A November 2022 Poetry Showcase for Elizabeth Cusack

Dragonfly

inspired by writer’s prompt “The Artist Never Sleeps”

It was a dream
The sand, the wind, the future
It was always only you
My eyes are prisms now
And that is all
I am tripping through the universe
Where love began
You have the power
To throw me off
And you don’t
You are a hard man
With your bit in my mouth
I hang on for one more ride
I am your kind
I am welcome 
In the lost and found
I am crazy
I hold on tight 
Am I irrelevant now
Am I going blind
Am I seeing double
Am I going clear
Baby, we’ll be alright
Baby, you’re whispering
What are you thinking
Baby, I’m not blinking
Everything’s tied up
In a little bow
Baby, keep relaxing
No need to ask me
Anything further
Dinosaurs feed us
Fumes of death
Fumes of greed
I love that I love
I am that I am
I watch the centers come and go.

That is All

We write, we waste, and we suffer
That is all we do
There is nothing
There is just you
Someone has made a hell out of heaven
That is all
Stray dogs love us
They guard and follow us
Mountain goats call our name
The world is turning
And no one’s to blame
Hell is here, and we don’t know why.

Already Dead

When you know you are already dead
That’s when life begins
Before was all a dream
We visit the graveyard in Paris
Or the graveyard in the desert
It’s all the same
We are living on the graves of sheep or kings
That too makes no difference
When you are born already dead
The undead, well, they just harvest
The bodies of the poor
The dogmen keep crying
But it’s just for the show
The fraud is most dangerous
When he’s exposed
The world is more dangerous
When it’s exposed
Dangerously complicit
Like Cohen on the wire
I will return to Ireland to expire
The last champignon bitten
With love in my mitten
I will follow love home
I do not screech into the void
There’s no point to getting a cross
You were born this way
Your children are lambs of the damned
There is no place for a poet on your street
I get enraged because I know
You earned your place from a slave in her grave
Your screaming hives will not redeem
Your lives spent tossing the poor another bone.

Lost and Found

Going to sleep with games in the lost and found 
All the artists have their knives drawn
Ashes, ashes, that is all I am fed
So what? I am spent
The darkness cannot come too soon for me
Nor for you and your thickening lovers
Averaged by comparison.

But I have eyeglasses, and I can pretend to begin again
But right now, I’d rather sleep
I am much more than an emollient 
A fly on your window screen
An unfortunate consequence waiting in the hereafter
But it’s so hard to make ends meet until we are complete
And the whales are circling around our boat
It can’t make up for my heart that’s broken
So I sleep with vultures from the beyond
And I catch them in radiators on Highway 1.

I am used to all this
There is nothing you can do to surprise me
I was born this way, with Morrison and Grandma Jane
Out on the highway, the suspense is killing me
But I’ll wait awhile longer, just until I die
To see once again your outlaw smile
Who cares, I’m just a lonely flame in the fire
Looking for an ash in a funeral pyre
It’s been a day for licking trash cans
And finding what’s true
It’s a bloodborne disease, and I’m feeling blue.

Its Eyes

Its eyes are extraterrestrial
But its mouth is from this pissing planet
Its nose has no consequence
And its hair is perfect
It is a werewolf
Ready to bite
Cracking lines with cheeks
The color of pie.

Love is a phantom dancer
An illusion with a voice
It spins you around
It’s a cruise, a fantasy
Just close your eyes
It’s a window that is viewless.

Just stay inside
Don’t blow its bubble
Or it’s up in smoke
Don’t kill it
Before it kills you
Just take a pill
And have another drink.

Bio: Elizabeth Cusack is a recovering actress. Ever since playing Rhoda Penmark in “The Bad Seed” as a child, deservedly, she has endeavoured to keep up her end of the bargain. Elizabeth has been blessed with the best of teachers over the years, mostly from the school of hard knocks. She has championed and performed in fringe theatre in America. Elizabeth edits her favourite poet while not otherwise inspired by her muse to write. 












