Three Poems by Melody Wang

The Chamber Magazine
What I’d Tell You If I Could 

Before everything turned to dust,
to grey soot before my unseeing eyes, 
Before I walked through life as a woman 
who still delighted in that feeling 
of desire of heat emanating 
from the wicked depths of a stranger  

It was here that I wrote these mementos 
on crisp hotel paper, the ink free-flowing, staining
the carpet below, much like I would mere moments
later. The floral wallpaper, wilted and curling around 
corners of what I now know to be my last sanctuary, 
has never been changed — but who dares disturb 

This slumber. Elusive as redemption. 3:18 a.m. 
always, the alarm clock gets stuck at this ungodly hour 
as if to keep my stagnant energy company, 
as if it could somehow change my fate 

Who are you, then, to complain of this room  —
the blessed radiator in the corner that far outlasted
	whatever remnant of life I tried to salvage
that god-awful lace pillow that pink faded color coagulating 
	with the filth of a thousand unworthy bums
grinding away at all hours of the night with no regard 
	for all the lonely souls that came before? 
All the Spells You’ve Harbored

Traversing the uncanny valley
evokes a sense of wrong geometry
having never been fully accustomed
to the delirium of the shadow world
Her neighbor refuses to cut those hedges
blocking drivers’ views, so the silent city 
grotesquely smiles, eager to gorge on bloated 
first fruits of the living before year’s end
Mother's fig tree is barren this year,
full diaphanous leaves tauntingly
upturned to receive the blessing yet
unwilling to reciprocate the sacrifice

Originally posted to HelloPoetry in 2020 

In the center realm
my awareness grows;
unbeknownst to him, I am
no longer the doe-eyed child
claimed (bound) by naivete
He slithers forth now
the attempts to parade
his glossy new image as
futile as the re-branding
of the Cecil – 
an ornate and stately
synagogue of sorrow
Darkening corridors
leading to nowhere
harbor secrets we've buried
alongside our dead –
where are they now?
A forgotten foretelling
paces warily in an
impenetrable glass cage
Under a quaint blood moon
he dresses his story again in
off-white flimsy shrouds
Only the filth remains.

Originally posted to HelloPoetry in 2020 

Melody Wang currently resides in sunny Southern California with her dear husband. In her free time, she dabbles in piano composition and also enjoys hiking, baking, and playing with her dogs. She can be found on Twitter @MelodyOfMusings.  

“Día de Muertos” Poetry by John Tustin

The Chamber Magazine
Disturbing the bones of the dead
Remembering the torment best forgotten
Creating your narrative of persecution and innocence

Wearing a halo of flies
You natter about your village in exaggerated anger
You put chains on the slaves you maternalistically call a tribe

Tonguing the wounds you open
Skinning the corpse and wearing the skin
Bearing the gift of maggots

You return in the night to make subtle agony
You come to take her by infecting me
You are the living disease

You enter the blood through a parasite in the ear
Your eyes twinkle with malevolence
Your eyes narrow with underhanded intent

You yourself are the illness
You wear your scars inside still raw and pink
You break the bone and suck the marrow from a smile

Disturbing the bones of the dead
Feeding on those who live
You yourself are dead

You kill the sun
The floor slick with sadness you create
Snarling with your bloody teeth

Drunk on bigotry and madness
Creating a false family of zombies frightened of noise and shadows
Frightened of you who casts the largest shadow

But you are the mistress of this darkness
You ascend from the steps of hell
Emerging from your sepulcher like a spider 

Cascading up and down the wall
Such loveless fangs
Such a cold embrace

You bring your fog of evaporated tears
You bring your pestilence like rotting meat on a rusty hook
You attempt to give every day to the dead

You bring sickness as if it is medicine
You alone create tomorrow:
Día de Muertos

John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. contains links to his published poetry online.

Five Poems by Edilson A. Ferreira

The Chamber Magazine

I wander by unvoiced, almost secretly, 
like a ghost by corners of a sleeping city,
fearful they could awake arresting me
to die at dawn on merciless lethal light.

First published in Right Hand Pointing issue 83-1, February 2015.
Comrades on the Road

I believe there is a conspiracy ongoing 
involving all of us. 
I do not know when or where it began,
nor who initiated it.
They occult from me their talks 
just I approach one of them. 
It seems to me a stealthy fellowship, 
a strange one, of saints and demons, 
angels and warlocks, even goblins. 
They congregate to rule all people,
fighting for our souls, one by one. 
Someone has been told it is a caste
that rids humanity from wrecking   
and leaves it alive on the road, 
leavening us before ultimate battle.

Published in Subterranean Blue, June 2015 issue. 
Translated into French as “Camarades sur la Route” by the author and Rebbeca Banks and published in Poésie Bleu Souterrain at the same date.

They say I have forgotten to turn out 
the lights of my ambition and desire, 
of the hurry, the youth and cockiness.  
I add, by myself, also the ones of love, 	
seeking, lust, yet envy.  And finally,
I am sure never will be lost others like  
the rejoicing to be alive and dreaming.
It would be good they get out of my way,    
for a loadstar still warms me so fiercely, 
that I mirror fire, I burn and, sometimes,  
I inject sparks. 

