A Poetry Showcase from Lisa Mary Armstrong

photo from pixabay

Battling the Stars

Do you know 
that an asteroid 
has many moons? 
They are small, like stars
Dimples in a noir sky

Once I tried to moor myself 
to the brightest of them 
Now I drift dangerously close
to the edge

When I can’t sleep 
I pray for the stars
To reach down 
and find me

Orion

Sometimes I sleep with the 
stars. I forget that I’m made of flesh 
and bone

And something else not quite of this 
world. I lose myself in its inky mass that is 
more than just sky

And a home for the stars. It’s where I catch 
unfettered dreams 

As the cosmos blinks Orion gallops across an 
ocean and arranges my body 
as a constellation.

Belladonna

When I lose in love
I wear that loss
Like a keepsake
Like a charm around my wrist
Like a death wish
Like a breath of belladonna


We are all Demeter's Daughters

We planted primroses in the marsh
of our wombs
As the Goddess chased the cloak of winter
into the shadows 
and a smile bloomed in its place 

We released our daughters like a wish 
Protected them with a 
mother’s kiss and exhaled as
they were risen 
their dreams falling like cherry blossoms 

We whispered a prayer for our 
daughters’ safe passage
as Demeter led them into the light
of the Equinox



Bio: A writer/poet/mother living in Scotland. A big fan of Greek Mythology and feminist reimaginings, old Hollywood Actresses/films, the theatre, ballet and music. I've always written creatively for the catharsis and only started tinkering with poetry in the pandemic. My inspiration comes from poets such as Mary Oliver, Carol Ann Duffy, Emily Dickinson, Sappho, Anne Stevenson, Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Molloy, Derek Mahon, Dylan Thomas - the list is endless. To read more about Lisa go to her website at https://lisaarmstrong2179.wixsite.com/website

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Lisa Mary Armstrong

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Lisa: I’ve always been an avid reader. My mum would take us to the local library every week which I loved. I read a lot of Roald Dahl and Enid Blayton when I was younger and then moved on to the “Sweet Valley High” series by Frances Pascal and “The Vampire Diaries” when it wasn’t as well known. I was bit of a romantic soul and starting writing teenage love stories in my first year of high school which probably weren’t very good.

Q2: Who is your biggest influence today?

Lisa: I am an eclectic reader and it needs to move me. Right now, I am a huge fan of Louise Peterkin whose debut collection “The Night Jar” is simply stunning. I love Mary Oliver, Dorothy Molloy, Tishani Doshi is a tremendous talent and my good friend Elizabeth M. Castillo writes so beautifully. Being the romantic that I am and having an appreciation for the Spanish and Greek language I just melt when I read the likes of Neruda and Cavafy.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?

Lisa: I grew up in a small town called Johnstone which is in Scotland. I do tend to write about my childhood as we lived near the countryside, and I have very fond memories of Lochwinnoch where I spent a lot of time with my nana.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work/describe?

Lisa: I have traveled all over Greece and it’s a country that I love to visit. I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology and how women are represented in Greek myth so it does feature a lot in my writing.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/poet?

Lisa: I suppose I’ve always wanted to be a writer because I don’t believe there is anything better out there than seeing something you’ve created come to life on a page. I didn’t get into poetry until I was much older. I’ve only been writing poems since December 2020 when lockdown happened.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Lisa: I grow roses and enjoy getting out into the garden. I play the piano and music has always been such a big part of my life. I’m also a mother of five so that keeps me on my toes and relaxing isn’t something that I’m able to do often.

Q7: Any recent or upcoming promotional work?

Lisa: I’m working on my first collection and have a few poems that are due to be published in The View Magazine which provides a platform for criminalised women and campaigns for social justice https://linktr.ee/The_View_Magazine

Q8: Favorite lines from your poems/songs, or favorite piece from another?

Lisa: My favorite line is taken from a Mary Oliver poem “Tell me what is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” She had such a wonderful way of looking at the world and her poetry helped me through some really difficult times during the pandemic. I emerged with a greater appreciation of nature and felt more connected to the world.

Q9: Who has helped you the most with writing?

Lisa: I think just having the support of the poetry community and having my work published has really spurred me on and great journals like “Fevers of the Mind” provide a wonderful platform for poets of all ages and abilities like me. I love my Twitter friends in the poetry community. Elizabeth M. Castillo is just a phenomenal writer and genuinely one of the most beautiful and supportive people I’ve ever met. Elizabeth Bates who runs Dwelling Lit is another kind and gorgeous person, Anisha Kaul, Annick Yerem and Zahirra Dayal. There are just too many to mention.

