Poetry Showcase by Strider Marcus Jones


Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and former civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. He is the editor and publisher of Lothlorien Poetry Journal 


A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry  https://stridermarcusjonespoetry.wordpress.com/ reveal a maverick, moving between cities, playing his saxophone in smoky rooms.       

His poetry has been published in over 200 publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; Impspired Magazine; Melbourne Culture Corner and Literary Yard Journal.


fast and furious
archangel in paint and chrome
brings me home-
purring megaphonious,
combusting with sav and sap
that i glimpse
peeking into warm grill chintz-
then she lifts her corset bonnet
and lets me touch her glinting bones
secreting home spun
attracting, like moon and sun-
and mnemonic
old senses,
fallow and fenced
soon become drenched
quiller and squirter
in that linguistic converter-
glow mapping,
slowly blown
in the metronome.


a rest, from swinging bar
and animals in the abattoir-
to smoke in mental thinks 
spoken holding cooling drinks. 
counting out old coppers to be fed
in the set squares of blue and red
plastic tablecloth-
just enough to break up bread in thick barley broth.
Jesus is late
after saying he was coming
back to share the wealth and real estate
of capitalist cunning.
maybe. just maybe.
put another song on the jukebox baby:
no more heroes anymore.
what are we fighting for-
he's hiding in hymns and chants,
in those Monty Python underpants,
from this coalition of new McCarthy's
and its institutions of Moriarty's.
some shepherd sheep will do this dance
in hypothermic trance,
for one pound an hour 
like a shamed flower-
watched by sinister sentinels, 
while scratched tubular bells,
summon all to Sunday service
where invisible myths exist-
to a shamed flower
with supernatural power
come the hour.


ask those
who grow old-
some fruits are nicer
when they're riper.
you dont stop
the clock
on the one who chose
you to hold-
her pomegranate
is still your sonnet
of sepia feelings and flesh,
sensuously sweet and fresh.

although the mirror never lies,
it shows the beauty that lives
as it dies
and gives
its own reflection
of your perfection
to me
then and now,
each memory
by the lenses
by your words
and curves
in my senses.

our dance,
that thrilled
in its intricate
tango on the floor,
is still filled
with time intimate
and more-
talking rubicon of reason,
in layer, upon layer of season
so sedimentary
since you entered me-
and i consumed
your silky mesh
of pink perfumed
pomegranate flesh


i'm come home again
in your Lothlorien
to marinate my mind
in your words,
and stand behind
good tribes grown blind,
trapped in old absurd
regressive reasons
and selfish treasons.

in this cast of strife
the Tree of Life
embraces innocent ghosts,
slain by Sauron's hosts-
and their falling cries
make us wise
enough to rise
up in a fellowship of friends
to oppose Mordor's ends
and smote this evil stronger
and longer
for each one of us that dies.

i'm come home again
in your Lothlorien,
yellow snapdragons
to take wing
and un-fang serpent krakens,
while i bring
all the races
to resume
their bloom
as equals in equal spaces
by removing
and muting
the chorus of crickets
who cheat them from chambered thickets,
hiding corruptions older than long grass
that still fag for favours asked.

i'm come home again
in your Lothlorien
where corporate warfare
and workfare
on health
and welfare
infests our tribal bodies
and separate self
in political lobbies-
so conscience can't care
or share
worth and wealth:

to rally drones
of walking bones,
too tired
and uninspired
to think things through
and the powerless who see it true.
red unites, blue divides,
which one are you
and what will you do
when reason decides.


i'm getting old now-
you know,
like that tree in the yard
with those thick cracks
in its skin bark
that tell you
the surface of its lived-in secrets.
my eyes,
have sunk too inward
in sleepless sockets
to playback images
of ghosts-
so, make do with words
and hear the sounds
of my years in yourself.

riding a rusty three-wheel bike
to shelled-out houses bombed in the blitz,
then zinging home zapped in mud
to wolf down chicken soup
over lumpy mashed potato for tea-
with bare feet sticking on cold kitchen lino
i shivered watching the candle burn down
racing to finish a book i found in a bin-
before Mam showed me her empty purse
and robbed the gas meter-
the twenty shillings
stained the red formica table
like pieces of the man's brains
splattered all over the back seat
of his symbolic limousine
as i watched history brush out her silent secrets.

