Lyn Byrne is a Communications Specialist. She has worked as a print and broadcast Journalist and has contributed to various fiction and non-fiction publications including The Bohemyth, HCE Review, The Irish Times, Women’s Way, deafhear.ie and Anglers Digest. She studied Creative Writing in the historic eighteenth century Carlow College.
Girl Interrupted at her Music
(After Johannes Vermeer)
His fine diving digits grasp at my manuscript,
Odd prisms tap lightly on leger lines.
Cymbals clash with raspy notes through the closed door,
My bird rattles in her wooden crate.
Lion heads nod on my way away from his short shallow breaths,
Mine boomerang in my bonnet.
The sheets tighten in my hands as I wait for the door to open,
Blue silk slips between my knees.
Noises dwindle and my stare returns to a half filled glass of warm wine
fading away from the colour of my cherry coat.
Cupid remains still behind an oiled canvass,
His grip loosens and his wrists fall.
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 930 small press magazines in 33 different countries or republics, and he edits 11 poetry sites. Author’s website http://poetryman.mysite.com/. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book) ISBN: 978-0-595-46091-5, several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 134 poetry videos on YouTube as of 2015: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 and 2 Best of the Net poetry nominations 2016 and 2017. Visit his Facebook Poetry Group and join https://www.facebook.com/groups/807679459328998/ He is also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762 A second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses, Editor Michael Lee Johnson, is now available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1545352089
She edits her life from a room made dark
against a desert dropping summer sun.
A daring travelling Parisian adventurer
ultimate princess turning toad with age-
snow drops of white in her hair, tiny fingers
thumb joints osteoarthritis
corrects proofs at 100, pours whiskey,
pours over what she wrote
scribbles notes directed to the future,
applies for a new passport.
With this mount of macular degeneration,
near, monster of writers’ approach.
She wears no spectacles.
Her mind teeters between Himalayas,
distant Gobi Desert, but subjectively warm.
Running reason through her head for living,
yet dancing with the youthful word of Cinderella,
she plunges deeper near death into Tibetan mysticism,
trekking across snow covered mountains to Lhasa, Tibet.
Nighttime rest, sleepy face, peeking out that window crack
into the nest, those quiet villages below
tasting that reality beyond all her years’
vastness of dreams.
*(24 October 1868 – 8 September 1969), was a Belgian–French explorer, spiritualist, Buddhist, anarchist and writer. She is most known for her 1924 visit to Lhasa, Tibet when it was forbidden to foreigners.
Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including three in 2016.Recent collections include Family Reunion, A Landscape in Hell, and How Fascism Comes to America.
Look away from sunset and you will see
the sun nestling in the womb of night.
Look away and the magician’s hand
Look away and you will know which cup
hides the little ball.
When you wake, the world appears
to flow and blur.
Borders merge and disappear.
Your third eye opens slowly and sees
a mermaid beneath the waves,
an angel tangled in the curtains in your room.
A door thumps in the wind.
Open it and you understand the language
Last night you ate a dragon’s heart,
and now the stones have eyes, pine trees
smile with the mystery of roots.
You dress slowly in the cold,
enjoying the chill along your naked back.
Your shoes feel leaden and strange;
every step brings sensation and surprise.
You have learned to look away, and now
your eyes grasp wonders hidden in the heart of the world.
Jack Morris is a writer, musician & poet from South Dublin. His first poetry collection is due for publication in late 2017.
Red Light Baby
To window shop
at murky monde,
of beauty knocks
her hair a shade
of filthy blonde
her pride to hide
behind her locks
& young boys peep
in leering must
the constant creep
of teenage lust
and scarlet winds
blow fat and true
a long way down
Claire O’Moore, is an Irish poet. Her poetry is steeped with Celtic symbolism and Religious icons. Claire’s dabble with poetry began at sixteen years of age and continues to bloom. Claire’s main goal is to rake through her work and get it out there for the world to see. A gentle sensuality threads tentatively as a coarse, cognitive psyche dominates the plain of most poems. Seditious citing’s are marked by her pen as she glowers at the base energies of contempt and anger. Listen to the words harbored at the cusp of her soul and silently be whisked into a mind of repetitive solemnity.
Pot Belly Hymn
Your residue circling my stomach like a child paddling to the cap of my bellybutton.
Toying with the lead of the drainer, which stoops down to the tiny zygote of conception.
This anchoring bead, honorably, tied to witty, willed ancestry.
A gallery of faces pinned to my insides,
An exhibition auctioning the goods of the Saints.
Price metering the god-sent wig of popularity.
Tipping off the head of the auctioneer, we see the rolled ringlets darned to a bed of infertility.
Pouches of white cotton over-taking God’s seat.
“£5,000”, breaks from the wig’s coffin
“A pittance I know”.
Poachers’ eyes doubled over a hurdle of skin.
Minced acerbity as they jump to reach the nest of souls.
Anna Frances is an eighteen year old writer from Northern Ireland. Her short story, “A Lough as big as the sea”, was published in The Penny Dreadful magazine in August. Her poetry has aso featured in Abridged magazine, and she has also contributed to 101 words online. At the end of September, her poem “Underground” will feature in The Open Mouse online. She also has links to theatre and is currently working on her first play.
For Michael Reid
They pretend to slap their wrists,
it is not enough.
It is not enough for the cruelty in this ragged,
boneless structure. Where he resides, him–
The dragging of music along the hopeless,
the flowers twisting in his mind, the garden
weeds grow and sing.
He hides in goo; white as plaster,
a face to efface all faceless cruelty.
God’s punishment, or his love.
I am Raphael’s eye
Copying the baby’s wobbling lip,
I am that little being that
squirms and writhes like a cherub towards
divinity. Nicks in the skin,
healing over, like a martyr’s thumb:
pale and magnificent.
tendons crawl up and out of
me, kissing the wave of blood
Can you see it?
It is too far from this place, beyond white
steel or an Icarus stub
Dripping, dripping like a pain
that can only be a child’s.
Hands, feathers in skin work about
the rash on the stone. It cooing and
oozing, sighing like an old woman’s chest;
Mathematics in chunks,
breakaway, breakaway in love, genius —
Making the God’s wriggle in the skies.
New Apollo, light in the
underworld of this prince:
sculpting some crack in the
universe. A black hole of dust and
pen ink, breaking hell in two.
wax over a labyrinth,
word after word after blurbs bled from
The clear cut edge of the world snags and catches