3 poems by Maxine Rose Munro : “This, my most honest of poems”, “Babel”, & “On a hillside,”

This, my most honest of poems

I wish I was like you, not
as simile but as metaphor
– as an 'I am' type thing. 

Not because of your tall
which juts above my short
when I am juxtaposed with you.

I will not compare and contrast
our hair, noses, mouths, your hands
that enclose mine.

I'm satisfied with my physical body:
all that's lumpy, scraggy, wobbly,
and, yes, even my strange, way too-long toes.

But I envy you your emotions,
the way your head and heart hear
what each has to say.

Never does one drown out the other,
or sulk in silence. You always say
only what you mean.

And you mean everything
with the words you use.
You are perfectly composed.

Like I made this poem to be,
like I myself want to be
but never am.


I watch them skim, lizards
almost the colour of my mother's panstik,
twitch-jerk among crumbled dirt

also shaded lizard. The lizards look
and move unlike anything I've seen. Fast,
faster than the eye can measure,

but still it seems in my grasp
to speak with them, as if we could
commune as one,

shared ancestry loosening our tongues,
letting us laugh together, swop tales
of differing views of a same world.

Later, my toddler daughter will stumble
into a shelf of milk, a bottle will fall,
tumble to shop floor spilling out everything,

and I will be unable
to make myself understood
to the French shopkeeper.

On a hillside,

bed-time approaching, a child sits
in a garden deep inside of memory,
loans me her ears. I hear

sea waves that come
                                               and go,

a bumble bee I know is tied to there
and then, but its toilsome droning
could be any other bee
                                                   just to listen to it,

and echoes, there are echoes

for every sound

             there's another
                                 just behind it/slightly
                                      overlapping it,

boys in dinghies ahoy to each other
                                   hear themselves answer
before they're prepared

a heart beats twice          breath goes in
                                                                  and out

a gull's cry sounds so close           just over there

there, it stretches back out to its own echo,

nothing ever ends,

the tide turns again, echoes
are calling me home.

Bio: Maxine Rose Munro is a Shetlander adrift on the outskirts of Glasgow. She writes in both English and her native Shetlandic Scots, and is widely published in the UK and beyond, both
in print and online, including in Acumen; Ink, Sweat and Tears; and Southlight. Find her here

2 poems by Maxine Rose Munro in Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020

Poem by Susan Richardson : “Mean Girls”

Smiley, Angry, Black, Mean, Smirk, Face

Mean Girls

glide through rooms
diaphanous surfaces
slipping through fingers
breezes hatch storms
brutality lurks
beneath flawless skin
pretty legs 
platform shoes 
stamp out hearts
eyes command the sun
lashes twinkle
soft edges
a mirage
perfectly pouting mouths
hide deception 
hollow words 
woven onto tongues
tumble effortlessly

More from Susan:
Books to read for 2021: Things My Mother Left Behind by Susan Richardson (Potter’s Grove Press) with “Leaves” from the book

Poem by Charlotte Oliver :The Cleaning of my Heart

The Cleaning of My Heart

A big suction slurp and a pop as her bran tub-reach retrieves 
my memory of tutu dolly lying on the aubretia – 
pink&green&purple – such beauty only paralleled to 
my kitten self by mum, hair tonged and eyes shadowed blue. A 
quick wipe over, she stuffs it back down to the bottom, and blind 
fingers stumble on, sliding  over and through decades of me 
heaped on top of each other like a bucket of shells. She 
pulls out shapes and colours, some unrecognisable for a 
moment, others accessed more recently – the temperature 
of grandpa’s hands, the clatter of the button tin, loneliness. 
Some have fused from long association so she 
handles them more carefully, others are just crumbs – microscopic 
starbursts filling dark spaces between – which she gathers up 
in a metal tray and empties straight back in. I am surprised 
by how many pairs of shoes have found their way inside it, a 
structure I surely should reserve for things that matter more, warm 
shame as I remember there are shoes I have loved more than 
some people but after a good polish, they sit back in 
more comfortably. She lays a lot of what she finds out on the lawn, 
so many neat rows of reasons for who I am that after a 
while I am giddy and light, an empty plastic bag 
waltzing with the wind through an endless sky.When she has cleaned 
and replaced everything, I realise that there is room for more. 

