Poetry: Painting, Insomnia, October Morning by Paul Robert Mullen


admittedly she had sad eyes

but don’t all lovers


someone commented that she was pale

someone else said she had pretty hair

i bet she’d be soft spoken you whispered

when everyone had gone

and i was left with the easel

and a broken window not yet repaired

i made myself some hot chocolate

to ease the gunfire

in my head

i started to question my vision of

Anna Karenina

and decided that next time

if i could stay out of bed

for long enough

i would paint snowflakes or nuclear war

anything but this


sunrise on a beautiful horizon

i haven’t slept for days and

this headspace is leaden heavy

i move like music jilted / somehow in tune

ready to break into …

the mountains blink and i shudder

at the thought of forever

empty plastic screams from the floor

i can only breathe through motion

you look at me as though i am a

dissatisfactory explanation

the sun swamps the half-light like the veil

on an ugly girl resigned

to mediocrity

there is life in the trees precious untarnished life

i watch through the window as though ready

for the arrival of someone

these walls stink of secrets & worse

we smile regardless

what more is there to do?



october mornings

are my favourite

since they are so lucid

there is no weight of expectation hanging

on an october morning

nobody expects storms or sunshine

nobody really expects anything

but a clear sky

that is neither red nor blue

i take my pills and wait for an october morning

it is July

Paul Robert Mullen is a poet, musician and sociable loner from Liverpool, U.K. He has three published poetry collections: curse this blue raincoat (2017), testimony (2018), and 35 (2018). He has been widely published in magazine, journals and anthologies worldwide. Paul also enjoys paperbacks with broken spines, and all things minimalist. Soon to be co-editor of the upcoming poetry & arts zine “The Broken Spine Arts Collective”

Twitter: @mushyprm35

Poetry by Samantha Merz : Peripheral Vision,Wind Chimes, Volcanoes Erupt


I like to focus on you
Unfortunately I don’t have tunnel vision
There is someone in my peripheral vision
Experiencing numbness from Carpal tunnel syndrome

Thought I saw a ghost in the reflection

Bad since birth
Paint chips and deli dips
Porcelain painted clocks
Poires Belle Helene
Wearing ruby red lip gloss
Glazed and dipped doughnut
Dreamiest scene

Cool Chrysler New Yorker
Seaside skyline
Cross my mind
Cinnamon chai
Crossing your mind
Why did the chicken cross your mind?
I think it’s definitely puppy love
Just like Allison and Russell
Fear of dreamers
Nothing I adore
Seen standing still

Boulevard Boy
Navy nights and stage fright
Caught me staring
On the bus
Saw a huge horned owl
Almost sunset
Quite Similar
Tiles for miles
Salmon berry sunset
Fortunate peace
Regal robins
Strange striated sidewalks
White snow fairy tale slide
Daffodils in dirt
Bye now
Before bed
Wild roses
Slow & stoned
Mechanical heart
James McAvoy Eyes

Jane and Jesse Pinkman
Descriptive distortion
Lush landscape
Pristine gardens
Slim stone statue
Pretty palace
Christmas decorating

Amazing alfresco ambiance
Meticulously manicured
Darkness of the soul
Spiritual healing
My way with words
On the right track

A brighter future
Complete concentration
Be friendly
Ready to travel
Think outside of the box
Mountain of magnolias
Glad you blaze

Riders Paradise
Musical West Virginia heaven
Playing John Denver in the sunshine state
Wearing my off the shoulder white mesh sweater

Florida key lime pie
Sweet slice of paradise
Coconut cocktails in Maui March Madness

Spring break bliss
Siren redemption
Heart shaped sunglasses
Listening to Marilyn Manson
I want to live in a black mansion

Sipping mango margaritas in Miami
Got to have my chai, Mai Tai in Hawaii
You feel real, highlights on the film reel
Feeling tipsy, running around the cul-de-sac

