petals;
let me bleed for a love you refused
to reciprocate because you were
taken with your fantasies of me
rather than who i really was—
had a lust that killed me,
but i rose from the ashes of your chaos
on these mighty flaming wings;
a phoenix whose tears may heal but her
fires burn
immortal of the flame
ancient daughter of the moon—
i am a warrior
always have been,
my rebellious nature and sharp tongue
have gotten me into trouble;
but i refuse to be
tamed—
wild as a forest fire and hurricane
you will never find anything but ruin should you
stand in the way of me and my dreams,
and so i recommend you stay far away from
my kingdom;
because the girl that loved you
died
and the dark feminine stands in her place
this dark phoenix will be your end

they say i’m aggressive

i am always told i am aggressive,
but why can’t a woman be fierce?
why should i apologize for the fact that
i won’t be taken advantage of?
got a sharp wit and a sharp tongue,
and whilst i can be flowers and compassion
i am also raging storms and lightening strikes;

a magic that no one understands
i am hecate’s daughter—

everyone misunderstands me
as they do my friends the crows and ravens,
but that makes me no less a queen;

i was born at night
the darkness doesn’t scare me
because i know how to survive the darkness

sometimes it is the light that is more terrifying
because you never know if it is a false dream
or a betrayer who is a fallen devil singing
the songs of an angel—

but i am a spooky queen
you shouldn’t cross me
because i dance with all the rage and wrath
of the witches, you burned in my family
eons ago,
and i am a woman you cannot burn;
a phoenix whose flaming wings and talons

can rip you to ruin.

there’ll be a rematch

i was lost in a dark limbo
hurt to think of love or you or anything

wanted to close my eyes,
thought of how pretty it would be
to observe the creek from
beneath the water;

i was suffering a deep depression
that almost swallowed me whole
except my family and friends refused to give up
on me no matter how sad or angry i was—

you claimed you loved me,
but love isn’t supposed to be an ache
that rips you apart until you feel like
a broken sunset
tripping over clouds until your light
fizzles into night;

i lost our child and your love and all respect
for myself because i thought you cheating on me
made me less beautiful and i saw an ogre
every time i looked into the mirror—

but, darling, you were the monster;
you woke the monster in me, too—

one day there will be
a rematch,
you’ll lose.


longer than i remember

i may be strange and unusual,
but i am in the land of the living;
full of so many worlds and characters
it could take centuries to unravel
them all from every universe of me—

people get lonely being alone,
not me;
i am actually addicted to it

silence is much preferable
to small talk—

and with all these ideas, i have,
i’m never truly alone;
even when no one is here
the words keep me company

no one seems to understand that—

they tell me i need someone,
but i have always had to lean on myself
for strength because no one has
ever been there for me;

so why do i need another person?

they say ultra-independence
is a sign of trauma,
but i already know because i’ve been
suffering with pstd and trust issues
longer than i can remember.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Linda M. Crate

From Linda:
The themes of my latest chapbook center around rebirth, reincarnation, and learning from the past. It speaks upon how events from past lives can still impact us today, and sometimes looking and learning from the past can actually make us stronger. It is about overcoming emotional trauma and embracing the inner warrior and fighting for a better future.

Follow Linda on twitter @thysilverdoe
Check out her latest poetry chapbook “The Samurai”

Featured Poetry of Raine Geoghegan

Her Names are Many

Look, there she goes.                                                                           Dressed in her finery for a Gypsy Rommer.

Black leather boots, long purple dress gold around her neck and a feather in her hat,

She’ll mingle with the guests, drink wine until she’s skimmished.

She’ll hitch her skirts up. Dance like the young ones.

Just before she leaves she’ll give order and sing a song

that nobody knows but everyone loves and then she’ll disappear into the shadows

into the dust that rolls along the empty streets and never settles.

Rommer – wedding; Skimmished – drunk.


Dark is the Forest

Dark is the forest and deep, In times gone past it’s where we’d sleep. Under the oaks or the Hawthorn tree, drop our covels, our minds roam free.


Dark is the forest and deep, for dukkering, our malts will keep, a small gold ring tied with string, around their wrist or in their fist.


Dark is the forest and deep, where foxgloves grow and deer do leap, our plans are spun and boar will run. We take our time, we ‘ave some fun.

Dark is the forest and deep, we pass by patrins for those who seek, to keep in touch with folk that are dear and pass on news of birth and fear

.Dark is the forest and deep.

The title is taken from a poem No 131 – Poems 1916 by Edward Thomas.

Romani words (jib) Covels – belongings; Dukkering – fortune telling; Patrins – signs left along the way, can be leaves or string.

