New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

Boo! Some Hallowe’en poetry from Brenda Seabrooke, Yvonne Brewer, Catherine “Katey” Johnson, Agnieszka Filipek, Sue Kinsella and Peter Rimmer

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Brenda Seabrooke – 16 of my stories have appeared in reviews and anthologies. I have received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robbie MaCauley Award from Emerson College and won the WV Short Story Collection Award. I am the author of 23 books for young readers which have also won awards.


Antipodean Night




This doesn’t seem
like Halloween he said
from the height of his sixteen years,
looking down the length
of seventy-five inches
at small creatures clowned
and gowned and masked
tripping along from porch to steps
through bare-branched shadows
to corner light pools laden
with swinging bags of gooey
treasures and dental delights.
The night lanterns, candled pumpkin
faces crumpled and sunken
smoke the moon-washed night
with a sharp sweetness never
sensed before when he galloped
down streets in a superhero
crowd. Owls call on the wind.
The bowlful of pennies
to hand out at the door
does not lessen as the hours
lengthen. The neighborhood
has kept pace with him. Unmasked
for the first time, he does not
have the solace of continuity,
a fledgling without a flight pattern
on the edge of this strange
Antipodean revelling night.





Yvonne Brewer lives in Cork, Ireland and has had poetry published since 2014 with Women’s Spiritual Poetry, including in their upcoming fourth anthology “Goddess: When She Rules: Expressions of Contemporary Women”. (Dec 2017) Motherhood has taken her down a very creative path and her writing is greatly influenced by her children, her dreams, nature and fairies. Connect with Yvonne on her facebook page Y’s Words at https://www.facebook.com/yswords/


The boy with the poison pen



He visited as I slept
last night,
the boy
with the
poison pen.

I thought I felt
a lonely spirit
watch us
follow us
in the woods
that day.

I tried to
leave him behind
but he clung onto
my chakra strings
and as I can be a magnet
for lost and broken things

he did not have to work hard
to suddenly jump in
while I slept
with his lethal inkwell
made from the juice
of a poison bluebell.

he pierced my lips,
tried to stitch them,
filled me with poison ink
so i couldn’t move

or speak
or think
as he smiled
with black teeth
and dusty naked feet

when he laughed
and said he wanted to
take my little boy
I fought the numbness
and dumbness

and I howled.
and I fought
and I roared
and I cursed
until I woke myself up
and I said ,

give me your cries
your hurts
your wounds
let me wrap them in
fresh leaves and
bury them
where the oak tree
reigns and guards
all who enter
your woods,

let me cry
your tears,
let me soften
your screams
so you don’t have to
jump into other souls’ dreams.

and then,
the boy with the poison pen
fell to the floor
and began to write
with his pen,
as I fell back to sleep
praying the dream
would soon end.

on my wooden floor
the words,
thank you,
greeted me
when i woke up
and a bunch of bluebells
lay sorrowfully
on my pillow
my lips were no longer stitched
i could move, walk and talk
and I sang him
a soft lullaby
under the last
flicker of light
of the moon,

and I heard him
laugh and sing
“ I am free now
as my pen
ran away with
your spoon”





Catherine “Katey” Johnson Award-winning poet, writer, and author whose works are included in films, textbooks, anthologies, literary journals and chapbooks. She has been published in The Long Islander several times and her poetry has been mentioned in The New York Times. A Woody Guthrie Poet, a BEAT poet, Cowboy Poet, an Oklahoma Poet, she is degreed from Rose State and the University of Central Oklahoma.







Meal of Me

Something is making a meal of my soul
Eyes glued on foggy highway
Ravenous for travel
I wind through vague curves
Climb the bodiless mist
Hill after hill
Then descend
Headlights shine
Wild pulsating puffs of mirroring air
Braying night air
Stillness broken by 3 AM hounds
And fearful steed from somewhere beyond
Unnatural whirled
Drives me on
I catch a shadowy figure
Search hard the iridescence
Stopping two feet from the edge
As I discover stepping out.
Something with a crooked hand pulls me
Into the cloud-covered lake below.

