Poetry: I’M OKAY by R.D. Johnson (Mental Health Awareness Month)

photos by Nick Da Barber t-shirt @Dbl_img


In My Opinion Kindness Affects You
They say kill ‘em with kindness
But gloss over the fact what it does to you 
What God has meant for me ain’t necessarily meant for you
Sometimes you damned if you don’t and you damned if you do
Been through too many things 
Seen too many things
And people want to marvel at the pain
But you ain’t Shang Chi looking for ten rings 

In My Opinion Kindness Affects You
You either lead by example
Or be the example
Wished for positive vibes 
And the support is ample
No longer putting the weight of the world
On my shoulders
Nothing more than I can handle
Take a walk in my shoes
Gonna need more than some sandals

Bottom of these soles
Shows the journey of a tired soul
Being better than what I was 
The purpose that’s sole
Driven through too many points
Guess it finally took a toll
Take a walk in my shoes
But you couldn’t fit the mod

In My Opinion Kindness Affects You
Just what I think, and what I say
That’s what I mean when someone asks
How are you?
Well, I’M O.K.A.Y. 

Bio:Follow R.D. Johnson on twitter @r_d_Johnson                                                                                     R.D. Johnson is a pushcart nominee, a best of the net nominee for Fevers of the Mind  "(Not Just On) Juneteenth"    Reggie is an author reigning out of Cincinnati, Ohio. At the age of 9, he found a love for writing while on summer vacation. With influences from music, Reggie has created a rhythmic style of writing to tell his personal experiences and beyond.  Reggie has several books available on all major online retailers and his work can be seen in various literary magazines. He currently has two columns, Drunken Karaoke featured on Daily Drunk Magazine & REPLAYS featured on The Poetry Question. https://thepoetryquestion.com/category/replay-rdj/      

Poems by Peach Delphine: Every Cloud Has Life of Its Own & Speaking of Home, Beyond the Wind, Flat

Photo by HilLesha O’Nan (with blue orb)

Every Cloud Has a Life of Its Own

Knife dreams of stone and wire
of edge, curling upon itself,
wire, once burnished away, reveals
the sinuous and bright word of cutting,
the long tongue of scar tasting bitter orange,
laceration stained hibiscus flowering,
rain sluiced into the bay, sweltering cauldron,
broth of migrations.

We did not dwell, ephemeral precludes
habitation, residency is the privilege
of those less soluble, less phosphorescent ,
we left no trace, no photographs, not even ash,
mouthfuls of sunset and the shimmy
of gossamer night unfolding  every horizon.

Room could not contain, windows
being more than apertures, points
of egress where we vanished into the breathing
  of sea, iron bellied clouds concealed  as weather,
tide of carrying, tide of shell calling us   by name,
   those once lost, those who could not remain.

Voice at the ear, voice of the cloud,
   swirling through palms as wet prairie
opens itself in a supplication of frog singing
lit by lightning, sleepless wet season,
irrigation ditches filling with water
not yet dark, not yet caramelized,
our names flow through creeks, cypress
knees, long plumes of moss licking
the surface as we make our way
out to the flashing jacks, silvered
mullet, tangle of mangrove, leaves
salt frosted and blazing verdure.

Accompanied by gifts, shelf clouds
piling on shore, white feathered egrets,
slivers of lightning, the low glide of pelicans,
we receive more than we can make in return,
   we name more than we can remember, endless
recitation against erosion,   we are bound to voice
of tide, of wind, raucous calls of rookeries
where our dreams slowly feather, singing
their way into flight, drawing us from roof
and door, returning us to a world without habitation,
without the naming of place, tides of giving
washing our bones smooth as wave, moon bright,
curling in the  mouth of conch, relentlessly.

Speaking of Home, Beyond the Wind

All thaw and sweltering, not yet
season of moonflower or sphinx moth,
sleeping by day, dreaming of manatees,
buoyant in the spring, blue flow silvered
with schooling jacks, jumping mullet,
boiling white sand, living  by the light of a cold flame,
speaking to the mirrored burning,
lost as we are, on the margins, talking
  to the moon in less dangerous
than conversations with men,  which is more
dangerous  than swimming with alligators,
shadows treading water, elegant logs
with shining eyes, the weather here
  is affectionate full of heat and damp,
thunderstorms brewed up for the taste of coldness.

