Feature of the Week – Poems by Verde Mar aka Robert Fish

Literary Revelations is pleased to bring you two wonderful poems written by Verde Mar. The poems are thematically different: one speaks of love, the other speaks of tragedy. We hope you enjoy Verde’s poetical craft as much as we do.


Verde Mar resides in the United States. He is a technical writer who discovered his passion for writing enigmatic poetry during the start of the global pandemic. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from New Mexico State University, where he also worked as the lead peer writing tutor in the Writing Lab for ESL (English as A Second Language). As the oldest of seven children from New England, Verde grew up in Rhode Island just off the Wampanoag (People of the First Light) Trail by the Narragansett Bay. After college he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently Verde lives in the Sonoran Desert in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Verde built a house by the ocean just as his family welcomed twin children into their lives. An avid vinyl LP audiophile and science fiction reader, Verde won first grant in the RI State Science Fair for his “Moon Cities” project. He loves to ski and to play golf. His poetry book Turbulent Waves: Enigmatic micro-writes cast ashore during a global pandemic was published in 2022. He also contributed to the #1 Amazon bestselling anthology Hidden in Childhood: A Poetry Anthology and maintains an active presence on Twitter,

Gorgeous Mind

All these words combine
saying that you’re
an angel in my dreams
on these lonely streets
only you command.

A glance takes my breath
a smile, a crush kept.

All these words scatter
like butterflies afraid
your gorgeous mind
devours them before
they tell you
you’re beautiful.

Newtown (Sandy Hook Elementary)

Ghosts live in Newtown
frozen in Summer
ceremonial priests chant
a haunting unlike any other.

Streets devour footprints
they all disappear
clouds race away like yachts
there’s no finish line.

Churches cry for prayers
despair paints skies
there’s no music here
even thought is gone.

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Cassondra Windwalker – advanced praise for Swarn Gill’s book Love, Stars, and Paradigms

Intimate and intense, the poetry of Swarn Gill leaves the reader feeling awkward and vulnerable, torn apart and beautiful. Love, Stars, and Paradigms is a deeply spiritual work from a poet whose own spirituality remains elusive and out-of-reach. He proffers solace, demanding revelation while keeping sacrosanct some measure of his own self. I loved the constant companionship of science and art, how the natural world tangled and knotted and wove itself into every facet and cell of the inner world of being. This collection – I hesitate to say book, because books have endings, and collections are always being added to – washes over the reader like a storm, like a flood through an arroyo, and leaves them clean as the late August desert, open and aching for all the beauty they had forgotten there was in the world. Gill is not a romantic fantasist, though there is much romance in his writing – his work has political and social immediacy, and he is as willing to force the reader to the mirror as he is to open galaxial vistas. My absolute favorite? For reasons purely personal and unrelated to craft: Ghost In The Machine. And I’ll give you a line to look for in another poem : “I practice patience on hills.” You will be well rewarded when you find it. Search these poems, and you will find yourself.

Cassondra Windwalker
Poet of the full-length collections “The Almost-Children” and “tide tables and tea with god.” As well as the Helen Kay Chapbook Award-winning work “The Bench”.

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Read the Stunning Poetry of Allison Grayhurst

Literary Revelations is thrilled to bring you the poetry of Allison Grayhurst. We hope you enjoy this wonderful feature.


Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has over 1,375 poems published in more than 525 international journals and anthologies.

In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.

In 2020, her work was translated into Chinese and published in “Rendition of International Poetry Quarterly” and in “Poetry Hall”.

Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then, she has published twenty-one other books of poetry and twelve collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. Also, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). More recently, her book Tadpoles Find the Sun was published by Cyberwit, August 2020. She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

Collaborating with Allison Grayhurst on the lyrics, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/musician Diane Barbarash has transformed eight of Allison Grayhurst’s poems into songs, creating a full album entitled River – Songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst, released in 2017.

Against Gravity

He sings because he is song,
essence-song –
potent life, potent death forever.
He dreams salubrious dreams,
fatter at the core and needle-hard all around.
He lost the need for enchantment
and exhibition. The inveterate intensity
within him is mastered, absorbed into his every cell.
It is not that he is better, only more genuine
in his connection, metaphors advancing,
infiltrating his pulse.

He knows because he is wild, dangerously free.
Break him with poverty and he will break every rule.
He will burst into flight, dancing against gravity,
against a blood-moon.
Tin-foil wrap him into a put-upon routine
and he will make music from the crackling –
laid out flat, pressed down,
he will transform his form, rising
whole in an inspired reverie.


Because I said
it was not enough,
the emptiness came
like a hard beat plummeting
me into doom.
Because I cared to record
each pain, betrayal and fracture,
I could not walk fast and glinting,
dragged back and down.
Because I lost my worship,
I lost my joy and the heat of life
that inspires.

