Poem by David L O’Nan Butterflies and Manifestations


There was a time
When I had an existence
We were the Roses
In fields with the butterflies
A Masterpiece
Manifestations followed by
The wilting, just weeds
Butterflies spread across the crispness
Of the ground
Through it all sticks and the snakes
The moments of life
Beats your reflections
Upon one’s self
All the hugs in 20 quick seconds
All the kisses in a flash of cloud to ground lightning
The moments of the attempts play like a 4 hour movie
The pills, the Crashing to the floor
Revived, prayers you have to rip from the mud.
Just to see your reflection
After another infestation
See yourself in precious waters
Pulled petals and thorns scattered
In the forms of scrambled tombstone etchings
Battles in love, beauty in achievements
When you stabbed your self-doubts
And you felt fragrant, and you could attract a crowd of dandelions whom thought they were Hollywood.
Make the proud moment reflections last longer,
God please
When I’m holding my babies
Not accepting being one of the masses of Roses
I feel the drowning of my mind
Being held down into another ditch
Another infestation
Butterflies scurry to a truth
A Masterpiece in true waters
A welcoming warm stare of the Nymphaea Nelumbo
May I feel comfort resting in this blanket of grass
Resting under twilight
Stars of God
Lift me into light
I can fully encompass the reflections
The last days of diseases that withered me to bone and plastic skin
I can see that I like everyone had moments of being a Masterpiece
That flew with the butterflies
A crowding of love
Purging ideas that there were infestations at all, and what was claustrophobia
Was just blind tremors
And tricks of sin
That oozed out the poisons
And scooped up, in handfuls and drank in by your own soul
When scared and resistant

photo by Meg Jarrard on Unsplash

Wolfpack Contributor EIC Bios: David L O’Nan & HilLesha O’Nan

3 poems by Tim Heerdink : “In a City of Cathedrals, I Weep” “Veteran’s Day” “When the Cardinal Comes to Visit”

In a City of Cathedrals, I Weep

I weep upon sight of the towering cross
       each block there is a new monument risen by the faithful
     to stand and remind passersby
                that tithes and offerings can raise astonishing structures
          and account for the maintenance
                while cleansing your conscience and wallet.

Belief in the unseen isn’t impossible for me,
                              but it’s getting hard to continue practicing
         worship for an entity
                         who damned us at conception.

How can I find peace in such hostility?
            All these denominations standing
    like hotspots on a city map
                                have a common outlook.
        Chosen ones awaiting departure,
                                     waving farewell to the unforgiven.

What if there is a Creator
                   who gets off on our torment,
           events that could be prevented but play
                                      because of will and destiny?
       Is that love?

Perhaps we are entertainment
                       on the stage of a grand theater on opening night.
          A night without end
                           for death just begins the next act
                       where roles are decided upon your behavior,
                                                   how much you’re willing to sacrifice.

Veteran’s Day

When the eleventh day of the eleventh month comes
around, I am forced to relive the beginning of the end.

I still can hear the frantic cries of my dad on the phone
as he informed me that he was too late in saving Mom.

What we feared for months came into fruition with a wreck
that for us made all the clocks in the world come to a stop.

Others are celebrating veterans of wars on foreign soil
while I recall her internal battle with her brain tumor.

Cancer pulled the first shot to ignite months of struggle,
& it ultimately claimed her in the war, yet she is the victor.

This disease is like a bully that keeps finding more victims
to wear down until they no longer are themselves.

Mom has a new body where she’s at now & no longer needs
the broken shell that had no other choice but to crash.

When the Cardinal comes to Visit

It is said that when a loved one crosses planes
of consciousness & enter their new form,
they occasionally come back as a bird.

Cardinals are the commonly chosen hosts
for their red feathers are stark in the gray
skies which cover the lives of those in mourning.

Like a little girl tossed around among the crowd,
the cardinal fights its way through for a glimpse
& to deliver a message from beyond the treetops.

I hang special seed to attract only these kind
so I can feel my deceased ones’ presence
nearby whenever doing my best seems hard.

