Poem collaboration: Madame Stress Pills by David L O’Nan & Petar Penda

from the series “The Empath Dies in the End”

Madame Stress Pills 

1 (Petar Penda)

Feeling nothing is a feeling,
Indifference followed by remorse
And a guilt-ridden question 
About what led to this state of mind
And if we are to be blamed for
The emptiness and horror
We live and leave behind us.
Our madness is not escape
As we don't go anywhere
It is only a subconscious distance
From others and ourselves
Since we know deep down
We are contagious.                                     

2  (David L O'Nan)

My eyes are their own souls
My body is another, the zoo can be wide awake
The wind could be blowing in a new world, would I know?
I feel mostly like a peasant, that is the feed.
And that the rich are the desired.
Pull on this wild chain, together can we pull and pull until
Our hands become numb and bleeding.  Remaining calloused.
Can the brain be the same? Can the moon be just as calloused gawking down at us?
There will always be the drunk bug like men serenading it with broken voiced ballads.

Animals lurking by our dark shoes as we walk, in the night
Their silence is angry, our silence is frightening, 
our silence once brave.
Tree stumps scattering and wanting us to tumble, stumble into the arms of a wicked star.
I hear the walking heavier and heavier, my eardrum is rattling. 
The stress pills are now fallen, washed in the mix with the maggots.
I might as well be worshiping in bad habits if this is what life has become and from all looks –
Will always be.  

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

Poetry by Petar Penda : Tiresias

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:

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.


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.
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

Poetry based on Photography challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 3

(c) Ankh Spice

Can you describe this beautiful photo taken by (c)Ankh Spice better than Ankh?

“a thousand miles of grey wind-calved mountains on a veil-world, material for a sorcerer’s armour, fallen bits of storm-sky, shoals of glass sharks” -Ankh Spice

” a seascape – choppy, restless pewter sea in endless unbroken waterpeaks. Long dark hills brood sleeping-dragonry alon gthe horizon, a split of orange dawn/dusk firing down the spine. The rest of the sky is exhaled smoke, beginning to tint around the ember” – Ankh Spice

Untitled from Petar Penda

Gold beams touch the sea
While they glide behind the hill,
The last greeting is mild and soft
Like lovers' kiss when parting.
Still, it makes the water shudder
Thinking of tomorrow's long day
And promises of passionate encounters.

Untitled by Jacqueline P. Dempsey-Cohen (@boscoedempsey)

All day the sun had danced on these fledgling waves
jagged hillocks gleaming like rumpled silk
limning the peaks and valleys the ridges and folds with silver glints of fire. 
Now as the sun retreats to gild the hills  
the waves rekindle its fevered touch
tamping it down to drown in fathomless depths
Swallowing it whole to sink below wrinkled water
to resurface as hammered silver jewels
A burning grace

Sunburst by Robert Allen  (www.robertallenpoet.com)

Nimbocumulus clouds
press into the mountains
like secret handshakes 
behind the hills, ablaze–
the waves not noticing as they
rake away the sea.   

The Last Wave by Christian Garduno

One earbud for you, one for me
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
seagulls floating on the thermals
this wave starts in Petaluma
goes all the way around to Myrtle Beach
you sigh in contralto
the cavemen must have really had it all
because even the Moon is tethered
just ask the spaceman

The sky has limeade eyes
the clouds are pinstriped
I saw your soul set as the sun came up
there’s no sense in trying to interpret you
maybe it’s the bottle of dry talking
you’re the summer I hope never ends
the sea-foam grasping to reach us
I close my eyes
and the last wave is gone

Poetry from Ankh Spice : Reclaiming the birdboy  

Poetry based on photography Challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 1 

Poetry based on Photography Challenge from Ankh Spice pt 2

Poetry by Petar Penda : Tiresias


Poetry : Dying Diamond by Christian Garduno

Poetry by Petar Penda : Tiresias


Once my eyes were sea-blue and seeing
And my breasts were round and full of milk.
I breastfed Thebe with my wisdom,
I lived and loved as a man, then as a woman,
And again as a man, and saw 
All sides of the world, and the underworld.
My wrinkled breasts stayed with me
To remind me of life and the world,
Of gods' flaws, spite and envy,
And how blindness helped me see
Beyond the gaze of mortal eyes.
I saw my past and felt every hand on my naked body,
Lust and love entwined, reason blurred by lechery,
I recalled each sigh caused by the touch of
Soft and rough fingers, lips and tongues
And how happy my life was
Before I became the seer.
Then I learned that life's secret was in the readiness
To embrace whatever was inevitable.

Bio: Petar Penda is a professor of English and American literature (University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina), literary critic, and translator. His translations have been published in renowned journals in the USA and the UK. His poetry and flash fiction have been published in "Fevers of the Mind", "Lothlorien Poetry Journal", "A Thin Slice of Anxiety", "Trouvaille Review", " Amphora", and other journals.

Poetry from Petar Penda : Madness & Futility


“Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't.”
W. Shakespeare, Hamlet

All men and women are mad and
Only madness can keep us normal
In this frantic world.
Some hide their madness 
by religious zeal and fervour,
Others by art and craft,
Gardening and meticulous housekeeping,
Then by arranging books in colours
And by keeping the order of all things,
Pencils, diaries, post-its and pins.
And the rest of us, obvious lunatics,
We can't hide our chaotic minds: 
They are seen in the mess on our desks and bags,
Our wrinkled clothes and discordant colours,
Shabby, underlined books with dog ears.
This madness has a method in it,
This madness saves us from the world.


The strength of mind is opposed
To the weakness of the body
A rock is turned into dust
When the pain comes from
The source of its joy.
The pain and joy collide 
And crash the stone
In little particles
Irreversible pieces
Useless to you
Nuisance to me
And to the world.

But there must be some sense
Of this irredeemable transformation
A sense which escapes us.
And this escape makes the pain bigger
And we ask vain questions
why us and what this life is for.

Bio: Petar Penda is a professor of English and American literature (University of Banja Luka) and a translator. His translations have been published in renowned journals in the USA and the UK. His poetry was published by "Fevers of the Mind", " Lothlorien Poetry Journal", "A Thin Slice of Anxiety", "Trouvaille Review" and others.