Three Surreal Poems by Mark Fisher


none but dreamers sail
these wine-dark skies
roaming between island worlds
wandering amongst the stars
with some unknown helmsman 
	at the watch 
for dawn in an unending night
amid all the Milky-Way 
	wraiths of ancient ammonites 
lost and undying
within the gravity waves
washing away everything but time
craving a new creation
or perhaps an end of this one
in the belly of some Scylla 
	or Charybdis 
but who can ever decide
to wake from this dream

many eyes
for tragedy 
is disguised within as hope 
providing a tool to cope
with indifference 
the universe 
throws out, as
time’s sand
the bones
of longing, 
ghosts of ancient myths
drifting against cosmic winds
where darkness itself transcends 
the shining of stars
brief instances
of meaning
all of
an empty
vain universe 
continuing its 
trifling with our brief lives
and meaning itself derives 
hollow equations 
that finally  
we know

listening to the indifferent piping of an unseen flute
as the black stars rise over Aldebaran’s misty spires
and tragedy lingers unassuming, waiting resolute
haunted by pain within the cosmic nebulas’ gyres 

as the black stars rise over Aldebaran’s misty spires
even still echoing with haunted voices speaking lost words
haunted by pain within the cosmic nebulas’ gyres 
and all of the dying worlds crumbling into crystal sherds 

even still echoing with haunted voices speaking lost words
of stranger gods, cold and hard, gnawing on the bones of life
and all of the dying worlds crumbling into crystal sherds 
all of their struggle and clinging earns them naught but despite 

of stranger gods, cold and hard, gnawing on the bones of life
amidst the desolation that remains at the end of time 
all of their struggle and clinging earns them naught but despite 
‘cause even at the end the gods themselves play at pantomime 

amidst the desolation that remains at the end of time 
and tragedy lingers unassuming, waiting resolute
‘cause even at the end the gods themselves play at pantomime 
listening to the indifferent piping of an unseen flute

Mark A. Fisher is a writer, poet, and playwright living in Tehachapi, CA.  His poetry has appeared in: Silver Blade, Penumbra, and many other places. His first chapbook, drifter, is available from Amazon. His poem “there are fossils” came in second in the 2020 Dwarf Stars Speculative Poetry Competition.

“Final Account” Dark Poetry by Will Griffith

Don’t search just yet
for the buried trowel,
forgotten in a line 
of Ryecroft Purple
(between Myatt’s Ashleaf
and Ninetyfold).

Let it dream untroubled dreams
of Russet and Yukon Gold
guided through 
shallow channels
by unsentimental hands.

Galaxies of seasoned earth
it birthed in its time -
star dust wrought by bronze blade -
knowing times of late spring frost,
corners of uncomplicated soil.

A darker patch, barren,
slumps beside espalier pears.
Unloved by hand or trowel,
melancholic, like an oboe unravelling
the stout weave of a Brandenburg.

Beyond, a gardener’s tabby
snoozes in the Kennebecs.
X marks the spot 
where undiscriminating roots
cradle what once tended them.

Autumn’s brutal fork 
will determine what is still owed
to the old potato trowel
and to ourselves,
caught between fertility
and the gathering cold.

Will Griffith is a secondary school teacher who is new to the craft of writing poetry. He is set to appear in a few forthcoming anthologies (FromOneLine by Konayaashi Studiosand Arcane Love by Spectrum of Thoughts). He has appeared in the online magazine The Organic Poet and writes short pieces regularly on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @BunglerBill.