Lightning licking its way through cypress
and pine, the dog wedges herself
under the table as the cracking approaches,
 sizzling despite the rain, gouging out
long strands of bark from the pine next door,
waiting for this, bursts of illumination
wind straining at the oak,  a song
out of darkness, an answering voices,
a defiance of what would deny us
the everyday gentleness and motion
of tide, nightgown soaked, shiver
in my voice, the dog is not amused
at any venturing out in the rain.

Some can't abide tangle and clutter
of thicket, slash of straight line wind
and deadfall, shaggy cabbage palms
or the wicker woven arms and knees
of mangrove, some can't abide
that their god has not yet struck us down,
or caust us from the precipice,
or that we are not afraid, having known
the song of the blade for so long
we have become the flowering
no edge will part from the earth,
the vine that will not fail, the fox
sleeping in the shade of oak and cedar,
a wave rolling out of the Gulf no fence
will restrain, no hand will push down,
no prayer will deny that we are such as we are,
wind in our hair, sea in our eyes,
fragmented and worn, we too will add our shells
to this shore, to the constant arrival of tide and star
  of moon and sun, to the constant repetition
of the litany of belonging.


Water, not anguish, lifts oaks
the first steps of flight, yet leaves
cannot overcome the heaviness
of memory, so much despair soaked
into the aquifier drawn forth, hydraulics
of root, trunk and limb, beyond the trees
blanket flower, railroad vine, gulls
facing windward, waves stacked
on sandbar

Brittle is how the tooth cracks,
blade chips on bone, the self shatters,
shards pooling on the floor, resolve
to endure vanishing as cold sets in,
warmth flowing out, body anticipating
  the glide into quietude.

Arc flows through a line
in the sand, it is a far shore, sea
flowing from here to there, a woman
inscribes glyphs in the sand,
what is mending, the cup once broken
becomes new, the shell remade speaks
of a ghost, without hymn or prayer
we are without, unattached against sun and rain.

When you're small
and want to vanish but don't know how,
 there's no way to see how you'll learn
 to turn the pain inside out and eat it
 like an orange or how fifty years will pass,
the hard cold breath of morning cracking
 sternum, memory will come, as stealthy
 as wind as the taste of the sea ever on the tongue
 salt and the swell of wave, tide washing
   through lacerations, scars forming a text,
a chart of what horizon long ago swallowed,
submerged lands.

A drowning that returned you, moon pale,
a form  that cannot leave the sea, facing
oaks and pine, palms open in supplication,
beyond the treeline an orange burning,
a brighter flame filling the sky, a wind darker
than crow, the only tongue between us
being glyphs inscribed in sand, lifted
from the body, unlaced from skin, visible
  only to sea and moon, tide erasing
each word before barnacled memory
solidifies the text of departure,
form dissolving into wave.
Bio links:
Bio: Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast.

Poem by Peach Delphine: wave is a circular motion (poetry repost)

Meet the Fevers of the Mind WolfPack Pt 1: David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan

Patience of egrets (c) Peach Delphine

Poetry Showcase from K Weber


I am standing, sleeveless,
wind-soaked night-
gown. To dream
myself, dislodged, in this 
is the dream. 

a lower spine will be

My body 
has become a tiny
house parked
in the mud, west. Too
many visitors. 

noon greyscale
creeps like fingers
in congress
with music-
less piano. Keys 
bleed as I worry

I’ve lived
long in the brain
of the med-

say say say

the way
the weight
gives wave

a feeling
of failing
fanning the fame

they hold
me, whole
like home

someone reads
and it's real
like red

my fingers
on the flanger
while we figure


for thought
tw/cw: disordered eating

cram-cheeked at the ice-
box getting warmed every night

by the light of the refrigerator. 
the cabinet creaks someone

awake and aware but nothing’s 
said. stomach has its wars. brain knows

sleep knows better. this battle
bulges the belt-line. jaw aches

in taste while hot tears 
won’t cry. no sorry when the lesson

unlearns how to swallow. slow-
spoken at the table as grace

on the in-breath as bellies 
mimic fullness. 