Several states share the cardinal as their official
bird to be treasured by all who watch with scopes;
we remain in eternal mourning in the Midwest.

Bio: Tim Heerdink is the author of Somniloquy & Trauma in the Knottseau Well, The Human Remains, Red Flag and Other Poems, Razed Monuments, Checking Tickets on Oumaumua, Sailing the Edge of Time, I Hear a Siren’s Call, Ghost Map, A Cacophony of Birds in the House of Dread, and short stories, The Tithing of Man and HEA-VEN2. His poems appear in various journals and anthologies. He is the President of Midwest Writers Guild of Evansville, Indiana.

Poems by Sadie Maskery : “Safe Spaces” “Faith” & “Haiku”

Safe spaces

Refuge comes in shadows, small corners.
I had two dens as a child.
I made acorn babies with twigs for limbs,
curled beneath an old pallet
propped against an oak tree.
Other children found me. Get out they said.
I dropped my dolls, sidled to one side,
a small animal observing humans
wreck her nest, uncomprehending
as they smashed the wood with branches
torn from trees, crushed my friends underfoot, laughing; I was confused.
They would not destroy without cause,
I must have deserved it somehow.

The other den was a hole, a scar
in a hillock of tattered tarpaulins
and dumped fossil cans. I dreamed
amongst the weeds, alone except for
the flasher behind the chain link fence.
Come closer, he would cajole.
I would smile shyly from my fort,
squint at his friendly flaccidity.
Part of the scenery, he never moved,
just leaned, squares and diamonds
pressed into his soft pale belly.
Come closer, do you want to touch it?
I would sigh and wish he had acorns
I could make into little babies.


it’s a     shock, 

the first time

an old man 

sticks        his tongue

in your mouth

leechlike,     i did not 

expect the feel 

of dried slime 


in a        space reserved 

for orange squash 

     and moon dust 

 no    words   to      say

 so     i recoiled     and 

my mother told me

not to be        rude as

i backed      away

all i could think of 

was the      egg       stains 

on his      collar 

from the wedding     buffet

and the      scum of 

spit round his         lips

when       he smiled

the next 



(I never mention

all the times being female 

meant ‘I deserved it’.)

Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family.  Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as “functioning adequately “.

photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

2 poems by Jennifer Roche :”in the City of X” “February Poem 2: The Calving”

In the City of X (on Barbara Guest’s “Photographs”)

We speak in photos now. What had been distance
may be memory but someone has taken the accident
and refracted it.

The sun lights the street lamp. The street lamp finds
the government building. The tree trees

until it closes. Memory is loss
whose fear of more loss releases the shutter.

A negative rises from whatever is stilled. A feather
can not play a violin

even in a walnut sitting room.

Emotions cycle in a clockwise manner.
Pause. Rewind. Play: In the city of X,
they pour genies into cameras.

Originally appeared online in Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, 2015

February Poem #2: The Calving

February calves
and turns the city
the color of ash. Every/
where is one glove. Every/
thing seeps. The pineapple chunk
picked from a Pyrex bowl in the fridge
tastes like a cold, thready sun
and the lone pulley of spring.

Originally appeared in Ghost Ocean Magazine, #14.

Now available: “20,” my chapbook of erasure poems from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea out from Alternating Current Press.

feature photo by: Sven Scheuermeier (unsplash)