First published in Mocking Heart Review, Spring/Summer issue, 2016.
And the Wind Came

Showing that it did not come for love, 
did not know how to be gentle and affectionate. 
It came for lust and voluptuousness, not the breath
of a lover, but the madness of the impassioned.  
It did not learn to be breeze, was born this way, 
snorting and showing its claws, 
without notice or warning. 
Knocking at the doors and all of a sudden 
forcing the windows, 
like a river which comes out of its bed
and floods the lands around. 
It did not waste time making swirls or pranks, 
its shot was direct and accurate, without pause or rest, 
like a shameless male, clothes off and in open air, 
covering, without modesty or prudence, 
his chosen female. 
It has warned not to scrimp its desire, 
not turning into a hurricane. 

Published in TreeHouse Arts, January 31 2018.

Dreaming a Home-Journey from Exile 

Sometimes, one of us rises to the surface,
taking flight from the bottom of Dark Sea,
where, exiled, we have stayed for so long.      
Defeated in old battles forgotten by time,
sentenced in absentia by a merciless court,
clearing debts of incautious ancestors.
Our vision accustomed to the shadows,
our body surviving with minimal breath.
When the one who adventures the climb
arrives on the shore and breathes full life,
he is abruptly sunk again by diligent guards,
those armed cherubims at Paradise Gate.
Has our penalty not yet lapsed?
Has not yet been paid the reparation of the beaten?
Could we endure light by the day of release?
Perhaps, then, with a pledge of the dark days of yore,
we may, sharing beloved Earth with the Almighty, 
make a new light; friendly to human nature,
openhearted, unabrasive and compassionate.

First published in The Bees are Dead, September 8, 2016. 

Mr. Ferreira, 77, is a Brazilian poet who writes in English rather than in Portuguese. Widely published in selected international literary journals, he began writing at age 67, after his retirement as a bank employee.  Nominated for The Pushcart Prize 2017, his first Poetry Collection, Lonely Sailor, One Hundred Poems, was launched in London, in November of 2018. He is always updating his works at

“Somewhere” Poetry by Stephen House

The Chamber Magazine

he’s staring into black oily water 
asks how much life i’ve got saved in my now 

it’s disappearing 
i sold some to everyone 
and they owe me for yesterday and the year before  

he puts out his shaking grip
i feed him a pinch and he blazes

so true floating in starlight 
walking on water with you last night 
with the pipe music from who-ever was below 
true and new and warm inside 

your beautiful face and body repeat 
and the way we held each other in the room at the end

was that the end of everywhere 
or just the beginning

how all of the fear of nothing 
and wondering where too from here 
disappear into space 
when the times are so here that the real is no longer the real 

that’s what’s so good about this
when the real is no longer the real

when we are only in us


some things mean more to me than what never was
this way i am now isn’t where i’m really at


i am somebody 

you’d be surprised what i was doing before all this 
and i’ll get back to it again  
i know what i can do and be

and he hovers softly and i stare into the face 
of a soul like i was once 
where are you from actually 

he says from somewhere i could never be  
and for a moment i remember my other self 
when the world was still the world 
and the way to wander was all ok

and i was ok 

i wasn’t here once 
i could’ve kept doing it there 
been who i should’ve been

truth sits in current death count gone

realized or ignored


and he drifts to near the crying river 
it’s grey and the moon shines silver-blue 
in tune with slow deep singing 

far away

dancing never seen 

he says that it’s late and that we’ve got stuff to do
and why don’t we head off
and we crawl silently along the path to where he says
we must

we go and stop in slide 

him and me 

and a little bit of love 
is a little bit of love

in nowhere 

Stephen House has won many awards and nominations as a poet, playwright and actor. He’s received several international literature residencies from The Australia Council and an Asia-link residency. His chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press. He’s published often and performs his acclaimed monologues widely.

Two Poems by John Grey

It’s a Cat’s World

No one was expecting cat evolution.
What are the odds that yesterday’s furry pet
would be today’s four-legged mailman.
And how they’ve grown.
Once, these felines wrapped around our ankles.
Now they come up to our waists.
And to our faces, when they stand on their hind-legs,
which they’re doing more and more.
Scientists say that, in a hundred years, 
cats will be doctors, dentists, architects, engineers.
They could even be fellow scientists 
pondering the snail’s pace of human progress
compared to their own genetic breakneck speed.
When they become our leaders, 
they may find they have no use for us,
could spay most of our numbers,
keep a few around as pets.
And here comes the mailman now 
with a letter for me,
with a message for my great grandchildren.

A Family of Grifters Watch Over Their Investments

It’s an evening of death.
It just hasn’t happened yet.
Silence prophesizes 
the events to come.

The old man is a shadow,
like a stain
that no scrubbing can erase.
The wounds are old.
Only the end will scab them over.
Hounds howl,
speak for all of them.

Out of the darkness,
a finger emerges,
points at each 
of the onlookers in turn
before it withdraws
into the blackness.

The moon’s as thin
as the smile of a cut throat.
There will be no rescuing light tonight.

Just family,
some with pacemakers,
set to comatose,
others nervous,
biting on their hands.

Grasping, grifting family,
await their share.
Of his money,
once the will is read.
Of hell and damnation,
if he has his way.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon.