Poem “Heart, Felt” by Shane Schick for Before I Turn Into Gold

(c) Geoffrey Wren
Heart, Felt

You were full of answers about 
what happens to the heart,

as though you’d spent a lifetime
breaking the end off a question mark 

and using it to punctuate 
all the sad stories you would sing,

or letting it fall on a roulette wheel
that never bounced on the black.

But can’t we at least agree on this:
that the heart is led by nothing 

except itself, that it kept taking you
by the hand and setting off

to the heat of Hydra, to a home,
giving you the permission 

you needed to put down your pen
and pick up your guitar, to speak

in a timbre so low you sounded 
like your heart was in your throat,

yet never letting life happen to it, 
beating but never bystanding?

The heart kept occurring to you,
even when you tried to forget it

those late nights in Montreal,
or amid monastery meditations.

Even if the heart was acted upon,
it was you who felt what ensued

time and again, you whose music
allowed us perceive what transpired

every time we listened, and listen 
to this day, limited by the distance

between any artist and the audience
that experiences the art. Who knows

what really took place, what love 
you gained and lost. What happened 

is secondary to the song — so long 
as we feel close to the heart of it. 

Bio: : Shane Schick is the founder of a customer experience design publication called 360 Magazine, His poetry has appeared in literary journals across the U.S., Canada, The U.K. and Africa. He lives in Toronto. More: shaneschick.com/poetry. Twitter: @shaneschick Subscribe to my 360 Magazine newsletter

Poem “It’s Getting Darker” by John W. Leys in Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

It's Getting Darker

I searched for salvation
I yearned for the light,
Looking for the stars
In the cloud covered night.
I fold my prayer like origami
And stuff it in the crack,
A missive to the almighty
Asking if the Flame is ever coming back.
I close my eyes, reaching out
Caressing the cold aging stone,
Trying to touch the ancient past
My soul has come to call home.
The Temple is in shambles
The Mercy Seat is lost,
2,000 years of homelessness
Trying to tally up the cost.
Looking past Mt. Moriah
To the light of the rising sun,
Warming windblown faces,
Dreams of a suffering undone.
The Messiah isn’t coming,
To save this damsel in distress,
It’s an uncomfortable truth to which
We cannot fail to acquiesce.
The clouds are growing darker,
But the deluge will never come,
The promise made on rainbow light
Will never be undone.
I yearned for salvation,
Searching for the light,
Is there nothing here to greet me –
Save the unending darkness of the night?

Bio from 2019:
John W. Leys has been writing poetry since he was 14 years old, inspired by the lyrics of Bob Dylan and the Beatles. In addition to posting poetry on his own blog, he is a frequent guest contributor to poetry-blogs such as Blood Into Ink, Free Verse Revolution, and The GoDogGo Cafe. His first poetry collection The Darkness of His Dreams: Poetry was published in July 2019. He currently lives in Redmond, Oregon with his wife, son, three dogs, and two cats.

Links:
Darkness of His Dreams (Blog) darknessofhisdreams.wordpress.com/ Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/eliyahu5733 FB: facebook.com/darknessofhisdreams/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/johnleys/ GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/jwleys Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/johnwleys

I currently have one book published that is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1733364501

3 Poems by Amanda McLeod from Fevers of the Mind & Avalanches in Poetry Anthologies

Ophelia, Drowned

in madness and sorrow
turn from the depths, child,
and bathe your face in sweet light
let the current be your baptism
instead of your death
emerge clean, shining
know this darkness is not forever
beyond shadow, there is always light
for one does not exist without the other
give the river your sadness
but not your soul
your beauty is needed here
your joy brings joy to others
an ending means a new beginning
but not this kind of end
there is more for you here
than what one man could take away
let another you come forth
stronger
reforged
glistening
make the water your mirror
what do you see,
when you search for yourself there?