More bio: His poetry has been published in the USA, Canada, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Spain, Germany; Serbia; India and Switzerland in numerous publications including: Dreich Magazine; The Racket Journal; Trouvaille Review; dyst Literary Journal; Impspired Magazine; Literary Yard Journal; Poppy Road Review; Cajun Mutt Press; Rusty Truck Magazine; Rye Whiskey Review; Deep Water Literary Journal; The Huffington Post USA; The Stray Branch Literary Magazine; Crack The Spine Literary Magazine; The Lampeter Review; Panoplyzine  Poetry Magazine; Dissident Voice.  Check out the first 3 issues of the Lothlorien Journal see the website listed above for more & to order. 

A Poetry Showcase by Susan Darlington

shallow focus photo of red flowers

White Roots

The seed’s journey ended
in the crook of my spine.

It sent down thin white roots
that blindly tapped for purchase.

Dug deeper into bone; my back twisting
while the sapling grew tall and straight.

A goldfinch landed in the canopy
with sunshine held in its beak.

I offered it shelter. It offered me light.
Fed me rays of yellow blossom.

When it flew away my vertebrae
crumbled. My spine was felled.

Empty leaves rustled in my out-breath;
a green sea that spilled into my body

and washed it away on the next tide.

(With reference to Heavens To Betsy’s “My Red Self”)

It was the summer
we made a pinkie promise
to always be sisters.

Afternoons spent locked
in our bedrooms, we bloomed
from schoolgirls into goddesses

with our knee-high socks,
vintage camisoles, 
and thick gloops of lipstick 

in the darkest plums and reds.
It was the colour of menstrual blood.
It was the colour of power.

We used it to write
‘slut’ down our arms
and ‘witch’ across our bellies.

Marvelled at how liberated
we were as we sang
to our favourite records.

“Never wear white/
Or your shame will creep thru.”
Knowing that in those vinyl grooves
there was the possibility of change.

At Six Weeks...

your cells would have divided,
multiplied and bloomed like algae
in the secrecy of your dark pond.

Its fluid would have rippled
to the pounding katoosh, katoosh
of your pearl of a heart;

sloshed as you squirmed,
flicked your amphibious tail
out of the shallows too soon

- impatient to take a gulp of air -
and swam into my heart’s roar  
as it divided in two.

Meadow Clearance

The meadow’s been razed.

Its cloud of oxeye daisies
gathers in a carbon storm
that floods out the city

where roadside cornflowers
bow their heads in sleep
as gravel nights descend

and a single red poppy
cries its bloodied petals
over what has been lost.

Bio: Susan Darlington’s poetry regularly explores the female experience through nature-based symbolism and stories of transformation. It has been published in Dreich, Anti-Heroin Chic, Dream Catcher, and One Hand Clapping among others. Her chapbook ‘Traumatropic Heart’ is upcoming from Selcouth Station and her collection ‘Under The Devil’s Moon’ is available from Penniless Press. Follow her @S_sanDarlington   

Wolfpack Contributor: Susan Darlington

A Poetry Showcase by John Drudge

photo by David Salamanca (c) Unsplash


When quiet
Slows the night
And anticipation
Quickens the pace
Of echoing steps
Through heavy-eyed
Down to the wintry river
To wait for the memory 
Of you
In the place
Where we once were

The Café

To the Latin Quarter
To the cafe
By the store
Where you bought
That green dress
Where we locked
Our bikes
To the street lamp
And raced the rain 
To salvation
Where the table
Was ours
In our universe
Away from it all
With everything nestled in
Where it belonged

Malaga Moon

The warm ocean breeze
Docks its thoughts
High up
On the white sand beach
Up to the patio
Of the bodega bar
With the windows wide open
And the stars near
Where men from the mountains
And drifters 
From the shore
Mingle in a multitude
Of loud moods
The day’s unrest
With cheap cold beer
And oysters on the half
Under the watchful eye
Of a boastful moon
On a deeply inked
Malaga night

On the Road to Marseilles

I remember once
When we were young
And in love
With the sharp edge 
Of everything
Green in the grip
Of tomorrow
And looking toward
Slim horizons
In a slow rolling need
On the road 
To Marseilles 
Pressing hard 
Across Provence
From Nice
With the baby 
In the back seat
Making sweet noise
As the fields
And vineyards
Rolled by

Bio: John is a social worker working in the field of disability management and holds degrees in social work, rehabilitation services, and psychology.  He is the author of four books of poetry: “March” (2019), “The Seasons of Us” (2019), New Days (2020), and Fragments (2021). His work has appeared widely in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies internationally. John is also a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and lives in Caledon Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children.