Not supposed to scream and shout, guess I should shut my mouth

Toujours bonjour
Et maintenant, au revoir

Seems like she has nothing to do, no one to see, and avoiding chores

Scrapes from speeding on Razor scooters on the Wide Island
Told by others I have a high pain tolerance, I guess you do too
Does he hold you down or put you on hold?
God knows what you’ve had to do for money

Wish I could’ve met your father, he was a glassblower

No laughing matter, a gaffer, not a myth but a glassmith
His ex-girlfriend stole your prized glassfish
Heaven sent at the winter event
I wore a classic Coach scent
So glad we went
Pent up excitement
Would never tell you to get bent

Who knows when he will next strike?
I sat down during your stand up set
You look like Kevin Parker if he had a buzz cut
Told I’m like Hermione with honey highlights

Birds of paradise on a mobile
Song birds on a carousel
Common birds on place mats and coasters
Framed Fendi Zucca prints on the walls
Mostly grey furniture to hide the stains
Idyllic Coffee Chain

Movement or cationic captured on campus cameras

Revelling in reverse
Army green on the scene


She finally chimed in during a drama class discussion about lovely sounds

Her favourite sound was the sound of wind chimes
Unfortunately, there was some unnecessary drama from the teacher

The student was told that the sound of wind chimes should only be heard in horror movies

The teenage girl became embarrassed and fell silent
She finally graduated years later

Moved on from theatrics and her wishes to be a contemporary celebrity
Observed a woman licking an unidentified object multiple times on the bus

Couldn’t look away

Didn’t want to assume the worst or tinker away to try to look better
Seeking positive energy to bring into her space

Wanting to find good luck outside, sweet dreams inside and a spiritual connection


It’s hard to debate with a mate

Good intentions backfire

Wooden bedside table replaced by a filing cabinet

Thinking about the possibility of a solar vortex, gobsmacked by the galaxy

His former flame enjoys watching commercials

She moves at a slower pace than him

Only after simple pleasures and routine

Cooking tuna casseroles after peeling carrots

Loves planting roses, dahlias and enjoys knitting

Left alone to shop; socialize.

Her subconscious gets the best of her

Volcanoes erupt

BIO: Samantha’s Passion Seeker poem was published in Lean In: A Collection of Canadian Poetry by Polar Expressions Publishing in 2018. Samantha’s Queen Carola’s Parotia on the Pergola, Rusty Red Roads, Surrounded by Vibrant Sun Conures, Girl On The Green, Sultry July, Hyper-Pigmented Psychedelia, Monster Truck, Paragon Paradise, Polvo, Drive Straight poems have been published online on Grey Thoughts in 2019. Samantha’s Volcanoes Erupt poem was published in Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issue 2: In Memoriam, 2019.  Samantha’s work can also be found in Avalanches in Poetry: Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen 

Misc. Poetry by Ulane Vuorio: Cocoon of Misery, Choices, Darkness, Does Anybody See?

Cocoon of Misery


Some days

I am tight wound

like coiled spring

bundle of frayed nerves

just looking for escape

way to lash out

my frustration

I am wrapped

in black velvet

of endless night

closing around me

cocoon of misery

holding me

in rigid embrace

of my own mind

I feel like

time is running out

whichever way I turn

road is standing up

but I know deep down

there has to be

a way for life

to get better



you chose him

but he did not choose

all of you

he slapped the girl

from your past


godmother’s magic

made her sofa

a happy place

for the girl

not wanted

taking the tears

and hiding her hurt

but she came back

others judgement

made her say

that we are all

big happy family

girl wanted to stay

but girls

are not asked

and they do not

get to ask why

why did you not

choose me

I was only





In your darkness

you crave me

because of my light


and in your loneliness

you hate me

because of my light


in your greediness

you want it all

all my light


not to shine

just to have it

alone in your darkness


Does Anybody See


my head is full of words

your words of anger

that break me


into million pieces


slowly down


I am nowhere


lonely silence


I take the pieces

and put together

a new me


leave the pieces

that were yours

lying there


this new me

so fragile

and transparent


does anybody see

this new me

does anybody see


Ülane Vuorio is a poetess and amateur photographer who finds inspiration spending time outdoors in her beautiful homeland of Finland. Her passion is nature and macro photography, finding beauty in small things that often go unnoticed.

