Poetry Showcase: David L O’Nan inspired by Townes Van Zandt

Highway 41 When it Rains

Another bored day, crackled pellets hit in waves
I sneeze, and I go sliding across
The ground is wet, slick and inhaling all the heat.
On Highway 41, when it rains,
I'm just a man of heartache, shivering and strained.

I've been without you for only a few craving hours
I'm damaged every time by your flattery, it is like an anodyne
Your embrace, the lips I can still taste
the sweat and I can still feel as much as my blood
Your bite of fine red wine, I wanted that bite every single time.

I'm going to travel these highways, familiarity with an acute eye,
I feel the sharp edge of your maddening laughter by my side.
You're the craftswoman of love, and it was plain to see
That pride and valor are spotless and a part of your identity.

In this game of love, the roles always seemed to blur
And i'm still struggling to come up with the right words.
Submission is not in my nature.
And sometimes on these tobacco field roads I wonder, is love worth the labor?

Each time I give up on you when I reach the Carolina coast.
You approach me in little to no clothes, your eyes swaying me your way
You take my hand and lead the way.  Suddenly love is real in every step on another rainy day.
On Highway 41, there's no need for words,

I watch the raindrops dance on the windshield like little birds.
If this is forever, how can it be forever on the road?
And in times in between is it just a test to help us both grow.
In my journey, we learn to give and take.
In the end of these acoustics, love is in the masterpieces we make.

Flying Hideaways

Hey kid, there are flying hideaways of my mind.
I take to the skies and just want to leave the world behind.
High above the clouds and the endless sea.
I am free, kid, I am wild, I am finally me.

I've got the wild wind in my hair, the sun freckling my face
I'm soaring with the eagles, and damn! I'm embracing the chase
Looking at the world down below, stepping away from the dreams
As I fly on, to where the horizon is clovers underneath.

I'm gonna leave my troubles, my fears, my pain, kid
in the flying hideaways of my brain
For a moment, just chilled, I am weightless and free
And it feels like I can finally breathe.  The real me.

There are no more worries, stoned, and no more doubts
Just have some freedom that comes with this flying about
In the flying hideaways of my soul
I am complete, man, I am whole.

And thought they say I cannot stay
In this world, afraid, just inhale into endless play.
I will always cherish all these memories and photographs
Of the flying hideaways, the places where I am truly me, the top cat!

Sunshine Walked Beside Her

There was moaning in the Spring air, there was sunshine flawless with care.
There was sunshine walking beside her down the lane as we talked.
She spun around, her hair a golden halo in the light.
She danced so sweetly, her voice like the birds sang free from any pain.
And all the world seemed wash in her aura in pure delight.

The flowers bowed their heads shy and lit up as she passed by,
Their petals softly brushing at her feet, just tickles and she jumps to surprise.
The trees reached up to touch the clear blue sky. Collapsing the storms for only the ugly hearts to inhale in their sin.
And everything was calm, and still, and sweet as long as she was around.

Deep within her heart, she hid the truths of abuse, those storms did rage.
A tempest born of pain and loneliness, she would hide in the closets of her veins.
She walked alone along her weary way, when the sky was grey
Her soul consumed by endless emptiness, she could conceal herself better than the camouflaged snake.

I only wish I really knew her.  To tell her the words that could cure her.
Oh, how I wish I could ease her pain, and bring her back to love and life again.

That sunshine always has to take a break to not burn out.

Not Your Shadow, Not My Shadow

The notes left for me on the floor, nods her head to keep moving on
She is often at home playing her violin, she grows tired of these expert strangers.
She says i'm not your shadow, your not my shadow.
But a space between, a void unknown
Let some distance grow,  reminisce but not creeping.
Maybe then our love doth slow,
And seeds of doubt, they have been sown.

You always saw me as that cling-on friend,  I just happened to be in the same skies, the same halls and hearing the same melodies as you.    You seemed to enjoy my presence in small doses, but how long can you be, until you are nothing but an uncomfortable step too close.    

We could have once been that perfect match, our shadows intertwined as one,  I dream faster than any other man in this town.
Money doesn't grow on me like a fine woman does.
Even as I let time pass, our love didn't latch.
And now our shadows seem farther apart then before.

