Monday, 11 May 2015

In Certain Matters of the Heart

It's a matter of the heart,
the doctor says, 
and he can fix it 
with catheter ablation. 
"It works miracles," he says, 
"in certain matters of the heart."

He's been a cardiologist for years.
"Take my word for it," he says.
"You'll be sedated. Won't feel a thing."

No excavation in my chest, either. 
Instead, he'll make little holes 
in my groin and snake tiny wires 
to the surface of my heart 
and kill the current that makes 

my heart race like a hare 
at times and mope 
like a turtle other times.
He's never lost a patient.
"You'll be fine," he says. 
"Trust me."

Nine out of 10 ablations work.
I'll save hundreds a month, he says, 
on medications. No more Multaq. 
No more Cardizem. And I'll never 
have to wear a heart monitor again.

"Shall we give it a try?" he asks.
"I've got an opening 
two weeks from Monday.
It's an outpatient procedure.
You'll go home the same day,
rest for a week and then resume
your usual activities, even bowling.
Do you like bowling? My nurses do.
I prefer woodcarving."

"Okay, Doc," I tell him. 
"I'll give it a try, but tell me, 
where were you 40 years ago 
when the kids were small
and I was young, like a bull, 
and a different matter of the heart
dropped me like a bullet.
Are you sure my heart's still ticking?
Where's your stethoscope?
I haven't felt a thing in years."

Donal Mahoney
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, USA and has had poems published Ancient Heart Magazine and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Blessed Blackbird

in all earnest honesty,
the blackbird flitters over my roof
it has built nests on the outskirts
of my chimney, bathing in plumes
of silken ash and clouds that long to taste the earth;
it mocks me with glinting eyes

with vast wings and hollow lungs,
the blackberd perches on cacti,
oblivious of the sting of the pricks,
the scorn of the thorns
in the presence of a storm,
it defies all social norm
and rests its weary head
on the lush bed of the purple-blooded

I stuck my arm out the window,
vulnerable and defenseless
in hardly any second, 
I felt its harsh claws
plunge into my paltry skin
I remained a statue,
a human scarecrow
for the next five days.

Patricia P.
Manila, Philippines

Monday, 20 April 2015


god of sun & storm 
creator of all things

wearing a sun crown
thunderbolts for hands
tears streaming from black eyes

hoarding the substance
of universe & civilization 

commanding sun to move across sky
offering an intimate measure of time 

Ashley Parker Owens,

Richmond, KY, USA 

Friday, 3 April 2015

First Cut

The first cut is brutal
always deep with cold
blade tearing into timber
opening a pathway
for subtler strokes
slicing with sharpness, 
carving strongly,
the base for intricate designs
on blocks gripped tightly
in the jaws of steel vices

The last cut is gentler
a loving after thought
adding a signature
to shaped and shaved fibres
decorating with care
completed artistry
the chisel held lightly
like a violin bow
in the closing movement
of a great concerto.

David Subacchi
Wales (UK)

Monday, 30 March 2015

The Darkness Within

To wake with a dark blanket over my head is a recurring event that I want to opt out of.
To breathe is such hard work now as it seems like energy wasted on this empty body.
Yearning to taste life again, to savour happiness, to drink in life and all it has to offer.

My eyelids open with hazel eyes inside that see only black onyx life.
The blood still pumps through my veins but the flow does not bring a rush of life but a stream of still.

Breathe in breathe out, that is the continual work that my lungs keep doing.
My skin still feels to touch, my lips still moist to kiss and my heart still has love.
Maybe the love will light this darkness and show the way to life.

L. van der Draay

Friday, 20 February 2015

Answer Now

I was just a boy 
but I remember Hitler
at the start

and how too few 
understood his plan to
do away with Jews.

I’m a codger now
certain that too few 
understand ISIS 

so let the word go forth
for all with eyes to see
and ears to hear:

We have another genocide,
this one more inclusive. 
We must answer now

or else Christians, Jews 
and Muslims too will keep 
dying in the sand.

Donal Mahoney
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, USA and has had poems published Ancient Heart Magazine and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Ad Nauseam

In the mind of my eye, I see a world of sand on fire
water turned to stone with shopping carts embedded 
in frozen suspension
s t r a i n e d pigeons 
caught in them
a bloated corpse on a couch inside the rubble of a home
in front of a television set that houses syndicated lives
a man lives in a clock on the wall
chasing a cuckoo with a shotgun that BLASTS at the top 
of every hour
a broken record on a turntable repeats intestinal strings 
murdering crows perched above roofless beds 
monitoring stale dreams 

the sky falls
splintering earth while overgrown silverfish and earwigs run amok
engaging in gang battles with cockroaches.

Parker Weston
Arizona, US