Because I took heed of these pitfalls
and take one section of the day at a time
to do and explore both service and favour,
I am uncovering a mosaic beneath my feet,
smelling scents I thought disappeared with my youth.
Because I keep the rituals that keep me sane,
in storm or shade, I pray more than I dream
and when I dream it is about abstractions,
about tree branches, blankets, about
the hair’s breadth distance between sea and stars.

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Ash Douglas – Transcribing the world through poetry

Literary Revelations is happy to bring you the beautiful poetry of Ash Douglas.

Ash in his own words: “Writing is a huge part of my life. It is something I do everyday and consider it not only my passion but also my therapy. Over the years, I have collected many paperback journals which have done an excellent job of capturing my thoughts, feelings, and emotions to the world around me. But it wasn’t enough. I needed to share my works of heart with others. Transcribe this world of ours through my eyes so to speak. And my way of doing that is through my poetry.”

Come Rise, My Sun

my winter retreat was lonely
flurries turned into storms
dark skies seemed always
cold bit me every second
ice through my veins stiffened from life
sharpen gales to cut me away
I was polar from everything
sitting barren
until her voice
her light
all that warmth from beyond
chiseled me free of that void capsule
I am her sun
she is my days

Falling In Place

It is cold where I linger
my body numbs to something sharp
all I can do is watch like I am in the clouds
only I walk amongst those but they don’t see me
heart beating so fast it deafens any cry I make
the world goes around with me no longer attached
because I float between realms of real and dreams
waking up in neither
any rest I get is a gift
like cheddar to keep me in hiding
away, under… behind
on this journey along an unmarked trail
in a story between the lines

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Sunday Feature – Swarn Gill on the art cover of his upcoming book Love, Stars, and Paradigms

Literary Revelations is thrilled to let you know that we are preparing for the launching of Swarn Gill’s poetry collection Love, Stars, and Paradigms early to mid-April. As the launching date approaches we are delighted to bring you a video of Swarn talking about the art we will use in the design of his book cover and reading one of his poems entitled It’s not obvious.

What does the art cover mean for Swarn? How much does Swarn relate to it? Listen to Swarn talking. You will be fascinated by his words.

We hope everyone enjoys this feature.

It’s not obvious by Swarn Gill

it’s not obvious that the stars aren’t revolving around me
that I’m the one who’s actually moving
even when I’m sitting here, there is no disproving.
and you’re moving too

it’s not obvious that I’m not static
as life evolves around me, that time’s dissolving into me
that I too am just another object subject to vast forces
shaping me to some point in a universal scaffold
that is shaping itself

it’s not obvious that my life isn’t planned
that it isn’t canned
when there is seemingly no event in my life that didn’t depend
on an amazing number of low probability occurrences
subject to the subtlest of disturbances, making each moment a miracle
in a myriad of possible timelines

I want things to be clearer maybe hold things nearer
I’m happy and willing to be the first one
to try and really look at themselves in the mirror

why is it when one person has a bad day, he’s able to tuck it away
another wants to do good to compensate
and yet another spits bile and hate
is it all just too late? or did we never really stand a chance?

because it should be all a little easier to follow
but there are sharp turns and hard truths to swallow
with little time to wallow
so if I say that I want to sit here and pretend that the stars are going by
and that the moon is smiling, beaming, radiating
not reflecting
and that I like it that way because it makes beautiful poetry
then let me
because it’s not obvious to me that that’s a bad idea

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The Beautiful Poetry of Audrey Semprun

Literary Revelations is pleased to feature the beautiful poetry of Audrey Semprun: sadness and hope. Enjoy.


Audrey Semprun lives in the heart of Prescott, Arizona with her husband, Al, their large dog, Duke, and a parakeet she named Snow, but who she calls Little Blue, who is mostly white, with just a little blue. Audrey enjoys the peacefulness that living in Prescott allows. She gleans inspiration from not only her small-town community, but also from the beauty that surrounds her in her mountain-desert home.

Audrey’s debut novel, ‘An Angel of Mercy’ is available for purchase on Amazon. Audrey is not only a writer, but she is also an Independent Publisher who publishes under her umbrella company called Joyful Noiz Ministries, LLC. Her domain AudreySemprun.com is now live.  

Audrey has been a contributing writer to several Anthologies, including ‘VSS365 Anthology: Volume One.’ Her work was also published in the #1 Amazon bestseller ‘Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women’ [EIF 2022] and the #1 Amazon bestseller poetry anthology, “Hidden in Childhood” [Literary Revelations, 2023], both collections edited by Gabriela Marie Milton.