Poetry Showcase for Merril D. Smith (including some Leonard Cohen inspired poems)

(c) Geoffrey Wren

Rhythms of Time

Birds on a wire
gather like clouds before a storm,
like thoughts flocked together,
perched before they fly shadow-winged
toward the blazing sun

gilding the rooftops--and the fiddler—
with his burning violin, 
sings the songs of stars—

the endless cycle of before
and after love and beauty, constants amidst the fleeting. 
And so, we waltz, three-quarters beyond time,
pausing like birds, then soaring high again,
in rhythm, feeling the universe’s beat.

*Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and “Dance Me to the End of Time.”*


Star-dusted primordial seas birth dinosaurs,
who emerge to fly back toward the light.
From river shore, I watch them
in bobble-winged flight,
twinkling silver above the sapphire waves.
Now, there, in the crisscross currents, 
the osprey sights a rainbow beneath the surface. 
A dive and splash, his taloned toes grab
the flounder--
who only sees white wings,
the Angel of Death, carrying him home.


There’s a space in the tumble of a wave
 just before it hits the sand, 
when you can see the fold of time--a fraction of a second
that vanishes with the evanescent sparkle
of spindrift in the air,
a synaptic connection made and gone,
winged on white gull against grey-blue sky. 
As a strand of seaweed twines around your ankle, 
the moment passes,
and the next --
and you remember him,
and that space between heartbeats, 
when you listened, waiting for the next one--
that never came.

Short bio: Merril D. Smith is a historian and poet. She is inspired by nature, particularly her walks along the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published recently in Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nightingale and Sparrow, and Fevers of the Mind.

Twitter: @merril_mds

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Merril D. Smith

The Wind Whispers Storms by Merril D. Smith   (poetry from her webpage)

3 poems from Merril D. Smith in Fevers of the Mind Poetry Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Poetry Showcase: 4 new poems by Michael Igoe

aerial view of green and yellow trees beside body of water during daytime

photo by Michael Bowman (unsplash)

By Chelsea Creek

Airborne jet of yellow          .                                                                                                                   over the Mystic River.                                                                                                                            Some ones seem carmine                                                                                                                                     the ones without any roar.                                                                                                                                                   Are they captives                                                                                                                                      of some lesser sun?                                                                                                                                            They’re in a song we sang                                                                                                                                when we were still young.                                                                                                                                                                 On a downtown landscape                                                                                                                                         sometimes a blue building                                                                                                                                   or an old crumbling tower.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You're the defeated artist                                                                                                                                             who’s in search of a cure.                                                                                                                      I come to join recklessly                                                                                                                                                your cause at its junction.                                                                                                                      I don’t want to stumble                                                                                                                                   divided and conquered.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I seek your recognition                                                                                                                                                     as someone who pilfers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the coffers of Christians.

Thirst For Brown Water

There’s healthy sense                                                                                                                                                               in absence of intention.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         These surfaces                                                                                                                                             break quick time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This pool soon grows cold                                                                                                                               swimming within a frame                                                                                                                                       It’s seen in bad dreams                                                                                                                                but its contours altered                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to mute heckling within.    

Midwinter Children

They tell their story,                                                                                                                                   of restless swallows.                                                                                                                                        In a random moment,                                                                                                                                   wearing rough haloes.                                                                                                                                    They felt oddly,                                                                                                                              about their gods.                                                                                                                                        Counting on the arrival     

Morning of the 27th                   

 Your shape tended                                                                                                                                           to render sameness                                                                                                                                        to all your moods                                                                                                                                                                                   all your darkness.                                                                                                                                      You made sure                                                                                                                                                                                        you spent time                                                                                                                                          putting me at ease.                                                                                                                                               In a few stars,                                                                                                                                            I  bear witness.                                                                                                                                  past the minaret,                                                                                                                                                            Those past the dome,                                                                                                                                  ones past the minaret.                                                                                                                                                    A satyr shadowed,                                                                                                                                                      one half is divine,                                                                                                                                              another half is                                                                                                                                                            odd among gods.                                                                                                                                    Gods worshipped                                                                                                                                                                           older, often naive,                                                                                                                                               rooted in rudeness.                                                                                                                                   

Bright ones remark,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    there's always a sky                                                                                                                                      playful each morning.                                                                                                                                                         Only one sky, but frozen,                                                                                                                                 issuing what came before                                                                                                                              to take liberty with virtue.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA), thebluenib.com, minerallit.com. Avalanches In Poetry Anthology@amazon.com. National Library Of Poetry Editor's Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. poetryinmotion416254859.wordpress.com. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.

New poems by Michael Igoe “Lure of the Hunt, In the Same Breath, Exhibits”               

Poems by Michael Igoe : “In Certain Climates” & “Elliptical”