Then the Day Came…

I remember your body lying in the darkened room,
the smell of stale air and socks.
How you had become ghostlike,
silent, creeping about the house.
I missed the boy in you, the joy in you.
In the afternoon you’d come downstairs,
go into the office where the computer sat.
You moved your fingers on the keyboard
at the speed of light as you played game after game,
not stopping to eat or drink.
There were two sides of you.
The quiet one, soft voice, sad face,
eyes filled with longing.
The other, set like stone, words forming sharp arrows,
wounding me, wounding you.
Then the day came,
when I felt the weight of all that you were holding onto,
and I wondered if you could hold on any longer.
On that day I kissed your forehead
as you lay in bed, the voice of Michael Jackson
on the radio singing Billie Jean.
A sharp memory of you aged five dancing,
shouting ‘OOW.’
When I returned home late that night
and saw you in the kitchen, you were making scrambled eggs.
You were dressed, you were calm,
your eyes looking straight at me
and you said. ‘Hi Mum, how did the workshop go?’

Raine Geoghegan is a poet, prose writer, playwright and storyteller living in the Malvern Hills. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Forward Prize for Best Single Poem and Best of the Net. Her work has been published in print and online in many countries and some of her work appears in a documentary film, ‘Stories of the Hop Yards. Her two pamphlets are published by Hedgehog Poetry Press. She is of Romani, Irish and Welsh ancestry. Her first full collection will be published in Marsh 2022 with Salmon Poetry Press.

About Raine Geoghegan & her writing process, influences, and where to find her work

My latest book, ‘they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog’ is a collection of monologues, haibuns, prose
poems and songs. Debjani Chatterjee writes: ‘Each piece is a vignette that tells a story of a
disappearing Romany way of life. Raine Geoghegan has captured fleeting moments and
expressed them in a language that rings sharp and true.’ This endorsement stresses the fact
that we Romany people are fiercely holding onto to our culture, our traditions and history. I
bring members of my family to life by giving them a voice in the form of monologues or
songs. I like to think that the reader will be transported into the world of the Romany and that
they learn something in the process. I hope the reader is informed and discovers aspects of
the Romany culture when reading this book.
After having my first book published, ‘Apple Water: Povel Panni’ and being humbled by its
success and popularity, it sold like hot cakes, I was keen to write something a little different
although still keeping close to the Romany theme. Mark Davidson, my publisher at
Hedgehog Poetry Press liked the idea that I presented so I began bringing together work I had
already finished as well as writing new pieces. My ancestors are larger than life and I was
inspired by their strengths. I knew that I wanted to continue writing about them. A few things
happened while I was drawing on certain characters in my family. I would read the
monologues aloud as I wrote them. Once a bell rang when I was reading a monologue based
on my granny. There was only my husband and I sitting in the kitchen, the bell was on a table
in the hallway. It rang loud and clear and I had a shiver down my spine. I like to think it was
my granny letting me know that she liked what I was doing.
I wrote on and off as a child and as an adult but I never became serious about it until I started
my Masters degree in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Since I graduated I
have not stopped writing and my work is constantly embracing new ideas and forms. I like
the monologue as a form, it resonates with the part of me that loves to perform. Having
worked as an actor for many years it comes as no surprise. I also write plays and am working
on new material which has a certain theatrical element to it.
There are a number of writers and poets that I am drawn to. I’ll start with Vasko Popa who
for me is one of the finest poets ever. His work is mainly imagistic and it literally comes alive
on the page. I am inspired by his depth of imagination as was Ted Hughes who wrote the
forward for Popa’s Collected Poems, Hughes is another poet that I love. Dylan Thomas is a
poet that I return to time and time again mainly for his musicality and the use of language and
story. I am from the Welsh valleys so feel akin to his sentiments. I adore Seamus Heaney,
who doesn’t? I like to read his poetry when I am stuck. It helps me to re-focus. Now for the
women. W. S. Merwin must be mentioned. Sappho is a poet that never fails to enlighten me.
Her words hang in the air and I love reading them aloud. Ann Michaels writes so eloquently
and touches my soul. I heard her read at Ledbury Poetry Festival around five years ago and
loved listening to her as her Canadian accent seemed to enrich her poetry. Sujata Bhat was
also reading and I fell in love with her poetry too. She uses such vivid imagery and her work
is a mythology in itself. Louise Gluck is fantastic and I will never tire of her. Papusza, a
Romany poet walks with me but sadly there are only a small amount of poems that have been
translated into English. Songs of the Roma is electrifying. Others are Ruth Padel, her book,
‘The Mara Crossing’ is brilliant, Chase Twichell, Mimi Khalvati and many more. I’d also
like to mention the publishers who are introducing us to some very fine poets these days such
as Nine Arches, Seren, Salmon Poetry Press, and of course Hedgehog Poetry Press.
I like to draw and paint a little. I love the freedom of sketching and there have been a number
of times when this has inspired a poem. I love Nature and am often inspired by big skies, the
Malvern Hills, the running water which is freely available from the wells. My acting
experience and my love of reading plays has inspired me in relation to writing monologues
and filmic poems.
My writing process is a mixture of things. I always have a notepad by my bed as I am often
inclined to get ideas late at night or early morning. I jot them down and then later in the
afternoon I work on them. I also hear voices, not in terms of me going mad but a gentle voice
encouraging me to write about a specific person. I love it when this happens as it takes me
right into the heart of a certain character. I write longhand first then I move onto the computer
and play around with the form. There are times when I decide to write about a certain event
or topic and I will go onto research it and just be with it for a while. I try not to force ideas. I
also try not to rush. I like to take my time and to also give events or happenings space. I’ve
not written about the Pandemic, I haven’t wanted to. Maybe in the future when it has settled I
might but in my mind it’s too raw, I can’t really process it yet.
I have to say that my Romany family have influenced my Romany poems, especially my
granny, mother, great grandparents, grandfather and also my Welsh family who are gadje
(non Romany). Other influences are the Welsh Valleys, the Malvern Hills and Herefordshire
where my family used to pick hops.
The most rewarding part of the writing process is reading it aloud once it’s all fallen into
place, that sense of completion and new life. The most frustrating part is when I just can’t
pull the words and images that I know are lying just inside my brain. I then leave it and let it
compost and usually when I return to it those words and images are there. I do still have a
few poems that have not been so fortunate. They still sit in a folder somewhere not seeing the
light.
My creativity has not been adversely affected by the happenings of this year, instead I have
been busy writing, performing, teaching. It’s been a wild year. I’ve had offers of work and a
large number of my poems have been published. I worked with a New York Theatre Producer
on a script for a musical. My play was performed live on Zoom and was streamed all over the
world. However, I have had illness and my emotions have been all over the place. I feel that
my creative output has helped me to deal with these aspects. I have picked up on the
collective fear but I have tried my best to live each day in a mindful way and to give thanks
for all that I have.
Website – rainegeoghegan.co.uk
Twitter – RaineGeoghegan5
Apple Water: Povel Panni & they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog are both published by Hedgehog
Poetry Press and are available from my website. Many of my videos and readings are
available online, just google my name. Raine Geoghegan, BA Hons, MA, Dip RWTA – I am a member of The Society of Authors & Lapidus.