We shared some memories, more for me, and less for heart.
You were too busy being overwhelmed by the devils of maturity.
They could never have filled that empty space.  The love I had. 
I staid in pain.  I talked to gypsies, fortune tellers and the insane.
And now we stand unable to communicate in current circumstances.
We stand in separate grace.

Our shadows are faded .
Not your shadow, not my shadow
But a space between, our love doth go.
just leave and I can remember your crumbs. It'll be hard to sweep you away permanently.

Then the Seamstress Came Over

The mountains cried all night.  The snow was a domineering sight.
I was left humming a tune to the chimes.

Then the seamstress came over
with her spools and needles
to build the bravery in the beast.

For a long time, this beast
had been hiding within
afraid to let the beautiful walk in.

But the seamstress, she knows
how to stitch bravery onto cloth,
how to patch broken seams
and fashion intricate hemlines.

She traced her fingers over the beast's scars
and began to sew the damages,
her nimble fingers working fast,
a flurry of wiry needle and thread.

With each stitch, the beast grew bolder,
its skin toughening, its heart stronger.
The seamstress knew that bravery cannot be bought,
it must be woven into every fiber of your being.

And so, she worked tirelessly
until the beast was a sight to behold,
proud and unafraid.  Ambitious, a parade.

Then the seamstress packed her bags and left,
her work done, but her influence lingering.
For the bravery she stitched into the beast.
Now with the thickest skins, now and again
some need some sewing from time to time, to remind them have love to give.t
to build and rebuild the bravery of the beast.

Will My Mom Survive?
how the music of Townes helped me get through a scary time in my life 15 years ago when my mom had an undiagnosed illness

Driving down a broken road, filled with dirty ramps and shopping cart homes.   The loneliness and anxiety was creeping in.
I put on For the Sake of the Song by Townes Van Zandt.  I just recently began listening to him more and more.
With each passing song while thinking of my mom, the songs made me cry harder and harder.
My gut in knots, my heart full of loads,
Uncertainty of my mother's exigency, my mind can't unstrand.

The lyrics of his melancholic songs
Which often used to bring me comfort,
Now only add to my sadness having no abacuses or gongs,
As I wonder if my mother will meet up her life's ultimate sunburst.

Her head would shake, but they said it was not a seizure.
Her head would shake, they said it wasn't her heart,
Her head would shake, they said it wasn't a stroke.
Her head would shake, it isn't MS, it isn't this or that.
What is it?  I will just listen to Quicksilver Daydreams of Maria again. 
On repeat.  On repeat.

She's battling an illness, lying in the hospital bed,
Her life's future uncertain, clouded in black,
In my thoughts, I keep hearing her voice in my head,
Years of shared memories-the love she has repeatedly packed.

I find myself praying with all my soul,
Pleading with any deity who will listen,
To bring her back to health, to make her whole,
And that her life with us not being caught in a friction.

As I listen to the songs of emotional pain,
I find that they resonate within my very core,
For now, it's the only solace, my heart's only bane,
As I wait for my mother's health to be secure.

Will my mom survive this journey of life?
The question echoes in my mind,
with every note of Townes Van Zandt's despair.
I find solace amidst my mother's illness unkind.

Driving on these Evansville roads, Virginia and Columbia,
First and Main, between hope and despair,
I hope and pray that things will soon be fine.
I move on to "Our Mother the Mountain" and begin memorizing those lines.
And pray, prayers for my mother to survive, clarity, to keep her sunshine.

Kentucky Gun

Traveling through Kentucky, where the bluegrass grows
I had me a fifth of Bourbon, so sweet and slow.
My temper grew wild and my moves grew slower.
I grew a reverence for the gun, and pulled the trigger power,
but what's it become?

Every high classed hillbilly with narcissism running rampant
In a society that has decided it was cool to become so divided.
Where fear and anger fuel the same flame, and compassion and reason are misguided.

It has become a world where guns define us,
Where the power comes from the barrel of a gun,
Where freedom of thought is silenced,
And differences can't be undone.

