Poems from Fevers of the Mind Anthologies by Rickey Rivers Jr.

Paper, Ream, Stack, Tiered, White, Note

I found your letter.
I thought you were feeling better.
Had I known you were still down
I would have stuck around.
Had I known you were in pain.
I would have...
I don't know.
How could I force you not to feel low?
I've never been through
What you've gone through.
So how could I know how far you would go?
I'll not worry about blame.
It's not your fault.
It hurts to even say your name.
So, I won't.
I'll leave you in the past.
But some things linger.
The good times and the bad, all the fun we had.
Memories float.
I wish I'd spoke to you before you wrote the letter.
And not say that things would change for the better.

This is Only a Peak

This is only a peak

Trust the owls.
They are binding, as is the liquid that steams in day.


Rise above.

Reach the clouds.

See the rain down.

Sweep slowly as the band plays blissfully.

Suit and tie protection futile.

Exploding, yet the way is laid.

Crawl over the couch, a final breath serenade.

The room is the last color seen.


Don't simply sit.


Compressing Cloud

The cloud comes in many forms.
It makes you ponder what ifs?
It makes you consider regrets.
It makes you unappreciative of the present.
You become a mess of "I should have" and "Why did I...?"

It squeezes you into mush, a crinkled picture of your former self.

The bed is so much safer than the world.
It comforts, suffocates in a different way, coddles.
It could almost be your final resting
if you allowed its privilege.

Rickey Rivers Jr was born and raised in Alabama. He is a Best of the Net nominated writer and cancer survivor. His work has appeared in Brave Voices, Sage Cigarettes and Hell Hued Zine (among other publications). Twitter.com/storiesyoumight Sensurlon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09XDHZXHB

2 poems by Peter Hague in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Stars, Night Sky, Space, Galaxy
A Place in the Universal

Here, on the bright side of death
I occupy the right side of my heart.
I am at the centre of my being -
a line scribed from head to soul -
a blend of genres, running pole to pole.
I am at the centre of my living dial -
at the confluents of patience, blood and bile,
and all revolving in the universal smile -
that inherent affinity -
dispensing an axis for all.

Relocation of the Heart

The walls of this unfamiliar house
have transformed themselves
into the closest copy
of where I last felt comfortable.

It is not their fault
that paper peels and paint cracks -
or new feet stroll across the creaking floor.
It is an unburdened wish
to liberate change. 

Bio: Peter Hague has written and studied poetry for most of his life and apart from being published in magazines like 'The Interpreter’s House' he is now posting some of his work on Twitter. Two books of collected work are in production now and are expected in the coming weeks. He is also working on a new website, dedicated to his writing. He is also associated with the art name ‘e-brink’ and has a gallery of digital art at: www.e-brink.co.uk.  

Wolfpack Contributor: Peter Hague

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peter Hague

3 poems by Vicky Allen : ‘The Circle’, ‘I Am Not a Fortress’, ‘Honesty’

Ring Of Fire, Circle, Blue, Fire, Flame
The Circle

The tide is rolling in and out
I allow myself this -
breathe in, breathe out, breathe in
and I let the petals of time unfurl

I allow myself this -
the seeding burst through the warm earth
and I let the petals of time unfurl
as I linger on the cool threshold, a moment between moments

the seeding bursts through the warm earth
breathe in, breathe out, breathe in
as I linger on the threshold, a moment between moments
the tide is rolling in and out


Honesty breaches the shadows
and asserts herself.
Fragile, she survives winter's
severe punishments,
withstands the long dark.
Pale, upright
Honesty perseveres.
She is stronger than she looks.

I Am Not a Fortress

I am not a fortress
I do not choose to bolster my defences today
I do not want to be impermeable, unmoved

Let me be defenceless
Let my skin be tender, vulnerable
Let me be open-handed, wide-eyed

Let your words take aim
Let your barbs hit home
Let your truth penetrate, dividing marrow and bone

Let there be a grace to the pain
Let there be hope in the harrowing
Let there be us, eye to eye, hand to hand, heart to heart



A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Vicky Allen


Vicky Allen is the author of Broken Things and other tales (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2020). She’s been widely published in print and online by journals including Mslexia, Stravaig, Saccharine Poetry, Writers Cafe and others, as well as anthologies published by Proost, Dove Tales, Fevers of the Mind and Black Agnes Press. Her spoken word work Wonderlines was performed at the Edinburgh Book Fringe in 2018 and Fringe at the Yard in 2019. She was a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee. Vicky has a forthcoming “Stickleback” micro collection being published with Hedgehog Poetry Press, and is currently working on a full collection. She also practices as an illustrator/artist as well as working in the charity sector.