Poetry: Gilded Peacocks in Coffins (Ant Farm Empath) collaborative poem from Elizabeth Cusack and David L O’Nan

photo from pixabay

from the series “The Empath Dies in the End”

Gilded Peacocks in Coffins (Ant Farm Empath)

1 (from Elizabeth Cusack)

 I am on safari today
Leading around an empath
He is high on feeding ants
Then watching them brawl

We are surrounded now by fire ants
But he is not bothered at all
He loves his ants as much as he loves me
And I’m not bothered at all.          

2 (from David L O'Nan)

300 miles away on a crowded boulevard
They are watching peacocks fight in the street
The winner gets the moneybag, the loser gets the feathers and the coffin.
Feathered fans are to be beautiful,  Where is the beauty in brutality?

3.

Let’s walk down skid row, and crawl around some suspicious bones.
To get to that half-eaten waffle that looks like it isn’t too disgusting just yet.
They have August prancing in the streets, aids in her blood and –
No blankets on her cold feet.    Still, Mr. Jack Daniels wants to throw her –
On the back of a Harley and treat her to his idea of Neverland.

4. 

We can’t always believe empathy will lead us to sincerity, it often leads us to depravity.
We wish upon crooked beaten stairs with loos nails, falling from the brittle sky.
Continuously and see if we can wake up from a nightmare or just sweat through another
dream.  A murder was caught on videotape and they showed the world in blue lights.
I believed Gandhi was there paralyzed and crawling through the deserts of scorned corn.

5.

They began to walk the peacocks in coffins to bury them in the desert,  and I’ll I’m thinking about 
Is you, a love that honesty died in. I never fully met the woman you became after your many scared 
Ideas. Confusion was a common feeling. Then met were your constant weakness. And in your strong
Heart you felt you could change them. Maybe they were never your appetite and my taste a little –
Too Avant Garde to explore. A little clumsy, a little wanderer that wouldn’t stray too far from your pains.
That I always felt in my fingers.



6. 

We found the man with the ants,  fire ants… burning through dirt.
Scarring our asses and chewing at our fruits. 
Maybe we shouldn’t all be soldiers after all, 
Monarchies, hierarchies, control us to our last debts.
Does the last of humanity have a voice, or does the cannonball 
Singe louder than the guitar strings while my pain sings louder than imploding bombs. +

 July 2022 Poetry Showcase by Elizabeth Cusack  +

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.


Cursed Houses by David L O’Nan coming out next week!

Here what several important great people have to say about this upcoming book by editor/poet/writer David L O’Nan

Writings by David O’Nan is a special treat to poetry lovers. He often uses prose-style openings to draw in the reader, such as “I met the supernatural near this river by Osage Mint on a wet June day, fertile ground full of footprints” (from “The River Near the Osage Mint”). Then just as we start to get comfortable, O’Nan has a certain knack for dropping in piercing lines such as, “Our moment became shrapnel” (from “Noah and Satchmo”), or “Love like the sad” (from “Cardiac Weekend”), that becomes a sort of push and pull technique, moving the poem and reader along on the evocative journey each of his poemsprovides.      –Samantha Terrell, Author of “Vision, and Other Things We Hide From” and “Keeping Afloat” among other books and creator of the poetic trinitas style of writing.

David O'Nan is an artist, a poet who explores the interesting and sometimes astounding facets of life through his work. In 'Cursed Houses' David writes in a style that is immediately engaging, sometimes humorous, always thought provoking. In his poem 'Utopian Window Blinds', he writes: "Beautify my broken heart. Look into my mind and tell me. I am Magical." That is precisely what David gives us, the reader. – Jay Maria Simpson  is a published Australian Poet out of Perth, Western Australia who loves poetry, art, music, satire and dark comedy.