Ülane started reading and writing at age five. Books and words still at the center of her life today. Working as a freelance interpreter made her fall in love with versality of words. She enjoys flash fiction and dreams of publishing her own book of poetry and photography. You can find her on Twitter at @UlaneVuorio

Poetry: Footprints by Matthew M C Smith

(for my father)

Our footprints, the tracks of our play,

going all ways, ran deep along the shore.

All our lives we laughed along that stretch,

we laughed at simple games, splashing

through pools of silver, across sands of

burnished gold. We laughed against the sky

and you listened to young voices,

spellbound, time out of mind.

That day, the wind whipped the waves,

the swell surged, we were beaten

by torrents, caught in the rising storm,

the crash, deafening.

We floundered, soaked to the bone.

The light was cold, so very cold

and we shouted as we saw you,

separate, tides encircling,

gazing out in silence.

We saw your still, bowed head,

as if in prayer. The rip took your feet,

and you were taken, consumed,

the falling man.

We took your arms, hands,

searched in eyes of ages blue,

taking that curve of jaw, seeing your soul

as a burning ship and still your head was bowed.

As the tide slipped, you were white, so white,

kissed by time’s silent lips.

No cry, nor whisper, a cross shape near

crested roar and the people you love

carry you from the shore

BIO: Matthew M C Smith is a Welsh poet from Swansea. He has been published in Poetry Northern Ireland’s Panning for Poems and The Seventh Quarry and won the RS Thomas Prize for Poetry at the Gwyl Cybi festival in 2018. He particularly enjoys writing nature, cosmic and mythic poetry and has written much of it in the wake of his father’s death. Matthew is the editor for  Black Bough Poetry. He tweets at @MatthewMCSmith and @blackboughpoems The Black Bough website is at www.blackboughpoetry.com

Photo of Michael CAF Smith (Matthew’s father) 1948-2012

Poetry by K Weber : Untitled, Freelance Patient, Support System, Observation


nearing the sallow
fen, the natural

eye spots
a cardinal, up-

tick deer.

ragwort creeps
the footpath.

sun escapes
behind a yawn

of trees stretching
limbs to form

an awning. rock
and dust

sleep here
every night

without objection.

This untitled piece is from my 2018 online chapbook/audiobook “cling as ink.”

Freelance, patient

I am terrified
of whatever’s going wrong
with me but I am old
enough to know that
when it feels like a heart
attack, a broken
bone, diabetes,
typhoid, it’s not. It’s all
in my head like the pointy
fingers laughing at me
while I break in half
and halves again.

Support system
There are bones
relying on other
bones. Right knee-
cap is wrong.
Hip pops and thigh
crackles hot. Discs
light up with sparks
on tender meat.
Spinal fluid may
contain a patient
silt. It waits for any
color; determines
today as a mood ring.

The maple leaves
are little paws
in reflection. They
want to tap into
the river to reach
past stone and into
each fish.
My back
on the grass,
I eyeball clouds
through oak
and acorn. The roots
grow into me
and I await

K Weber lives and writes in southwestern Ohio. THIS ASSEMBLY is her 5th self-published online chapbook and audiobook project. Her writing has been included in issues of Memoir Mixtapes, Detritus Online, Black Bough Poetry, Writer’s Digest, Moonchild Magazine, Theta Wave and more! Her photography has appeared in such literary magazines as Barren Magazine and Nightingale & Sparrow. K earned her BA in Creative Writing from Miami University in 1999. More publishing credits and access to all of her online book projects at: http://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com