Hunter – A.P. Christopher

Set upon a mantle, under wax, within a bowl
The last remaining fragment of the heart the hunter stole
Where quandary and question bled together on a scroll
He inked in blood and ashen dust
Using a quill he dipped in rust
Searching the letters like a loop that he assumed he could control

Desolation danced within the letters neath the pen
Like echoes of tomorrow with the smirk of never when
Wearing all the garments that alluded to a then
That never matched the page before
As if a work of faded lore
Was every memory he set when’ere he read them back again

Yet, beneath the lacquer, that was but a sobriquet
For the cold conditions and the loss of yesterday,
Heard he, still, the heart, as if wasn’t dead and gray,
As if a clock with phantom gears
That played a chime nobody hears
And told a time that he desired, on a lens with no display

So, in supplication, by a moon and setting sun
Labors left, unraveled he, by what he hadn’t done
Pressing lips to wax that held a heart that beat for none
Upon a mantle and he wept
For knowing never why he kept
The dead reminder of the day that he became the thing he never could become.

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Brewing Storms – Onie Maniego

Maybe he brewed his storms at night
So he could pour it cold tomorrow—
Like his blanket covering the stars,
In the morning it would be gray.
The raging fires will be his comfort
So he’d be asleep amidst the chaos.

Photo by Terry Jung on Unsplash
© 2020 Onie Maniego and The Paper Drafts

“let me wake up”- Nayana Nair

someone whispered
you are special
and i knew that this is sleep
(the pleasantly confusing side),
that this is a memory of something
that will never happen again (should i be sad?).
paper dolls hurried me down the aisle
of a supermarket, opening up packets and packets
of laughter that I had not yet paid for
(should i be worried?)
They made me stand at the counter,
chirping “it’s time”, “it’s time”
“it’s time”
and someone who tried hard to look like a human,
who had tried to scratch away
the face of demon drawn by my hands,
stood with a trolley filled with sad colors,
handed me his card
with my name written on his scratched out one
and told me
“now you fall”.
and all i could say was “i hate you”
“i hate you – not in used-to-love-you way”
“i hate you – the way i hate having a broken heart”
“let me wake up”

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Vagaries – indishe

Vague are the vagaries of life,
They tell us
To silence us.
They show us
To blind us.
They lead us
To mislead.
Vague emotions
And nameless turmoils,
Make you fall in the vortex of life.
The cauldron of life
Brims over
With life emoticons
All over.

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Things – Renwick Berchild

This is what I’ve decided
to do with a dead woman’s things.

her clothing through openings, taking her books
and splaying them spine high like fallen birds.

Burning the chairs where she pretended
rusted weak hands never hardened me,
the kitchen orchids’ sorry minds
drooping wrinkled to the pane.

Ex mero motu, her fancy silver, I take outside
and stick them in the ground standing

like soldiers at attention, erect and wakeful
taking stock of their graves, as the late light
makes long and narrow their shadows.

Rip free her curtains,
let clatter her pearls, let the old grey tongue
leading to her stoop become overgrown.

Weeds rushing
with yellow windmills, bowing
hot summers like toads.

I cry with wicked thoughts,
palms black with dust.

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I prevail – Michelle Cook

As my eyes open
The light deflects my thoughts
Like insects they scurry away
Leaving a trail of unfinished reflections

This is why I write so much better
When I’m on the verge of dreaming
In darkness and seclusion
Is where most of my ideas are born

Just like the vast oceans
Teeming with animals we’ve never seen
So it is the same way with my mind
In deep, dark solitude ― I prevail

© 2020 Michelle Cook

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Not Quite —Carol J Forrester

Last night I dreamed you real.

Felt you within the softness of my belly.

Loved you an existence.

Broke my heart open,

when this dream came loose.

Woke to pre-dawn,

a sleeping husband,

a house just the same,

and an ache too close to grief

for someone not quite here yet.

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Ghost – Mvadi


In the midst of

What used to be mine,

What is not mine now and

What will never belong to



With the wind chimes

Tangoing in and out

Of the endless sky of my mind,

A prison that looks open

But is truly

So cruel.


A shadow of what once was,

Pieces of this restless soul of mine

That can’t sleep.

I wish I could close my eyes sometimes

And forget that this ghost

Is here,

Forever a part of me.


My mind is a mess again,

So is my head,

My body is distraught as ever

But I’m still trying to live

Despite all the pain.


Tell me the sadness doesn’t last,

That the insomnia will melt away one day,

And I’ll sleep soundly tonight.


I see the tragedy of who I used to be

In your eyes and I can’t believe

It’s me I’m seeing.

I see the love I thought

I wanted but could never

Call my own.

Heaven knows I tried.


Everything seems to be awry, and

I am baffled by it all, aren’t I?


I’m lost, just one more time,

Before I go.

I’m trying to understand things

That I’ve never known before.


Don’t tell me I’m thinking too much,

I’m not.

I’m really so tired of myself.

Tell this ghost to go away already.

© Mvadi 2020.

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