But there's a cost to this obsession,
A price that will all be paid, for every life that's taken by the gun,
we lose a little of our soul each day.

Pride and fear, a better way?
A world where differences are celebrated, end violence and hate?

In Kentucky I just want to watch the bluegrass grow,
drink my bourbon and rise above the slurs and slang
When I take out my gun, its a a tool of survival, not of hate.
Put the narcissism to shame.

On an Unclaimed Plot of Land

In the stillness of the night, hemp rope and plenty of drink.
The moon was shining bright,
and the stars were twinkling high and singing songs like Ernest Tubb.
There comes a dream of days gone by.

A wandering soul, wild and free
on an unclaimed plot of land, living in his own renaissance
Roaming through the land and the rivers,
chasing after dreams and unfortunate schemes.
Living his life beyond blemishes and extremes.

In the heart of his brave soul,
Lies a love that's pure like fresh snow on a hill,
He's wailing for a maiden fair and true,
whose beauty shines like morning dew.

Malela is her name divine.
A goddess in this heart of mine.
Whose eyes are like the deepest of seas,
And whose voice is sweet as trembling melody.

Oh, how this heart does ache and yearn,
For the touch of her soft hand's turn,
To hold her close, to inhale her breath,
And to know that we're united in death.

For though this world may pass us by,
And time may make our love pre-eminence.
From my prison, I can only draw her beauty to these walls.

A Townes Van Zandt Villanelle (Song of Sorrow & Pain)

He sang of sorrow and pain,
Of broken hearts and lonesome roads,
An experimental cowboy, a trouled strain.

His voice so hauntingly refrained,
A poet's soul belting from the cathedrals
He sang of sorrow and pain

Depression was his constant crutch,
A  battle he could not assault from his heart
Townes Van Zandt, a troubled strain.

His demons, he could not exorcise.
His songs  a reflection of his broken homes,
He sang of sorrow and pain.

The darkness followed from cars to train,
His life a heavy, crushing brick to his art.
An experimental cowboy, a troubled strain.

His music to those lucky to hear, respecting and celebrated
A legacy that he will forever hold,
He sang of sorrow and pain
Townes Van Zandt, a troubled strain.

His heart was heavy, burdened with grief,
His soul aching with every passing day,
He drank in gallons to seek relief

The weight of his sadness, clustered and broken
A constant companion, where is the love? A price to pay
His heart was heavy, burdened with grief.

Through his music, he found some reprieve,
A way to cope, to keep the pain to concrete eyes
Townes Van Zandt sought some relief.

But the darkness, it was hard to leave,
A struggle that never seemed to sway,
His heart was heavy, burdened with grief.

Yet his songs, they continued to weave,
influencing those today, that understand the way
A tapestry of an emotional orchestra

Townes found relief.

Though his life was brief, his impact, a motif,
a voice that no other can duplicate, even today
His heart was heavy, burdened with grief.
Townes Van Zandt found relief.

A musical Poetry Showcase from Gordon Lewis

from https://Dribble.com/gordiedean https://www.behance.net/GordieDean

My name is Gordon Lewis, I am an artist/poet/photographer and musician based out of Colorado

Over the Edge

I’m wandering in the desert
Looking for a home
Not lost forever
Wherever I roam

There’s a million signs that lead to nowhere
And that’s just where I’ll start
Help me get to where I’m goin’
And in the end we must part

There’s an endless ravine of courage
And I need to take a sip
Get me on the journey
Take me on the trip

We’re nearing the end of the road
Gotta make a decision quick
Pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps
Hopefully that’ll do the trick

Art Unsung

Imagine all of the poems 
that went up in smoke
think of the art erased
and the instruments silenced

Grasp the loss of creation
the thought of unspoken prose
the deafening of the Opera
and the end of the song

Seeing the dance of the muse
turn into a lethargic walk
and the painter drop
the brush and palette

When the meaning of art
was reduced to dung
and the brilliance of the mind
was soaked in bleach


Nuclear launchcode orgasm
On top of the holy site
we spread our wings 
to descend like a Phoenix
the barren desert
where vultures eat decaying flesh
mesmerized by the haze
We divulge the massacre