Broken 

Broken
Brother night, take me -
Let me feel the coolness
Of your hands on my fevered skin
Sweet darkness -
Drop your midnight veil
The harsh light of the sun
Burns my eyes Sears my lungs Scalds my heart
Pour on me the countless raindrops
That become the flood
Let darkmoon silence
Hum in my ears a mute ritual
Float me womblike in
Comfortable ebony air
My lacquered bones holding
No weight
Glass splinters
Prickle my stomach
Pierce my skin
I pull them out one by one
Careful not to spill my own blood; watch
The glitter spread on towels
Mind my step
Crushed hearts are sharp when
Only stars light the way

Each shard wet with the broken promise
Of an empty vessel

For Leonard; You Freed Me

Someone else brought your words to me,
but I was mesmerized from the start.
Who was this stranger who seemed to know
all my secrets? Where had you been, 
on those endless nights I needed to feel
less alone?
Where were you when everything I wanted
to say was choking me, and the wellspring
threatened to drown the flame
that burned behind the bushel
of my heart?
No matter. A rare gift, pulled
from a shelf with a quiet hallelujah
and my life was never the same again.
The world needed beauty and dignity
and quiet strength, and so did I.
You gave me hope; showed me
the beauty in my cracks and taught me
how to love my damage.

Poems from Amanda McLeod in Fevers of the Mind Issue 1 (2019) “Inclimental Anger” “Day With Perfect Storm” “Anchor” “You Are My Sun, Except When I Am Storm”

Wonderful Artwork from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by artist/writer Geoffrey Wren

Geoffrey Wren

For more of Geoffrey’s amazing work with not only Leonard Cohen art, but other great art, check out his fb page https://www.facebook.com/GeoffreyWren/media_set?set=a.10214733692329782&type=3

Salt by Ethan McGuire poetry Inspired by Leonard Cohen

A rock pillar of salt awaits those looking backward. 
 
As a staunch evangelical American, 
once I epitomized a top-rung Christian. 
 
You have asked me to discuss the future, 
yet we cannot discuss what has not been. 
Leonard saw the future, called it murder, 
the same as our own present and our past. 
 
My upward way is at once my downward. 
The downward path, it rises up likewise. 
God sees all time present for forever. 
I am not God; the night still spreads outside. 
 
I struggled long in lost worldview warfare. 
My weary back I never once unbent. 
Then one night, along the troubled pathway, 
a stranger told me he could build those walls: 
 
The walls between my culture and comfort, 
walls between the foreign and family. 
 
I sold my soul, crossroads, to the Stranger, 
though, true, he did not ask explicitly, 
only asked for proof of my loyalty, 
and my tired soul I volunteered in pledge. 
 
My upward way is at once my downward. 
The downward path, it rises up likewise. 
God sees all time present for forever. 
I am not God; the night still spreads outside. 
 
Once you sell your soul, lightning seals the deal. 
Even when the pendulum oscillates, 
your soul is sold. You cannot buy it back. 
I offer passers futures and my life. 
 
As I lie in the mud of dirty roads, 
even the Stranger mourns my fate in time. 
 
I lie trampled underfoot, Stranger of Gold. 
I gave myself to you, oh my paper stranger. 
 
I become a statue of salt as I stare backward.

TheFlummoxed.com

Twitter @AHeavyMetalPen

By day, Ethan McGuire is a healthcare information technology professional. By night, he is a writer, whose work has been published by Better than Starbucks Poetry MagazineFlashes of BrillianceFoundling House JournalThe Dark Sire Literary MagazineVita Brevis Press, and the West Florida Literary Federation’s project Life in the Time of Corona, among others. Ethan currently lives in the Florida Panhandle near the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico with his wife and their dog and cat, and he is a proud member of the Panhandle’s writing community.

Bio: Ethan McGuire works by day as a healthcare information technology professional and by night as a writer, whose poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Better than Starbucks, The Dark Sire, The Dispatch, Emerald Coast Review, New Verse News, The Poetry Pea, and Vita Brevis, among others. His debut poetry collection, Apocalypse Dance, releases through BSC Publishing in the Summer of 2022. Ethan McGuire, his wife, and their new daughter live in the Florida Panhandle near the Gulf of Mexico. You may connect with Ethan on Twitter @AHeavyMetalPen or at TheFlummoxed.com.

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Ethan McGuire

unsplash photo by Brandon Green