2 poems by Sarra Culleno : Little Red Morrigan & Six Storey Conversion


Many moons ago / in a land of laws / now lost to time /when the goddess chose to favour a king / they saw that together / their land gave crops /their people were victorious / and all the land’s kingdoms prospered / The kings swore loyalty and protection / in return for Sovereignty’s gifts /A mutual return / a shared goal / a harmony ensuring Eire never a Wasteland became
It was at this time / a little girl found herself suddenly medium-sized / Perhaps it was something she ate / but somehow the world behaved differently now / full of wolfish riddles she was expected to solve / just because she had become medium-sized overnight / It seemed accepted by all but Brigit herself / that some epiphanic / earth-shaking new insight / should be conjured up automatically / alongside her new proportions /Which it was not
She climbed no trees today / play was withdrawn / No one called her Brigit anymore / she was only Aisling now / And tomorrow / why /they might call her Mother Danu / or Caelleach the Hag? / She had seen it happen before/ to be sure
Cowed and made meek by such expectations / she crept away from the Aonghus Bog / which threatened to enmesh her in its gory treacle / all the while hunched and shrinking herself under her red shroud / – too bright a hue to suit her yet – / to the shore / where she muffled her voice / under the sea / with the selkies / and her cries mingled unheard / beneath the call of the gulls above / She longed to join in their freedoms / to play in dancing dives and leaps / as their sounds stayed proud and large / behind roaring wind and water / During the wars / The Washer Women were seen / seeping these waters / with the battle blood of soldiers’ garments / and here Brigit’s red cloaks / swirled in the foam / much the same / It was in this spot / that at last / Sovereignty stood tall / to full height / with arms stretched out / to full span / so the wind / lifted her cloak like wings / and she added her irrepressible screams / to her land’s silent cacophony



Kabul Soccer Stadium’s goal posts sport a fresh white lick – over prints of taliban’s hung severed limbs – cut from convicts forced to kneel in the penalty spot – slumped shot – seeping onto soil – oozing gore onto grass so saturated it was dug to two metres to save today’s players swilling in open wounds – though green’s grown since – visitors fear hauntings at night – “better never means better for everyone – it always means worse for some”


penalised under the five mile act – non-conformists built refuge – adorned with organs – stained glass – ornate vaulted ceilings – The Unitarian Church High Pavement – a spiritual celebration – but irresolute – ephemeral – so that today – a mediocre chain-owned wine bar can sell happy-hour espresso martinis to Nottingham’s proletariat


“i had another name which nobody uses now because it is forbidden” – once upon a time a high school – repurposed in barbed wire – to fence and re-educate Gilead’s breeders – under the portmanteau of The Red Centre


Berlin’s Banana Bunker – wavering air-raid shelter – pliant to Soviets torturing prisoners of war – fermenting then into East Berlin’s warehouse for Cuba’s capricious bananas – oscillating next to orgies – hailed “the hardest club in the world” – until impermanent yuppies displayed their collections of art therein – “look on my works ye Mighty and despair


from industrial labyrinth of chimneys – spewing inky canopies – choking 300,000 worker bees toiling below – in dim damp – amidst screeching boilers – crunching wheels – arose The Hacienda – and Jerusalem was builded here in a dark Satanic Mill – slicing hell’s dark with glow of heavenly strobe – borrowing its fickle name from The Situationists – defying capitalism – defining New Order – now sold under the slogan “now the party’s over you can come home” – for one of the forms wealth takes when it hardens is luxury apartments crusting like stalactites into sharp shapes


flighty Manchester Central Railway Station – roofed by single span of wrought iron truss – converted to exhibit pretty innovations for a time – now a Nightingale Field Hospital – temporarily displays – with the army’s help – 1000 beds for the North West’s almost-dead – “this may not seem ordinary now but after a while it will”

Bio: Sarra Culleno is a British BAME poet, mother and English teacher who performs her writing at
events across the UK. She writes about children’s rights, motherhood, identity, gender, age,
technology, the environment, politics, modern monogamy and education. Sarra is widely
published. She has written fiction and poetry for publication, performance, print, audiodramas,
podcasts and radio. Sarra was longlisted for the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize, for Nightingale
and Sparrow’s Full Collections 2020, and nominated for Best of the Net 2020 by iambapoet.
Sarra co-hosts Write Out Loud at Waterside Arts, and performs as guest and featured poet at
numerous literary festivals.
Youtube.com/user/sarra1978 – YouTube
@sarracullenopoetry – Instagram
@sarra1978 – Twitter
Sarra1978@hotmail.com – Email
facebook.com/sarracullenopoetry – FaceBook

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Sarra Culleno