Browsed by
Month: April 2013

After the Ides of March

After the Ides of March

April showers us with new poetry and fiction by Cameron Gearen, Damien Healy and Donal Mahoney.


*     *     *

The Death of Cleopatra, by Reginald Arthur. 1892
The Death of Cleopatra, by Reginald Arthur. 1892

I’m currently reading a very interesting bio of Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff, who also wrote a fine biography of Ben Franklin. She has range.

Cleopatra is a difficult subject for any biographer, but Ms. Schiff does a good job trying to sort truth from legend, and admits when she can’t be sure about certain events or years in the life of the Egyptian queen. We know when she is speculating, unlike many biographers. She actually tells us.

Through page 142, Caesar and Cleopatra take up the majority of the book, and it’s fascinating to discover the various intrigues in play. Opinions differed wildly about Cleopatra’s role, who seduced whom, who manipulated whom, etc. We know that one very famous Roman, Cicero, thought poorly of Cleopatra, but Ms. Schiff shows that he probably … Click to continue . . .

Cameron Gearen: Compounded

Cameron Gearen: Compounded



Little lake
earth’s thimble
glacial sink
take my ache
take the torn girl
the grieved woman
buoy her children
there where
the loon
its catch
where the
pickerel jumps
and the pocked
surface splits
or reflects
Black Mountain
I can’t contain
all I’ve got
to carry let me
leave it to your
silt muck reeds
and granite
to your white
lilies and their
leeches to the
streams that
feed you deep
pond stay
close today
I’m counting
on your volume
your powers
to dilute to be
your gracious
self to ask no
questions pond
absorb receive
ripple then that
lovely silence
will you take
a few of these
troubles pond
and positively
drown them?




That’s when blindness set
in.  Silent movie.  I knew
all those door hinges, their
capacity for swivel.  Ceded
my sight to the cornice’s
stare.  Do you know yourself
a vision veiled?  What
the throat felt: need
clamping (his) / a … Click to continue . . .

Damien Healy: Empty Lot

Damien Healy: Empty Lot



Sleep without dreaming,
For fear the dreaming may bring her back.
A motionless snooze,
Congealing everything within a trance.
Slumbering eyes fully open,
To keep succubus at arms length.
Lethargic stillness,
Brought on by umpteen apparitions.
Insecure rest,
Owing to unrequited adoration.
Wayward napping,
Interrupted with unwanted visitants.
The night terrors which haunt me twenty-four seven.


Empty lot


Spirals in squares,
Confined to overgrow the pedestrian walkways of life.
Burrowing knee deep in a chipped teacup,
Excusing misinterpreted foliage for the inconsistencies of its shape.
Dredging through filters of fermented rotting undergrowth,
To find bliss in a sprout of new life, new beginnings and the promises that we haven’t lost all.
In the season of well intentioned nurturing,
Sprinkles of infused verve eclipses every failed beginning.
The man-made structures scaffolding for nature’s opportunistic refugees.
What is lost by man is reclaimed by tenacious Mother Nature.


— by Damien Healy


Copyright ©2013, by Damien Healy. … Click to continue . . .

Donal Mahoney: It’s Almost Sunday Morning

Donal Mahoney: It’s Almost Sunday Morning

      It’s Almost Sunday Morning

         In the summer of 1956, any Saturday at midnight, especially when the moon was out and the stars were bright, you would be able to see Grandma Groth sitting on her front-porch swing waiting for her son, Clarence, a bachelor at 53, to make it home from the Blind Man’s Pub. He would have spent another evening quaffing steins of Heineken’s.

         Many times that summer before I went away to college, I’d be strolling home at midnight from another pub, just steps behind staggering Clarence. But unlike Clarence, I’d be sober so I’d always let him walk ahead of me and I’d listen to him hum “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Sometimes, very quietly, I’d join in. I don’t think he ever heard me.

         However, on the last Saturday night that Clarence and I came down the street in our odd tandem, I didn’t see Grandma on her swing even though the stars were out and … Click to continue . . .