Poems by Foy Timms : “Prising a Hibernation from Beneath a Winter Coat” “Ceaseless” “My Night as a Scar on Your Chin” “Curtain House Wounds” “Tableau” “Folding the Night into a Black Cab”

Prising a Hibernation from beneath a Winter Coat

Icepicking his hibernation from monopolies beyond himself,
he offers his survival to the frost-encrusted park.
A survival stretching itself across frostbitten hands
into distant towns.
He shakes wardrobes of her pale history onto the jagged prescience
of trees.
in smithereens of memory.
Her pale yet furious history settles against his worn frame.

Ceaseless

The moon is stapled to the night sky.
He is lying carefully across each memory.
Salvaging a winter of tenderness
before the street shrinks.
Her face perpetually recurring.
Ceaseless.
When apparitions of touch escape thinly onto tomorrow

My Night as a Scar on your Chin

I abandon my belongings on your chest,
to climb your craggy chin-cliff,
my arms tenacious in their endeavour.
I clasp your jutting jawline,
my urchin limbs pulling upwards.

I lie unpacked on your face,
reclining and rolling over,
decadent in blistering heat,
nearing your mouth and its disasters within.

I retreat from your ruinous voice haunts,
leaving a scar as I descend.

Curtain House Wounds

At the bottom of these eyes, there is a quiet stirring
as streets wake up and mornings fall abruptly between us.
We were prising open a memory
with the blunt scissors of noon,
when our lone child leapt from these arms
across a season’s unfaithfulness,
introducing a silence heavier than bone.

Tableau

Running onto midnight’s porch
where passions scribble themselves

beyond hideouts
and nervous guests
by goading the clock,

hanging their thoughts on coat stands
and dancing on the wisdom of wounds.

Folding the Night into a Black Cab

Collapsed across a taxi’s heart,
we inhabit a burgeoning blizzard of hands.
Inside tomorrow, we forge a wilderness,
A patchwork wilderness

where cavernous brutal needs visit us indefinitely.
The damp chatter of dusk nudges our weekdays awake
but in this moment, we derive warmth from a taxi’s heart,

Invert ourselves alive,

Allow the windows to be sorrow proof for the briefest time,

When I said marry me for tonight alone.

photos by Foy Timms

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Foy Timms