The amber trees
With hues of brilliance
Glimmering in the sunshine

The rolling hills
With grass that waivers 
In the brisk wind

The sky is blissful blue
Where the birds dance
As they float above

Splatter Paint Fiasco

A million shards of embers
Toking the souls of the undead
We relapsed into old ways 
Spinning on dynasties made of gold
Embryonic tissue submerged 
Splatter paint fiasco
The dialect of a colony of ants
Swarming the barricades
Looking for an entrance

A little poem for Joni Mitchell from Bernard Pearson

Bernard Pearson’s work appears in over seventy publications worldwide, including; Aesthetica Magazine, The Edinburgh Review, Crossways, North West Words and FourxFour and The New Critique I. In 2019 he won second prize in The Aurora Prize for Writing


Her voice gets
Inside you like a scalpel,
She has no sky
Into which her songs
Cannot reach,
Her words are 
A litany for the lonely,
Freed now to rise,
From clothes left on
A far away beach.

Poetry from Patrick Wright inspired by Ian Curtis & Joy Division

Bio: Patrick Wright has a poetry collection, Full Sight of Her (Eyewear), which was nominated for the John Pollard Prize. He has also been twice shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, The North, Southword, Agenda, Wasafiri, London Magazine, and The Reader. He teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at the Open University.


 After Bernard Pierre Wolff

Rain on benches in gardens of remembrance 
reflects small portions of sky. 
A chimney in the distance, belching out blackness
as if part of some regime. 
Give me stars as casual gifts. 
I fear a plateau: no hill to climb. 
Place me on a precipice. 
Cut me down for lamentation. 
Who’s the angel? Her arm draped over her brow 
& now fallen on marble.
Trees quiver gran mal seizures. 
No-one offers stark witness: 
a weight of words too heavy to lift. 
No-one wants hearts anymore
or knows anything of myth.
In a corner a columbarium calls. 
Arches like ventricles I’ll hide behind. 
Kneeling on my catafalque
she’ll let her tears escape their walls.

Poetry Showcase by David L O’Nan inspired by Joy Division

Dark Arbors Evening

The arches had broken
The sky painted black
A Dark Arbors Evening
You whispered me our last whisper (I hear them calling you back)

We stared at the shadows
To a long time ago, when you were just a child
Innocent and Carefree, before the world turned wild.
now we have boredom by the trails

Now the pills made us older, and the world's grown cold
No longer children, no longer are we bold
Haunted leaves you kept in grasp
The pain and sorrow, the flamingo continues to flow

Try an escape, you say "I'm an escapist"
Through the honey, and run far away
Trapped by the cycling. The game spins anew and the same.
Voices within, have perfected your name.

A Dark Arbors Evening
Waxing the trees for our shade, and hibernate in our abandonment
Lesser memories, I just went from black to fade.  
And she is in her own mind now, filling in the dots with doubt and fear.

My chance to break free, polish the wedge
To reunite to our first memory, to breathe for me 
To nurture our lungs to breathe for us
Lifting the weight, walk into the light with a head held up

Fading, fading, fading
disappearing, disappearing, disappearing
New day dawning but for the path of the sinner
A Dark Arbors Evening, no longer our bane

Canary Roses

I once knew preservation, my canary roses
There are no ropes in heaven they say.
There is no hope in hell I was raised.
I worshiped in the loveless, invitations to the vain.

The grinding life toll
Seeking to find a partner, to marry
The weight of their eyes, become control
Unrequited love can impose, Decrease. Sell our souls.

The canary roses, emasculated for years
Forbidden at the door,
forebode me firmly from your heaven
Kissed me to destroy. To shiver me to detach me from my veins.

Begin a recoil from the touch of those,
Whose hearts we are barricaded to, cannot expose
The blindness of those cannot understand the pain
They feel the prayers and don't understand love's sad refrain.

They give blue ribbons to repetitive synchronicities
Grinding away in my eyes, the electricity begins to die
The loveless play, the canary roses
They left him on the moon again, again, alone, all alone, desolate.

As lint is how I'll live
The canary roses, the fragility of how quick wind blows in
The passing of time, passes many curves to the end.
We've trod, looking for a truly worshipful god.