Cursed Houses by David O’Nan swirls with dynamic imagery at a manic pace. Its long probing lines are propelled by maddening spirals of rhythm and rhyme. These poems bob and weave, teasing dreamscapes out of rich details inhabited by a host of characters and situations earthly and un-. Love, lust, loss, bewilderment – degradation of the human spirit coupled with the uplift of having experienced something wholly holy. Cursed Houses offers room after room of astonishment wrapped in acute observations: standing outside, lonesome and creepy, a piercing inward gaze.
-	Tony Brewer, author of psithurism and Pity for Sale

David O'Nan's poems are beautifully haunting, a landscape of Historical and Pop Culture memories. From death to Sunsets to homes of broken glass and even Andy Warhol, O'Nan's poetry will shake and stir you as the colors of his rhymes will resonate long after you devour each one, with verses like "The Feast" you will be craving a taste for more.  
-	Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, author of La Belle Ajar & We are the Ones Possessed amongst other collections.

The willpower is a long highway.” ~an immortal line, akin to Tom Petty’s But love is along, long, road.” David O’Nan has rock and roll in his soul.
“Spending nights in plastic neon blue and wondering why you didn’t know who’s hand was the knock on your door. Was it Mr. Peasant or Mr. Posh? All that you knew was a new daughter was calling you a mom.”   
Like no other, David understands and exposes the plight of a runaway mother, perhaps a fixture of the 1980’s, the unsung heroines, the debris of the 1970’s 
“I paint pictures for the cages of silence” 
David O’Nan speaks for a disinherited generation left to suffer the sins of parental and cultural disintegration

“Old Satchmo at 49 smells vaguely of gasoline and some extinct cologne from 1989” 
David O’Nan captures the zeitgeist of the crumbling American west, it’s bravado on it’s knees, still trying to please some long lost need.
“The devil has your shoelaces tied to the wrong feet” 
An apt description of a runaway on the streets struggling to find their footing. An epic and strong poem describing what happens to the disinherited, disenfranchised in American society.  Thrown out, as Jim Morrison said “like a dog without a bone.” Better than any other poet living, O’Nan describes the struggle of losing in a pre-apocalyptic America.
“We are powerless and the army has no artillery.”
Reminiscent of Neil Young’s “Helpless” lyrics is O’Nan’s vision of a dystopia left to carry on alone, abandoned and helpless, it’s government having long abandoned the field.
“All You see is the bones rise up when the moon hits the shine of the lake”
O’Nan describes perfectly the perfidy of the illusion of normalcy in what is in fact the toxic waste dump of America’s forsaken landscape.
“Maybe the king lives within the waters to drown your narcissistic glare. The River, the River near Osage Mint” 
O’Nan reflects tangentially on the tortured history of the rivers cutting through the heartland of America, how they meander, the dangers they pose,  the dams that feed them, while soul searching and reflecting on the American dream, much like a latter day Jack Kerouac. One wonders what chain of events drew the poet to leave near this place. The nameless “River near Osage Mint.”
If you were to read only one poem from David O’Nan, I would suggest Mandolins and Shrapnel. I personally find it on a level with Ginsberg’s best exuberant howlings. Mandolins is a tour de force. One feels oneself spinning with the poet down the highways and through the wastelands of post-industrial America  littered with billboards proclaiming hell and damnation, torn through the middle by predatory birds, symbolic of lives shattered and scattered like shrapnel on a battlefield. 

“Oh, those billboards by the way are just a hole for the vultures to fly through. listen to the breaking Mandolins, as our skeletons become shrapnel.” 
-	Elizabeth Cusack -Poetry on the Rocks for Lonely Hearts, a poet/writer traveler from Los Angeles. A recovering actress.

"David’s worlds always open new channels for looking at life. They are so often inventive stories that hold a spilling of truth – like the hull of a ship sloshing about on an unpredictable ocean – a world with a multifaceted cargo, perfect in every detail – in fact, a fusing of all details – making them oil each other to enhance their experience and their free passage. They are a generator of energy for the listening ear. From lyrical and beautifully sung – to hard and colourful poetry, told "like it is" – and that "is" always leaves me thinking I have moved forward in life’s puzzle of experience by reading these poems. So many wonderful lines – so many wonderful characters and their various situations – whatever your interest in poetry, you will need to read these poems to pass go. 
David L O’Nan is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best poets of this moment and due for greatness in the longterm.  – Peter Hague author of Summer With the Gods, Gain of Function,  Hope in the Heart of Hatred & more.