Bio: Charlotte Oliver is a writer who lives in Scarborough, Yorkshire. She was the commissioned poet for BBC Radio York’s Make a Difference campaign and her work have been published widely. She has poems upcoming in Cape Magazine’s Bitches Get Stuff Done, Green Teeth’s Yorkshire Anthology, Black Bough’s Winter edition and Ice Floe’s Pandemic Love Anthology.
She tweets at @charlotteolivr

Wolfpack Contributor: Charlotte Oliver

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Charlotte Oliver

5 micro-poems by Ethan McGuire “Home” “Good Weather Bad” “The Warm Front” “Burnt World-Heart” & “Thorn & Shout”

Clouds, Sky, Sunset, Dusk, Dark, Red Sky

alone, 24,901 
miles from home.

“Good Weather Bad”

Red sky at night, 
     sailors delight; 
great, gray billows 
     brush over good news. 

“The Warm Front”

A dirty, cloudy night turns into morning.
New morning reveals a sickly, sepia sky.

A cold front lumbered through this way a week ago.
A wicked sort of weather approaches now. 

“Burnt World-Heart”

I think the whole world has gone crazy.
             Or maybe it's just me
             who's found what it is to be
                     the world.
I fight the fire,
but the flames burn me to the heart.

“Thorn & Shout”

The Queen, my queen—
the Queen of the South—
inspires our love
and some kind of shout.

The King, my king—
the King of the North—
sits on a throne
of thistle and thorn.

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.

Salt by Ethan McGuire poetry entry for Avalanches in Poetry 2 Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen

A Review for Black Bough Poetry: Dark Confessions

(c) Darren Green (c) Black Bough Poetry

Dark Confessions

When editor Matthew M. C. Smith has an idea he goes all out. He looks for and seeks out challenges that generates wonderful ideas, poetry & art from contributors to the Black Bough brand.

His latest baby is “Dark Confessions” a book that explores a variety of themes such as isolation, confinement, disease and corruption. This is a prelude to a second edition which will focus on themes of ‘Freedom’ and ‘Rapture’ which is brought about as a tribute to poet/singer Jim Morrison (50 years after his passing) and the idea of “Riders on the Storm” and Blondie’s “Rapture” a very interesting idea indeed.

Matthew knows many wonderful artists & poets through the communities. He’s got a wonderful poet co-editor on board with Kari Flickinger, as well as co-editors Ness Owen & Ranjabali Chaudhuri. The artistic design of the book(s) come from designer Darren Green, from Swansea. Very visually appealing and leaving you wanting to begin to tap into the human feeling, the edginess that the human brain tip-toes on. That comes from Dark Confessions.

This series is dedicated to Welsh poet Dai Fry (a Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020 contributor as well) who had an untimely passing as the book was going into publication. Please read his work below for a sample of his work in Fevers

3 poems by Dai Fry from Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

The contributors of writing & art in “Dark Confessions” is a who’s who of current day poets that are putting out life changing pieces everyday and should be looked at more often.

Contributors such as Matthew M. C. Smith, Elizabeth Barton, Tara Skurtu, M.S. Evans, Marian Christie, Eileen Carney Hulme, Ness Owen, Claire Loader, Jonathan Braceras, Ranjabali Chaudhuri, Steve Jensen, Devon Marsh, Kari Flickinger, Briony Collins, Jeffrey Yamaguchi, James Lilley, Adwaita Das, Daniel Blick, Kim M. Russell, Alan Parry, Dominic Weston, Sophie Livingston, Philip Berry, Mike Farren, Rich Schilling, George Sandifer Smith, Tolu Oloruntoba, Maeve McKenna, Tom Lagasse, Liz McGrath, Jo Gatford, Elinor Ann Walker, Billy Fenton, Nick Newman, Roger Hare, Elizabeth Spencer Spragins, Julie Mullen, Emry Trantham, Andy MacGregor, Daniel Fraser, Wendy Humphries, Dai Fry, Anthony Paticchio, Ankh Spice, Natalie Ann Holborow, Mark Antony Owen and i’m hoping i’m not leaving anyone out, because this is quite the list.

I’m still reading this collection which was gifted to me to read, and some of these poems I keep re-reading because the imagery has to be rested on for awhile and just mingle with your mind tingles for a bit. You can feel the emotives that are put out there, and do you dance with that emotion, do you hide from that emotion, do you cry for awhile in those emotions, do you smile from the creative wordplay?

Polish Mother Bones by M.S. Evans
“Each of us has roses in our throats”

Mercy by Tara Skurtu 
"You can easily be
forgotten in the unforgiving
blood of the family"

Just an example of some lines from these creative poems.
You will definitely want to check this series out from the brilliant Matthew M. C. Smith's latest endeavor in a collective poetic magnum opus. 

Honorary Wolfpack Contributor: Matthew M C Smith