Find Vicky on Twitter and Instagram @bringonthejoy 

3 poems from Barney Ashton-Bullock in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Wild Rose, Leaf, Engine, Rose Drive
Mass Grave #58

The bloodrot rooting
Over the rise that hides the pit,
That mallow mound that salves the flatlands vista.

From outré putrefaction, the wilder roses bloom,
Their pungent spumes of spiky fumes,
Fragrances that flounder in dead-hand dealt air,

A stasis that unstirs the shrill, still sadness,
Staunches the undertow flow of the unforgiven
Charred and hidden in the sods of soil despoiled;

Limbs oiled in its threadbare muddy mercy.

The irremediable blue

in ten years time you might retire,
you might come back to Blighty,
we might return to Port Isaac,
we might have time again
to ride again our bicycles,
from Cornish coast-to-coast again.

wannabe wayfaring,
we might loll laughing again
on a wafeted, scrumped tat
o'tartan rug again
on a dot-dash of distal headland
in the mizzen drench sea-mist
of a "Fogust" again

and brush fingers again
and have, again, the intent of a kiss,
not and never had,
but ever much onwards missed,
again and again, since then,
old friend,
when we'd talk in a distinctly
distant flannel;
we swarding swatches aswirl
within this still vast vista
of irremediable blue...

the last laugh never came to pass

crackling, crackhead rapidity of speech,
in a cack-handed matey tempo
spackled with infomercial riddlings
and pseudo-psychoanalytical patter
about the love in every one of us
being all that really matters

personality types as if purloined sachets
to add a touch of bitter or sweet to the mobby broth
whose vibrant, rolling broil of events
are tampered/sieved/blent into spuzzy negatives of denials
all misfiled into microfiche mêlées of confusion
in a filled-up soup of psyche (with its linger of crouton tumours)

oh, then, to defrag these fleshy coils of cortex
to promote more systematic recall
a crumbly softness arcing through
the spindrift spun trace remembrances
of cogency condensed to illegible;
slapdash jottings made with leaky fountain pens
on absorbent flays of blotting papers
and in there, somewhere, the specifics
of what you'd dare to recall
clogged in five years of such mulching, moulder of drippage
and when, and if, ever discerned, decrypted as
mere juvie, virtue-signalled, naïve jibberish
with no stanchion of good will or best wish
for this unanchored flail of flatline future

Bio: Barney Ashton-Bullock, is the poet/librettist in the ‘Andy Bell is Torsten’ music-theatre-poetry collective and he narrates his own verse on the Downes Braide Association albums. He is the founder of Soho Poetry Nights. He has poetry published, or pending publication, in a wide range of cult poetry journals**, in the ‘Avalanches In Poetry’ tribute anthology to Leonard Cohen, in the Dreich pamphlet ‘Famous’, in the Pilot Press ‘Queer Anthology Of Healing’ and in the 'Soho Nights' anthologies published by The Society Club Press who also published his first collection ‘Schema/Stasis’ in 2017. His latest poetry pamphlet ‘Café Kaput!’ was published by Broken Sleep Books in 2020.<br>(**the Wellington Street Review, the New River Press Yearbook, SPAMzine, Re-Side Magazine, -algia Press, Scab Mag, Pink Plastic House Journal, Lucky Pierre Zine, Poetry Bus, Neuro Logical Magazine and the Babel Tower Notice Board)

Poetry by Julie Stevens in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 ‘Angst’

Mural, Girl, Balloon, Child, Heart
I'm the thunder you hold now
with my cries,
I'm all around rattling your calm.
I bring dark to your shine,
when you look at me here.

I'm the fall of questions
you keep wanting to catch,
I'm the words you repeat
when they won't drift away,
I know how to taint your breath.

Swirling around
I see where you are,
shaking your ground,
I sense where you flee.
I'm there beside you
telling you how to think,
but you have to let me go.

Wolfpack Contributor: Julie Stevens

3 poems from Julie Stevens : Playing Dead, Hindsight, Sea Legs

Bio from 2020:
Julie Stevens has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and her poems tend to reflect the impact MS has on her life, as well as other topics close to her heart. Her poems have been published most recently on The Blue Nib, The Honest Ulsterman and Dodging the Rain.  Her chapbook, Quicksand, is published by Hybrid Press having come second in the Dreich Chapbook Competition 2020.  Her website is www.jumpingjulespoetry.com 

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