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

feature photo from Laura Vinck on Unsplash.com

2 poems by Charlotte Hamrick : Shelter in Place & Swaddling the Beast

Shelter in Place

A derelict cave lurks under my rib cage,
holds years of ragged breath,
smothering kudzu,

and time-laden clay, hides
the hammering of living things 
near dead, the dawn of every morning

sucked up into prayers.
In a firestorm of words, 
terror waited in silence,

air washed in red 
like Mars, like blood,
like the shredded heart of a broken child.

Swaddling the Beast

Why do the blues creep up
my spine on the most glorious days?
Balmy spring in its best finery, riotous

color, silken breezes, benevolent sunshine –
why does it mock me, tease me, test me?
Sometimes there’s loneliness

in so much beauty, despondency
in such perfection. The whole of creation
is indifferent, has no reason to consider

my blue moods so I hold on for storm clouds,
their shades of purple and gray, their softness
of light, how they swaddle my bête noire.

Charlotte Hamrick’s creative work has been published in numerous online and print journals,
most recently including The Citron Review, Emerge Journal, and New World Writing. She’s had
nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best Microfiction 2021, and was a Finalist for Micro Madness 2020. She reads for Fractured Lit and was the former CNF Editor for Barren
Magazine. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and a menagerie of rescued pets where
she sometimes does things other than read and write.

Featured photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

the Fevers of the Mind General Interview with Abuh Monday Eneojo

1) Please describe your latest book, what about your book will intrigue the readers the most, and what is the theme, mood? Or If you have a blog or project please describe the concept of your project, blog, website

Abuh Monday: My latest book is Piary . It was published in 2019 in Ibadan, a city in Nigeria known for it’s aged lifestyle
and beautiful rooftops. Intrigue? Hmmmm…it is a poetic diary. Who doesn’t want to take a peek at ones
diary?

2) What frame of mind and ideas lead to you writing your current book?

Abuh Monday: Basically, Piary , is an anthology of poems that houses the mind blowing experience of poet who tries not
sell his humanity to feminism, sexism, culture, lewdness and a whole lot of things you may want to tag
as frivolous in the society. As a way of spicing up the art of reading and understanding poetry, I gave
explanatory notes for some poems in the anthology.

3) How old were you when you first have become serious about your writing, do you feel your work is always adapting?

Abuh Monday: I really do not know. Sometimes I feel it was the need to hold on to a strong resolve which keeps me
from frivolity but most times, it all comes down to the one who created me. I feel him greatly inspiring. 12 years old, i guess. Yes! It is adapting.me to write, then, I write.

4) What authors, poets, musicians have helped shape your work, or who do you find yourself being drawn to the most?

Abuh Monday: William Shakespeare, Bob Marley, Asa, Buju Banton, Stormzy, Chinua Achebe, Festus Iyayi, Frederick
Forsyth etc The list is quite long but these are the people who inspire me when I write.

5) What other activities do you enjoy doing creatively, or recreationally outside of being a writer, and do you find any of these outside writing activities merge into your mind and often become parts of a poem?

Abuh Monday: Emmm… Podcasting, Singing, and Video/Sound editing. Yes.

6) What is your favorite or preferred style of writing?

Abuh Monday: For that I have no preference. Style to me is based on how I feel. I may end up using a free verse today
and end up with a sonnet or series of couplets with rhyme scheme.

7) Are there any other people/environments/hometowns/vacations that has helped influence your writing?

Abuh Monday: Yes. For each place( city, town or village) that I visit in Nigeria I write. The place that influenced my
writing mostly is Daily Wisdom Words. An online writing community I joined some years ago.

8) What is the most rewarding part of the writing process, and in turn the most frustrating part of the writing process?

Abuh Monday: The most rewarding part of writing is getting thoughts out on paper and the frustrating part of it all is
inability to get it out. It is damn frustrating.

9) How has the current times affected your work?  

Abuh Monday: Not so badly, if I must be sincere. It may have limited or changed the focus of humans but all we can do
is try.

10) Please give us any links, social media info, upcoming events, etc for your work.

Abuh Monday: Yes. You can read my articles on Daily Wisdom Words and listen to my podcast on poetry on
soundcloud . I am working on my first novel. Three more chapters to go and it’ll be sent for proof reading.
Find Abuh Monday on Instagram & Twitter at MondayDPoet

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Poetry/Sonnet by Matthew da Silva : On my Way to New England

Hugging the vast bulk of the continent
the range extends its fat botanic paws.
Their scrubby sides are thick with such ancient,
grey species of kindling as follow laws

inscribed in larval marks on peeling trunks.
They softly swoon amid peals of bell-birds,
an aural liquor that may make you drunk.
You steer your big machine by cautious thirds

up the road to Cunninghams Gap; past that,
you shoot through the tablelands, retracing
passes forged by hardy knaves who worked flat-chat
to fashion them into the bones we sing.

The squatter’s curse was once lord of the realm,
a safer pair of hands at nature’s helm.

Matthew da Silva was born in Brighton, Victoria, and grew up in Sydney. He has Bachelor of Arts and Master of Media Practice degrees from the University of Sydney and lived for just under a decade in Tokyo. He has two adult children and lives in Sydney.

URL: http://matthewdasilva.com

Blog: https://happyantipodean.blogspot.com.au/

Twitter: @mattdasilva

Instagram: @matthewddasilva

Facebook: http://facebook.com/matthewdasilva

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewdasilva

*previously published in the Southerly*

Photo by Jeremy Wermeille on unsplash.com

2 Poems by KC Bailey from Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 The Fog Surrounds Me & Do the Trees Sway or Do I?

The Fog Surrounds Me

The voices echo                 and repeat

become static blurs and sliding

 

vision. From nowhere

gloved hands muffle senses

 

people stand behind bulletproof glass –

fists pound, faces frown

 

wide-mouthed protests. I don’t hear them;

I am half

 

gone, they are almost memories –

false figments

 

trying to keep me conscious

as I sink beneath sensation

 

to the quickening pulse

awaken

 

shift of sight, fracture night-light

flashes of searing white

 

behind the lids

at the back of the eyes

the out of tune orchestra

wraps around the neocortex

 

blue roots shock the sky

split the dark

 

gravelled roofs roll with rumbling fury

and worlds fold

 

Do the Trees Sway, or Do I?

My mind is everywhere

and nowhere

                              lost and wandering –

                             

absent searches

                  for old friends

                              for places and spaces to feel

                  both empty and fulfilled.

 

In a narrow space, nothing space, an overflow of emotion turned

novocaine place                           

                                         

sucked down

                  into a deep marsh

weightless and heavy at the same time

                 

                 

as a collapsing star

                              swirls into oblivion

                  of a black hole.

 

                  Pools of rainbow glitter-gel

whirl sky-side

                              Catherine Wheels in the blackness

                  of space –

                             

I let it take me

                  lights mesmerise and hypnotise

                              to slumber      

so I welcome

the dark

                  expanse.

 

KC Bailey is a writer/poet from the UK. Publication credits include The Ekphrastic Review, The Hellebore, Black Bough Poetry, Monkey Kettle, The Tide Rises, Black Flowers, The Failure Baler, Idle Ink, CaféLit and the BBC. Twitter: @KCBailey_Writer.

 

featured image by Enzo B on Unsplash.com