BIO: K Weber is an Ohio poet. She has self-published 6 free online poetry book projects in PDF and audio formats for over a decade. Her forthcoming digital collection: A SUM OF OUR POETIC PARTS: VOLUME 1 will be released in 2022 and features more of her poems that incorporate words donated by others!  All of her projects, her writing and photography credits, and more at her website: http://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com

IG: instagram.com/midwesternskirt

Twitter: twitter.com/midwesternskirt

2 poems from Dee Allen


Need to be 
Ignored. Tuned out.

Self-appointed judges 
Hidden behind social media profiles
Are cyberwaste for a reason.

We live in a country
That prides itself
On freedom and

Freedom is
Letting the woman
You are inside
Take a walk outside—among us.

There's nothing wrong 
With having your beauty lean
Toward a dark, otherworldly aesthetic:

Teased black crown of hair,
Facial foundation
Like snowy Northern winter,
Long black lashes above brown eyes

Flutter like moth's wings
When blinking, 
Vampiric fangs
Show in your blackened plump lip smile,

Black leather collar with leash ring
On neck, rosaries & crucifix, companion pieces,
Shiny black claws tip your fingers,
Lacy black dress,

Flowing sleeves,
Black leather conch belt with chains,
Torn fishnets,
Demonia® platform boots—

Your keys 
To contentment 
Are worn.

“Dressing up normal”
Would seem like donning
A Halloween costume.

The most liberated 
People live out
Their best lives.

Visiting cemeteries in the day,
Prowling shopping malls with friends,
Attending live concerts or doing photoshoots,

You're demonstrating liberty
The U.S. Constitution only mentions and
The slavish Normal would envy and

Freedom is
Letting the woman
You are inside
Take a walk outside—for keeps.

W: 3.11.22
[ For Mamie Hades, YouTube®/TikTok®/Instagram® sensation. ]


I'd spent my entire
Young adult life
In active search of

Made me leave the Heavy Metal scene.
Made me leave the Punk Scene.
High school clique-level immaturity
Made me leave the Circle-A scene.
Lack of a lover and peers of similar tastes
Made me shed
Black Gothic threads
In favour of colours.

In my pursuit through the crowds,
I found myself in pieces, went

From Metalhead
To Punk
To Goth
And Anarchist combo.

Those years, those stages were fun,
But they ended
With dissatisfaction
Or the taste of spew.

The Mainstream don't want me
And the Underground doesn't either.

I don't see a contingent of folks with
Open arms, happily chanting
One of us, one of us, one of us
To me

Any time soon.

Through the looks, crowds, years, stages,
I found myself in pieces, went

From Metalhead
To Punk
To Goth
And Anarchist combo.

Now, I'm nothing
But a subculture of one.

W: 5.3.22
[ For Barbara Mercer, Darren J. Beaney and Nick Paleologos. ]

Bio: Pronouns: He/him/his

Dee Allen.

African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on creative writing & Spoken Word since the early 1990s. Author of 7 books--Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black [ all from POOR Press ], Elohi Unitsi [ Conviction 2 Change Publishing ] and his 2 newest, Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]--and 53 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far.

Poetry from “The Light We Cannot See” by Anne Casey : Portrait of a funeral arrangement (for Denise)

Portrait of a funeral arrangement

for Denise
Dark stars pierce the luminous heart
a shrouded mouth fallen open, 
a delicate central cross.

         Daubs of captured sunlight
         loll among the upright
         congregated throng.

Burdened others cast out
and down; a huddled cluster
bows off to one side.

       Each with green wings
       flung upwards-as if
       in silent supplication.

Swanlike, cheek to cheek,
a pair intertwine at the neck -
tied for the span of their brief life.
       Your spray of luminous hearted kindness
        to pierce the dark star
        of our grief.

Poem from the book "the light we cannot see" by Anne Casey 
from Salmon Poetry 40 

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Anne Casey

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Nathanael O’Reilly 

Before the Bridges Fell #12: Radio Ghosts by David L O’Nan – Poetry

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