The canary roses, yellow to brown my love
About to lock this ceiling to the floor.

The Scream (for Edvard Munch)

I awake to sapphire skies and scalpels to my screaming mind.
I've reversed back to my spells, I can walk through halls of goldwork
In my mind I feel this haunting cry
Captured in my blood and frozen in time.

A moment I was terrified, sublime
Allowed them to piss this spell all over me too long, I'm afraid.
Echoes through all the ages become blemishes
to these walls, leaving my figure standing and my mouth agape.

It will leave you scratching at your brain.  
The weeds our blood is rolling in
I'm not that pig, baby, I'm not that pig
Not under these circumstances.

Eyes wide with fear, hands to face.
What horror do we witness in our own daily art?
The wannabe disaster they see as me.
Can't understand how I am me

The anguish, this despair?
Everything comes from depictions of obscene
and through a new lens we are beautiful.
Our acts are collections, the world's true face.

Like the scream, do you hear it, do you see it?
It's as visual as it is audial
a lack of grace, the weight of life.
The pain, the struggles, the piercing strife.

Lingering still like this reflection stained in that water.
Like a broken devil
The fear within of our own human race.

I'm heeding this silent call.
Born again in freedom as we listen to the screams?
Born again with black eyes,
Born again, Am I not holy anymore?  

Peace comes when the screams illuminate for all to hear and see.

Dead River Embolism

 (1) He would go in
without anything prepared...
Spontaneously he walks
to the river at night.

He awaits in the grip of the water
as the embolism builds
he's feeling black as the river's quilt
it is dead they say. I heard dead.

The banks are in dread.
No life to thrive, no soul to find
Unarmed now, the enemies
get their scimitars out while the world stands still.

(2)"It is you who will shut up
in the end, not me...
Drums pounding, glass breaking
"pull me from this river" now lord, now!

An empty vessel, left behind
wind howling through barren trees
Ghostly dancing, a mournful breeze sits in.
Silence is deafening, world brilliantly still.

A limping hurricane in your old muddy footprints.
There once was fire there, a wildfire in there.
When you moved around the city,
and we all knew you then.  When the water was pure.

(3)So, the brain couldn't
give orders anymore.
Unlawful, as they begin finding the crumbs
Tainted and bleak, 
To go from serene to this machine.

The life is now gone.
The laughter has ended in it's cloaked ripples
It doesn't wash the blood off from your stains.
The river is the infinity.

The dead river flows, forevermore.
a symbol of wars, the weeping world.
For what is gone is now forever gone.
(4) For a while, you could see...

*numbered italicized quotes are from William S. Burrough's "Naked Lunch"

7 Crocodiles (inside the caves of Andy Warhol)

A walk inside the caves, a silver factory
The women, the men, the art, the biting
Andy Warhol, at the helm, the pale, the scales
Amidst the art, the music, the scene. His eyes are a walk.

Manhattan's avant-garde convene
I step inside it's womb.  I hum around in the tomb.
With madness and noise.  
This misfit is in his haven to rejoice.

7 Crocodiles walk past.  Dressed in black
Packed in dismissal looks and a prancing smoke stalking behind.

A place where anything goes,
No boundaries, no rules
They sew in the blends, they record the grave.
He is the only knowing of "the prize" as the walls pulsate in art.

15 minutes long gone.  
The genius walks in the dissection of the phenomena
The cult of Warhol is thriving in the dirty and the pure
The factory denizens enjoy the experiment.

7 Crocodiles walk past.  Dressed in black.
Packed in dismissal looks and a prancing smoke stalking behind.

Replicate these crocodiles.  Turn them into many versions of themselves.
He'll direct the scene with his steady hand,  
The pop art will spread from blindness to the cans.

Marilyn, Elvis and the who's who and the who is that?
will all convene to churn a creative brew.
Amused and fascinated, they conjure up a lightning strike
and hide themselves in the fancy and the confines of the cave.

'till the dazzle becomes the hours, the long hours.
Sleeping past the art.  The legend never entertained.
A crocodile tamed in creative transcendence.
So that an artistic revolution can begin.