David O’Nan is a poet but he may be a sorcerer in his Cardiac Weekend. Or into a world of dreams in Screams, Tears, Tennessee Voodoo. In Small Deaths and My Burning Bedsheets, he fashions his death and exhorts us to give a reason for him to continue his furtive imaginings in word and paintings. Do you have the power or are incited to provide reason for such as him? In Noah and Satchmo he colorfully tells a story of two grimy men in a way that MUST make you feel better. It is a story of confirmation, to send you on your way of superiority, as you love their place, so much lower than your own. Love Thy Neighbors describes a region of hell… Of voyeurs with horns and long tails being forced into your face. This is the world of O’Nan in fantasy and grime, incitement, and torment. You were minding your own business and this magician named David came along. Watch your step.

We are thankful no heaven can control or manage David O’Nan’s poetry. His work is not designed for the comforts of heaven or the torments of hell. David’s poetry breathes with us, and sustains our present, that we may whisper our lives to one another.  – Giulio Magrini is a longtime writer living out of Pittsburgh and is receiving wonderful reviews on his new book “The Color of Dirt” 

Having elsewhere demonstrated his prowess and capability in shorter forms in this collection prolific poet David L. O’Nan proves definitively he is every bit as skillful and interesting with more substantial, robust constructions, applying his inventive flair for language and provocative willingness to delve deeper into the fecund muck of Americana than the majority dare, exposing our culture's at times less savory underbelly in a manner which is never dull, but rather consistently as thrilling as it is in equal measures illuminating. Through diverse approaches and fearless examinations of subjects deeply personal as well as endemic of societal concerns, rooted in the immediate and timeless both — harkening back occasionally at, paying exciting homage to our era’s most qualified bards and lyric laureates, from Cohen to Dylan to Joni Mitchell, in the most constructive, charged manners — readers will be hard pressed to find a finger more firmly pressed to, descriptive of the stilted, erratic pulse of Western ennui and the dark winter of postmodern societal discontent embroiling contemporary existence than in the pages of Cursed House. In our age of urgency and desperation, David L. O’Nan emerges resolutely from the fetid swamps of struggle with an important viewpoint and mission which our imperiled species would be well served by reviewing and reflecting upon mindfully at length. A rousing book of works appreciative of the gravity to our prevailing crises, by a poet who twigs well there is not a moment to lose. 

 – Jerome Berglund is a writer and has worked in Cinema-Television production and worked in the entertainment industry before moving back to the Midwest. Jerome writes many haiku, senryu and haiga online and in print. He is an established award-winning fine art photographer, whose black and white pictures have been shown in galleries in New York, Minneapolis & Santa Monica.

"When I read a rational, well reasoned, logical, objective argument I laugh and sing and dance through the gaping holes. 
What fools we are to stand pounding our chests preaching to the sun and everyone else that we are right, we have the truth. 
What is truth? Do you know? We move forward by the aid of created symbols and we change those symbols as we move forward. 
What gives you the right to deny the beauty, the honesty of poetry. There is no such thing as an endless straight line. 
The shortest distance between two points is poetic distance. Poetry is the way. No one makes it through any black hole of night
without the morning light of poetry. The debate over whether formal or informal, Latinate or colloquial is best is meaningless. 
Critics and Judges are the greatest fools. Poetry is the journey, the adventure in and through the valley of the shadow of death. 
Poetry is birth, the journey, and death. Poetry is Alpha and Omega. Poetry is life. Life is poetry. The word was the same 
in the beginning as the word is now. Say the word. Be the word. Be poetry. Be the poem you write. What else is there? 
In his brilliant new book, CURSED HOUSES, David O'Nan is the poet of birth, the journey, and death. 
David O'Nan is an original. One of a kind. I can't recommend his work highly enough."