Two Dark Poems by Katrenia Busch

The Origin of Baal 
Mother of Demonic spirits  
Diabolical powers held—  
For the soule— who then visits  
A foreign world when expelled—  
Tossed out from within—  
A demon is said to be bourne—  
The mind— its mirror, a twin  
To thoughts that had warned—  
Executioner of will and thought  
Combined and then reflected  
Manifested— when fear is fought  
And the body— is made timid 
The Crow 
Mournfully dark, black you are 
As you sat up well—so high 
Perfect as you imitated from afar 
The image held in prophecy 
The image that was held 
So close and dear to me 
Was that— of one that spelled 
What was already a known decree 
A decree— to which 
You may know— 
“As you may switch— 
Places to show” 
That what’s within the darkness known 
Was nothing more than my shadow alone 

Katrenia G. Busch ORCID ID:  0000-0002-7377-4571 and Web of Science Researcher ID AAU-4227-2021is a Journal Reviewer for The American Psychological Association, you can find her on Publons. 

She also serves as a Film Critic for Hollywood Weekly Magazine, a Celebrity Interviewer and writer for Heart of Hollywood Magazine, a Journal Reviewer for the American Psychological Association, as well as a Reviewer for Prospectus: A Literary Offering and has worked as an Editor and journalist. Some of her published works can be found in The Screeched Owl, IO Magazine, The Chamber Magazine, Literature Today, Westward Quarterly, Trouvaille Review, Riverrun, Police Writers, Senior Care Quest among others.  

“Laci Peterson Addresses Her Son Connor in the Courtroom” Poetry by Paul David Adkins

            Hello! Good morning!	
I am how I am. And you?

Don’t ask.

There are beautiful things 
to think about.
Up there’s the sky;
down there, the sea.

We can stay right here,
wherever you want.
We can sleep late, go to bed at midnight:
you tell me.

So, explain your dream.
I heard you crying. Later, you laughed.

Where was I? You had to ask.

I was the sky itself, the water,
the half-moon sickle
sweeping the bay.


Paul David Adkins lives in Northern NY. He served in the US Army from 1991-2013. Recently, he earned a MA in Writing and The Oral Tradition from The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT. He spends his days either counseling soldiers or teaching college students in a NY state correctional facility.

Two Dark Poems by Edilson Ferreira

Nocturnal Refugees

-After ‘Night Hawks’, oil on canvas, 1942, by Edward Hopper-

Night that brings with itself lack of love, 
hesitation on living, even fear, as escaping  
and fleeing from world’s demands. 
Night passing far away from others not long ago, 
paraphrased by so many poets always praising, 
since ancient times, beauty of mutual warmth
and human complicity.
People hidden in a furtive safety of a dull bar,
unable to come out of their shells and share   
some good news, perhaps hidden desires or 
love secrets, yet distrust and uncertainties. 
Yet unable to reach that souls’ communion, 
entire and unique humans’ purpose,
fearful to break supposed barriers, 
walls and fences separating us. 
Where the firmness of our ancestors, never afraid  
to penetrate dangers of dark and haunted nights? 
Where the joy and smiles, where the words that had spoken  
their dreams and drawn their desires? 
Words and desires that built the world they bequeathed us
which we are about to lose, deaf and dumb for its beauties. 
Unhappy and disinterested, we will transfer to our sons 
only aridity and dryness, our aloofness and our despair. 

First published in Young Ravens Literary Review issue 6, summer 2017 issue.

Gloomy Days

My dead, those I loved in life, 
I do not bury them. 
They remain forever unburied, 
at least as long as I can stay alive. 
When I die, they will be buried beside me.
I am sure they know this, knowing also  
I am still counting on their help and support. 
We talk about everything and everyone, 
we laugh, weep, love and hate; 
they rest with me at night and give me strength, 
at the dawn of a new day.  
Every victory of mine, they applaud and rejoice, 
as faithful crowd, that accompanies their team.
Morbid desires, unnatural cravings, some will say. 
But no, it is just great and honest one love, a pure one,  
that understands and consoles me on certain days.
Days full with doubts, shadows and ill feelings, 
those that fate has marked for me, 
which, by sure, I will not be able to avoid.  

Published in Poetry Poetics Pleasure, March 2021. 