The crocodiles have gone to rest.  The stalking smoke is embedded-
in an echo of a city, of a culture, in a vision of time.

On Italian Grounds

I met her 
On Italian Grounds
She was weak
but wanted to thrive in the stings.
In Florence

Darkness reigns
When she met the steep and stained
Beneath the ruins, the nuclear waste
The industries of the past, the shine of disgrace.

His intelligence 
his knowing, His trips to see Alighieri was nothing but
the ruin of the whistles of the wind,
a mournful sound, when she was nowhere around.

The past was still the present, 
to drown in, tranquility ceases
a berserk view of the city
is all he can to salve his soul.

The rules, long forgotten
Shaking the foundations, to create in new rotten
Bottles of wine, now empty and obscene,
remnants of the swelling, bruising loss.

Baby's cry in the distance are heard
Shrinking in size like a tiny bird,
The embraces we had in the years of love
the cold is all I can feel now.  

The streets once clean, now dirty and grim,
The prose of the poets, is like a shout warning to a murmur 
Swallows everything,  shadows and the faith
On Italian grounds I met her, On Italian grounds so bright.

On Italian grounds I lost her, 
the heart beat slows in the city.
I have no hands to put me to rest.
Jobless and whipped, the corrosion of time etched on the face.

I move from myself through a new domain.
Noxious air fills every space.
Tattooed society, in a constant state of flux,
They are amused by the violence and the spill of blood.

The whips crack down on me, the weak.
To go from her eyes, the elite, to shit on the street
Those who'll see me will turn the other cheek.
In my poverty, my daily routine start to come undone at the seams.

I sometimes feel her back with me in the darkness of the alleys.
Where my fear is in my taste
I wonder back now to the Italian grounds
If all I ever found was just a spell.  

Chaos Copycat

In chaos, the leers and laughter
of prejudice teaching seem to succeed.
The world around me, a flickering light.
A blur of movement, the dizzying spinning night.

Smothered in chaos, copycats print themselves to the page.
a tempestuous sound, a symphony of discord.
A battleground.
Repetition in noise suffocates the stirring mind.

The weight of the world holds the handle
to prescribe the perfection to fall to our sleep.
A mind is a labyrinth, the maze often laughs.
Never-ending cycles, the battle is never fought.

The voices within me, they obey and they dispose.
They taste and flee.  They acquire and cease.
The waves tell me to surrender, to abandon this dream.
Give me courage to stir out this napping creativity.

Chaos around me, it's part of me now.
The harassment of my soul, a part of my vow.
I have to keep walking to that battleground.
Rising in the hypnotists tears and take control.

To wear the crown, just for once
I will wear the crown.  In rhythm and chaos
I will wear the crown, as they try to break me.
I will wear the crown.  Standing my ground.
Wearing my crown.   

You'll pass in the storm. I'll still be around.
Is this something that you can understand?,
when corrupt, can you understand?
Is this within reach?  When the satirised becomes sterilized.

Bio: David L O'Nan is a poet, short story writer, editor living in Southern Indiana.  He is the editor for the Poetry & Art Anthologies "Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art. and has also edited & curated other Anthologies including 2 inspired by Leonard Cohen (Avalanches in Poetry & Before I Turn Into Gold) and Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Inspired by Bob Dylan. He runs the www.feversofthemind.com website. A wordpress site that helps promote many poets, musicians, actors/actresses, other writers. He has self-published works under the Fevers of the Mind Press "The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers" "The Cartoon Diaries" & "New Disease Streets" (2020).”Taking Pictures in the Dark” “Our Fears in Tunnels” (2021) a collection of poetry called  "Bending Rivers" a micro poem collection "Lost Reflections" and new book "Before the Bridges Fell" & "His Poetic Last Whispers" (2022)  His latest book is "Cursed Houses" David has had work published in Icefloe Press, Dark Marrow, Truly U, 3 Moon Magazine, Elephants Never, Royal Rose Magazine, Spillwords, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Voices From the Fire among several other litmags. He doesn’t enjoy the process of submitting constantly, however. Twitter is @davidLONan1 @feversof for all things Fevers of the Mind.    Join Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group .