--Ron Whitehead, Lifetime Beat Poet Laureate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Whitehead


"David L O'Nan's Cursed Houses is a lyrical poetry book that carries so many themes, it's hard to select a few. O'Nan transmits storytelling, narratives, and short story genres within his poems with brilliance. Poems about love, society, death, loss, small town Americana, and loneliness stand out the most. At the heart of these poems is O'Nan's ability to make you feel how the memories of past loves can still be felt in the present time."
                                       
 - Christina Strigas, “for all the lonely hearts being pulled out of the ground”

David L O’ Nan’s new book, Cursed Houses, from it’s haunting spooky cover to the end prose-piece,  is a scorcher – a work of narratives and lyrics, an anxious mythic exploration of  landscapes of broken shattered people; some likeable, poignantly portrayed, others monstrous, the walking-living Dead; their political screed like larvae spreading hate, the drunk military fathers, farmers, drifters and grifters, the abject young women and older matriarchs, full of hope and lies. Almost Biblical, its a book of character studies exploring upended toxic glamour, hopelessness, the cracks inside America where people fall. 

The book richly escorts questions and trades in entropy, about the lives lived in adrenaline-fueled fantasy where excess drugs, false promises, hallucinations, and lament intersect. In Sinking Prison the narrator’s pain and violence follows him right into the afterlife:  “You/were found and punished and/ become a nameless gazelle/in a jungle full of hungry/lions on your trail.” Ruminative and ferocious, David exposes families, meditates on life-lessons, draws from the personal, revels in a search for metaphysical meaning.  The lines are alternately clipped and expansive, musical, Intuitive, folk tales told by a raconteur for a lion’s den.

We see ourselves and others, our stories and-our-not-stories in a calm-frenzy of bardic, balladic currency and lyrical leaps. In a poem to a dead brother, the narrator speaks beyond despair, of “Popping firework amphetamine pills, dragons watch the alleys/The abusive and abused in corners and in jars./Oh lonesome traveler, a blood kissed jewel.” Tangled and mournful – this book’s rapid-fire pulse is a circling, uniquely crafted, blistering collection. Bite down hard, get one, roam through its outlaw pages. – 
-	Robert Frede Kenter, author, visual artist, publisher of Ice Floe Press. 

I assume no impartiality as I sit to write this acknowledgement and blurb for David. Having known David the editor, the poet, and the human has been the best creative gift of creative brotherhood I’ve grown to treasure and proudly parade. Cursed Houses is a world on its own folded neatly into a book cover waiting for you to unfold like a handkerchief concealing delicacies. Forget what you know about titles foreshadowing content and even casuistic usage of natural elements to convey sentiments as metaphors or similes because David layers natural elements to give you poetic suspense in every piece and theme. He is the magician’s tarot card of allure and demure – yes because poetic talent is in strategically controlling your subject’s emotional experience. Clarity is nice but with David, heavy and surreal is the vogue because Cursed Houses is a hex that will keep your mind spellbound as your lips pitter patter with magic, nature, love, mentality, and life’s other themes on duality. Cursed Houses is a book of personal causes for both the empath and the introvert as well as the curious and the bratty. In this book, his styles vary in tone and emphasis in a manner that gives symbolism and personification another dimension one that is holistic not elemental. The power of his imageries are not localized in a stanza or a part but throughout the whole piece. Have you seen a mood unfold like a jalousie window controlled with two lines to control shadow and light? David’s poems give out this effect because the first time you read a piece, you read it to take in the meaning trying to coin the aesthetics with what you’ve seen previously. However, upon reading his work for the second time, you will realize your heart and mind are the ones controlling what you are seeing whether they be extremes of light and shadow or even pain and beauty. For instance, in his piece “Womanizers”; David allows the reader to explore his subject’s cares and sentiments by showing how their antagonists envision or deal with them. By doing so he reveals his subjects’ points of strengths, advocates for them and showcases them in the light of humanity. Meanwhile in his piece “The Whole Mythology is Collapsing” David’s musings of spirituality are inclusive of dallying in engaging activities whilst touching base on the struggles of finding balance between the material world’s circumstances, the people’s expectations and prejudice and his desire to find peace and clarity. In this vein, the piece “If Masterpieces Were Bloodshed”, has left me in awe because If brushes had hurricane categories for thickness and aftermaths for handles; this piece is the epitome of the creative mind’s agony. He is able to take elements of magic and nature to project anguish and struggle for perfection. And last but not least in “A Botched Sunset”, David’s piece offers a lover’s despair as a palette of experiences in shades of confusion, denial, and unrequited love. Elements of nature speak in this poem for the poet’s lack of visibility and his reluctant bitter surrender to accepting the fate of being forever invisible and rejected like a sunset that was botched. My only wish is that everyone who stumbles upon Cursed Houses gets cursed with awe from David’s work. So, there you have it, Cursed Houses, your new poetic dopamine. Now go and get yourself a copy because you deserve it. With my Utmost Poetic Respect