Agnieszka Filipek lives in Galway in Ireland. She is in the process of translating her poetry from Polish into English. Recently her work appeared in the Crannóg Magazine and the Windows Publications Authors and Artists Introduction Series Anthology. In 2016 she was awarded a distinction in the poetry competition “Połowy” and took part in the three day Underground Educational Poetry Workshops during the Station Literature 21 Festival in Stronie Śląskie in Poland.










When darkness falls

I’ll wet my hair

I’ll wrap myself

in black velvet

and let out a cry



the lilies of the valley

will weep over me

and the trees will run away

from under the windows


withered flowers

I’ll put in a vase

I’ll light three candles

and return to the grave

of my sorrows


when the White Lady comes

I’ll blossom


by my warm blood


the night will slam

the gates of certainty

and keep a guard

and once again

I’ll have to howl

to the wolves

a good night lullaby








Sue Kinsella  is from Dublin, Ireland. She is a published writer. Her poems and flash fiction have appeared online and in a number of Anthologies the latest: ‘Selfies and Portraits: Snapshots from the Library After Dark Writers’ Café.’  She is a writer and freelance IT Project Manager.

Sue is also a member of the ‘Library Writers’ After Dark Café’ sponsored by ‘The Carnegie Trust.’






Our Lady Loved Hospitals

By Sue Kinsella


The earth there was flattened as if

Something intermittently

Large and hulking

Nested, only to return under shadow.

Even as children we knew this.

Green shoots struggled

Never growing higher than a few inches

 – Prior

To a crushing death;

Ground over and over, like those before.

Wild deer or smaller, perhaps –

Weighty, twitchy

Running or rolling in a perfect circle;

Hidden under the ‘Pine Wood’ canopy

Fronting the old hospital.

But for the visible crow guards –

Who left early, returned late, silent

The ‘Wood’ stood; straddled between

 Living and sick.

Jim the caretaker warned, ‘stay out of them trees –. ‘

There was talk and I don’t know from whom

About her scarlet mane, jet black comb.

How she was once beyond 

What spoken language would call –


The lady loved hospitals

Those with young folk best of all.

She could test her Soprano vocals;

Frighten one or two runts into the

Grave to chase another on.

She visited often, out of hours

Especially, the small, scented ones;

Sickly children, those who knew

And most who did not.

Tip toeing, on occasion.

Scratching at windows or

Suspended, perfectly still to peer –

Down, eyes and mouth white as snow;

Widening as alone her chosen child

 In its well-made bed, cried for home.


Peter Rimmer is an ecclectic, published poet from New Zealand. Growing up in the streets of South Auckland in the 60s and 70s, Peter gained inspiration for many of the poems he writes today, such as his distinctively original and offbeat poetry style.



Shadowland 2

I walk with you,
I am you when you are not,
Twined this is the helix,
The substance that infuses the insubstantial,
The vine that strangles the tree of life,
And makes it anew,
Walk with me,
I walk silent at your side,
I am the shadow of your soul,
I cast light where there is none,
This shadowland is no mystery,
You will find your feet,
On these dusty roads as surely as the sun will rise,
As surely as the sun will die,
All that is born must die,
This is the covenant of the shadowland,
I am always here,
At your side,
And I shall let you fall soft,
On my dusty roads,
We, you and I, the shadow that you throw,
Will walk these dusty roads,
In the land of shades,
That Shadowland,
To which we all return,
No one here gets out alive.
This is no bad thing,
This is the only thing,
Shadows thrown in that land of dust and sand,
The Shadowland that awaits us all.
Have no fear,
That wont save you,
Nothing can…
This is no bad thing,
This is the only thing,
Come, lets walk this road of light,
We, you and me walk long and strong…
Until we are swallowed by that inevitable night,
No longer do we shadows throw,
We melt into the shades,
Of Shadowland.


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