2 New Poems by Elizabeth Castillo : New Start & Black Dolls for Christmas

3 Poems by Anisha Kaul : “At the Dead of Night” “Flight of Tragic Wings” “A Commotion of the Holy Ones”

Bio: A writer/poet/mother living in Scotland. A big fan of Greek Mythology and feminist reimaginings, old Hollywood Actresses/films, the theatre, ballet and music. I’ve always written creatively for the catharsis and only started tinkering with poetry in the pandemic. My inspiration comes from poets such as Mary Oliver, Carol Ann Duffy, Emily Dickinson, Sappho, Anne Stevenson, Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Molloy, Derek Mahon, Dylan Thomas – the list is endless. To read more about Lisa go to her website at https://lisaarmstrong2179.wixsite.com/website

4 poems feature for Lisa Mary Armstrong

Frankly My Dear (previously published in Aurora Journal)

I’m a heroine waiting in the wings
for a Great Gatsby of a man
Heart teetering on the edge
Wuthering Heights

My life a sad old black and white movie
Rickety, running off the tracks
but I always dream in splendid technicolour

In my dreams
even the rain sings
bouncing melodiously off the ground
as we dance in time

We are Bonnie and Clyde tonight
snatching one last kiss
When the curtain twitches
I know it’s time to leave

Intermission …

I resume my role
the heroine tied to the rail-road tracks
hearing the warning chug of the steam engine
Panic rising!
Clark Gable is nowhere to be seen
Gone with the Wind

Now I must live out
that tired old trope,
the damsel in distress

Flaming Hearts

I never could tell if you were
The man of my dreams
Or the man in my dreams
But I’d pictured us
Two celestial planets
Orbiting each other’s
World before the fall

We had a quiet love
An easy alliance
In the bedroom was another matter
We’d wait until the dusk had fallen
Then combust in each other’s arms
Our skin tempered by our flaming hearts
This is how I really want to love you
I’d whisper

Lovers Graveyard

My heart is a graveyard
filled with those loves
I’ve buried
A landfill of lovers
long passed

Sometimes I’ll pause for a moment
and reminisce
the what ifs
Give thanks for
the lucky escapes
and mourn
the quietly unrequited

The one that still wanders
my heart
Day and night
Night and day
Sometimes I wish he’d leave
Sometimes I beg him to stay

And so, I lay a gilded wreath
At his feet
and a wild thorny rose
for the next lover
and the next

The False Messiah

The contractual agreement
Stated that you must love
Him in blind faith
And so, from that moment
You worshiped him dutifully
He was your God
And you his faithful servant

When night fell
And all your body craved was sleep
You were the selfless
Seductress shimmying into
The bedroom
Draping yourself across the marital bed
An offering to your Man God

After your children arrived
The hours and days shrunk
Cook clean rinse repeat
No mean feat but his
Wants and needs still
Came first and yours last

When you finally realised
He was no God
A false messiah
You confronted him
But he only shrugged and said

You put me on this pedestal I never claimed to be divine
The more I take the more you give
Dear wife of mine

Bio: A writer/poet/mother living in Scotland. A big fan of Greek Mythology and feminist reimaginings, old Hollywood Actresses/films, the theatre, ballet and music. I’ve always written creatively for the catharsis and only started tinkering with poetry in the pandemic. My inspiration comes from poets such as Mary Oliver, Carol Ann Duffy, Emily Dickinson, Sappho, Anne Stevenson, Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Molloy, Derek Mahon, Dylan Thomas – the list is endless. To read more about Lisa go to her website at https://lisaarmstrong2179.wixsite.com/website

feature photo by Davide Ragusa

2 poems by Lisa Mary Armstrong : Auld Simon & Bird Song

Auld Simon

A full moon casts a yellow glow
illuminating the clock face of
Auld Simon

The old cemetery sits comfortably
at the bottom of the Jonshill
A proud village relic
surrounded by cobbled stone walls

When we were children
Our nana would tell us stories
of the families buried
in the grounds

Pestilence had claimed the
lives of many
diphtheria, smallpox, cholera
and tuberculosis

Death didn’t discriminate
It came for the young, old
And everyone in between

When dusk falls in Old Lochineuch
Sometimes you will catch a glimpse of
the lost children playing
Hide and seek
in the shadows

Bird Song

The day the earth
Stopped moving –
I found my voice,
No longer drowned out
By the incessant chatter of the
world

I spread my petals
Like butterfly wings
I was blooming in adversity

My bird song
Rang out over the rooftops
Skimming the skyline
as it looped and soared
There was a lightness in truth
An honest moment
I was the beginning of
something beautiful

Bio: A writer/poet/mother living in Scotland. A big fan of Greek Mythology and feminist reimaginings, old Hollywood Actresses/films, the theatre, ballet and music. I’ve always written creatively for the catharsis and only started tinkering with poetry in the pandemic. My inspiration comes from poets such as Mary Oliver, Carol Ann Duffy, Emily Dickinson, Sappho, Anne Stevenson, Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Molloy, Derek Mahon, Dylan Thomas – the list is endless. To read more about Lisa go to her website at https://lisaarmstrong2179.wixsite.com/website

4 poems feature for Lisa Mary Armstrong

photo by Laura Vinck (unsplash)

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