Pasithea Chan (poet, contributor, artist)

David O’Nan creates mesmerizing imagery throughout Cursed Houses with lines like “You popped bubbles in the hot flames,/in flamenco streets with bleeding trains that lead you/from the whistles to the cheating rainfalls.”  It’s easy to want to savor the poem 10 Years “We Are Hummingbirds in the South Wind” with its haunting stanzas that contain potent prose “Through Winter roses and the bleeding Spring flowers,/the Summer storms and the Autumn leaves rustling/Each with a threatening torch in our blessed hearts.” This collection is a must read.

Marisa Silva-Dunbar, author of Allison, and When Goddesses Wake

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 http://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) 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 .

Blurbs for my (David L O’Nan) upcoming book “Before the Bridges Fell” from Ron Whitehead

*Announcements for October including release of Deluxe Edition of Before the Bridges Fell (Fevers of the Mind Press)*

A Review of “Before the Bridges Fell” by David L O’Nan (review by Ivor Daniel)

Poetry: They Had Sadness in their Eyes ( Like in Littleton) from David L O’Nan

Poetry inspired by Nick Cave from Elizabeth Cusack

Clubs and Diamonds

You were not there
On the sleeping veranda
When we watched the sundown
You did not see me shiver
In a wet bathing suit
As the sun went down
Grandma was nearly 
Out of her head
As she taught me to balance
The silence and dread
And daddy was in town
Feeling sorry for himself
His immaculate revenue
Dead on the ground
And mama pretending 
Jangling and pushing
Everyone around
Did not see me slither
Watching grandpa
Remembering mama
In her silk nightgown
I want to arrange 
One more vision of you
Lying naked in the sun
On a rock by the sea.

Third War(Colossal)

You knew what an alert was,
You exited when told,
You did not protest,
You covered up quickly,
And left with the rest.

Were the woods radioactive,
Were the corks, were the genes,
Was the glass in the desert,
Were the ways and means?
Were you there when the bomb came,
Did you see it fall,
Did it leave a shadow on your wall?

The man had a blade,
And he cut your throat,
He burned down your city,
And he made you choke.
When you woke with the dead,
Did your heart still pound,
Was it the day of the dead,
The day you were found?

When the innocent bathe in blood,
Is the war over then,
And are you set free?
Breathe in and breathe out,
The night is still here, 
And oh, my darling, you are so near!



Bio: Elizabeth Cusack is a recovering actress. Ever since playing Rhoda Penmark in “The Bad Seed” as a child, deservedly, she has endeavoured to keep up her end of the bargain. Elizabeth has been blessed with the best of teachers over the years, mostly from the school of hard knocks. She has championed and performed in fringe theatre in America. Elizabeth edits her favourite poet while not otherwise inspired by her muse to write. 