Mr. Ferreira, 77 years, 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

Three Dark Poems by Fabrice Poussin

In the House of Gray Matter

Inside the termite feast
wooden slats agonize in 
the pedestal of the former fortress.

A shell of clapper boards still attempts
to shield the gooey mass
from infernal storms.

Only one room for the great reception
candle lights and evening gown
and there remains only the gray matter.

It pulsates at an unforgiving beat 
oozing with the last glows of a dream
blind through the cracks of faked windows.

Few thoughts emanate from the dull fire
a spark here pretends to still care
yet it is alien to an existence it once knew.

The walls ache with a constant throb
while the ruby fluid quickly pales
soon it will be darkness in this old head.

Let Her Cry Once More

Staring at a faraway line beyond the surf
having braved the early hour in a light satin
she has walked perhaps a final stroll upon a beloved shore.

Like so many covers of fancy periodicals
she still graces the pages of her wondrous tale
stained by the repeated wounds of her teen days

Broken in bones as she is in soul
the ocean is the receptacle of grand desires
filled with endless torrents of her tears.

Beneath her breast a fire attempts to burst
into an eternal scream through the air
yet she remains silent as her gaze darkens.

Once she only had her chagrin for companion
now she recalls the long hours before dawn
when she could sound a voluptuous cry.

It has been centuries she feels
since she was last able to make a whisper 
but now it is time to accept the embrace of the wave.

Wrapped in the immense shroud of days without sense
she lets herself carried away to the depths
where at least she will repose in safety.

Writing Her In

The pen softly moves across the white
page of unfulfilled dreams
an unfinished tale whispers to the cosmos.

Drawing upon memories others hold
deep within the aching flesh he searches
the ideal perhaps none can fathom. 

A word is born into the velum
a letter of endless curves and thick
edges to the side of the eternal page.

He might be blind to the unruly crowds
as he contemplates a vision carved
on the secret walls of his crumbling days. 

The story at last comes to life
phrases take form above the sterile land
and dance a waltz into tight embrace. 

Revealed in its most simple attire
even if but for a mere instant
he has found the refuge within the creation. 

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.  

Three Poems by Melody Wang

The Far Room

Look for the overgrown apple-blossom 
archway, paint peeling on rotting wood, 
an unkempt front yard that once held 
quiet buds still eager to face tomorrows.  

Push open the unlocked door, see the owl-faced 
old man half at ease in his easy chair, the faint din 
of the television keeping him company as the same 
smells of leftover lasagna permeate the air once more.  

Cut through piles of old books, water-stained boxes —
relics from a bygone era — then tiptoe down three steps, 
tightly grasp the banister to keep the walls from swallowing
you. Pretend not to notice the curious alabaster eyes of unwilling

ghosts who still herald the whimsy of a golden time 
when the old man's wife with her long brown hair
and dancing doe eyes made the space feel tender, cozy
and so far from the cluttered, dusty prison it is now. 

Make your way to that corner you know so well, close your eyes 
and try to ignore the sudden dried rose scent permeating the room — 
the favorite perfume of his dead wife. Linger in the stillness of a breath 
held like a tiny bird before making your way back to the other side. 
Empty Tenements

We were the mutual acquaintances
of the one unable to forget our perilous 
paths, who chided and chastised us
as the unknowing often do.
You still reeked of the darkest point
of high tide, regret clinging
to aching, once-broad shoulders
indistinguishable from the still-
beckoning phantom with milky eyes blinded 
to the origins of its own nightmarish existence.
Hand in hand, we search the streets, weeping. 
Elusive redemption lurks around every corner.

First posted to Melody Wang's HelloPoetry blog   
Liminal Spaces 

How can a space feel at once 
gargantuan and smothering, shiny
yellow linoleum tiles squared off 
with lime-crusted grout, decades 
chasing the unknown, each eager 
to be more than the ghost that came before?
At the far end, a narrow staircase 
beckons — handrails, untouched

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.