Poetry based on photography “The Lone Road to Moloka’I” from Maggs Vibo

(c)Maggs Vibo

A Lone Road on the Island of Moloka’i by Maggs Vibo

Our plane putters over patchwork pillows of rusty clay 
Celebrating the day's first rays at a coffee plantation

Top down, and around the bend the breeze kicks dust into our locks
We visit spaces of ancient mysteries and forgotten history
Not far from a phallic rock and a peninsula of exiled patients

Where jagged cliffs leap to kiss the sea
Towards desolate paths that stretch and smile at roosters crowing
as if echoing the road sign:

Aloha
Slow Down
This is Moloka'i

Untitled from Jacqueline Dempsey Cohen

Here the earth glows,  
breathes from its molten core
laying bare its soil 
reborn with radiant heat
This iron-rich clay beckons
hands to touch and feet to scuff
staining fingers, soothing toes
caressing knots of need.
Untouchable limbs frame the path
relentlessly muted 
urging travelers ever onward 
to mountains birthing fire.

@boscoedempsey 

A JOURNEY by Petar Penda

He took a fiery road
towards distant hills,
with wild shrubs on its sides
not to let him turn off the path.
This solitary journey led to
his self-knowledge of
the lack of something central
which permeated.

Copper Dust Road by Robin McNamara

I’m on a dust road
unburdened by winds /
unshackled by conformity. 

Humbolt of a cloud; 
wispy in the sky 
where the land lies 
with dust and rust 
and rock and ruin.

I saw a desert man he
was wearing wisdom of
an Indian spirit / I crave  
the aqua of his knowledge.

My face copper-rust from 
the swirling dust of the road  
to nowhere /
rattlesnakes and coyotes on
each side watching /
waiting patiently for hope to die.

ABOUT TO ACHIEVE by Spriha Kant 

Crossed many long tortuous paths
beaded with many thorns
showering under the sun’s anger
Every time, found me 
a bird flying
to touch the horizon.
Now
Cooler sun
Roaming clouds
Swaying thickets on both sides of the path
as if about to welcome me
to my destination
by showering me in water
from the skies.

(c) Spriha Kant

The Red Road by Elizabeth Cusack

Why is this road so red
And what makes it real?

Why is perception a tunnel?

Who decided our destination
And what do they know?

What is a bramble
And why is it dark?

Why are hedges bare
And why do thorns stick up in air?

Why do rabbits fall into lairs?

Everyone knows these skies will part
And our lives will not end here.

Beguiled by Lesley Curwen

Rust bloodroad flares to brightest crux
its russet track armed by hedges' dark
overed by long mynd and sailing cloud 

the eye swept back and back to fiery light 

its centred throb, perplexing Delphic shape. 
Witch trio aflame, altar to neon gods
or haloed mothers keening at a grave? 

She is on fire by Constance Bacchus

not going anywhere she is rambling on to the lake she stops off at one of two gas stations won’t eat anything but licorice candy extreme pop she spins out of control across so many hills the vultures at the top pay attention she has passed the other one watches the fire blend in arrives at the launch hardens her heart in the water you could say it fossilized you can say you miss it you can say anything you want it is cold doesn’t care breaks apart amongst milfoil

Inspired by Leonard Cohen lyric visual piece from Maggs Vibo  

Congrats! To Fevers of the Mind contributor Maggs Vibo 

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Margaret Viboolsittiseri aka Maggs Vibo 

Visual Poetry by Maggs Vibo: Drinking the Ash Pt 1 & 2 

Poem from Constance Bacchus : Memories from a party last 4th of July 

Poetry based on photography Challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 1 

Poetry based on Photography challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 3 

2 poems by Spriha Kant from Hard Rain Poetry Forever Dylan Anthology 

A Sylvia Plath inspired poetry showcase by Robin McNamara 

A Poetry Showcase from Robin McNamara 

August 2022 Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack 

Poetry by Petar Penda : Tiresias