Audrey gets great pleasure in sharing her poetry on Twitter @audreysemprun. She is busy looking for sponsors for her own monthly neighborhood magazine, ‘South Prescott Neighbors’, which went to print with the first edition in August 2021.


Hauntings of the tender kind
those silent heartbreaks
that land on lonesome walks
and deserted heartstrings
that can only play the blues
and that only know the emptiness
that we share in the quiet places
of the unsaid somewhere in-between
the sounds of heartbreaks and tears
and the want of something more than dreams
The want to hold longer than a moment
The want that stands the winds of goodbye
and withstands the fears and doubts
of not being enough
The kind of desperation
that can withstand the loneliness of me

Sunset Years


I saw you on the shadows of a dream
so young and strong looking at me
Why you even care
Can’t you see
I know you can see me standing here beaten and abused,
not by the fist but blows to the heart
I am not young, I stammered
find some young thing that still has a mind to dream
and please don’t you – don’t you look at me


Don’t you see, oh, can’t you see
I too am beaten and broken past redemption,
yes, older than dirt, as old as the hurt
that I carry I carry to you
the broken and abused
as I see the young in you
and I know the pain you carry – let me carry you
to a place no more broken or abused
to the green of forever young
and to the sunset of our dreams

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Feature of the Week – The Poetry of Steven Andrew Westby

This week Literary Revelations brings you the stunning poetry of Steven Andrew Westby. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Steven Andrew Westby is a poet and a clinical psychologist.  Originally from Brookings, SD, he attended St. John’s University before going on to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Dakota. Steven now lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his fiancée, Nicole, and his two sons. He began writing poetry around 2008 as a creative outlet to balance with his job. His first collection of poetry By Way of Introduction was published in 2022.


how I remember the laugh
announcing your presence
a whole day transformed
by the mystery of you

we basked in your theater
and joined in your song
until moon’s hidden sadness
eclipsed your bright sun

and we left in darkness
cried out for the starlight
so desperate to find
any memory of you


so soft the skin
around her eyes
that frames a gaze
of promised hope

heart’s joy leaps
at unspoken truth
that stole my heart
to luscious ruin


we spend days, perhaps years
in climbing the mountain

seeking guru’d truth
to dispel the soul’s dark

yet find teacher’s wisdom
already within us

the heart asking simply:
our response to this pain?

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Coming in April – Love, Stars, and Paradigms, a Poetry Collection by Swarn Gill – Foreword

We are excited to let you know that Literary Revelations will publish Swarn Gill’s poetry collection Love, Stars, and Paradigms. The book will be released early to mid-April. Below please find the foreword and a poem from Swarn’s book. I hope you enjoy the read.

Featured art: Magdalena Gill.


Writing a poetry collection is one thing, but to write one in which every poem shines like the brightest star in the sky is to take the reader to an entirely different level, inside a universe in which words permeate hearts and transform souls. This is where the poems of Swarn Gill take you.

While within the pages of this book each poem stands on its own, one can notice thematic issues resembling circumpolar constellations. Swarn Gill’s poetry concerns itself with perennial matters such as: love, pain, identity, social justice, building a better self, rituals of daily life to name just a few. The depth and beauty in his poems are remarkable. In Lovestruck he writes “I chose to face wrathful clouds/and I saw/such beauty in the maelstrom/and though you struck me hard/ you hardened me like glass/ and in those semi-opaque reflections/ we hold, we sip, we float.”

In Diurnal Dreams winds of liberation from the conventions of a society plagued by commercialism blow, “free me from grey/break me out/of concrete prisons/prostrate me/among the daisies/let emerald butterflies/send me to slumber.”

Love and nature are married in a remarkable way in Under Nature’s Power. It’s not a marriage of convenience. It’s osmosis. Nature leads. “The stars were lecherous/making you lay down/in the cool grass/then the moon/made your invitation/clear as glass/what choice did we have/under cruel skies.”

Hold Still is a poem of substance, simplicity, and beauty with a hint of laissez-faire, “there was also/something I was/looking forward to/no matter…. we are the moment/time vibrates.”

Irene Solà wrote, “The infinite dwells in each of us. Like a window on the top of our heads that we didn’t even know was there,” [Canto jo i la muntanya balla] and she continued claiming that only the poet can open that door and reach the infinite. All you must do to know she was right is to read Swarn Gill’s book Love, Stars, and Paradigms.

Literary Revelations is proud to publish such an unbelievable poetry collection.

Gabriela Marie Milton
author, editor, publisher

Ouroboros by Swarn Gill

wandering through neural mazes
I am always lost when I find you
your pose is casual, blocking the path
like you were waiting for me
knowing I’d be there even when I didn’t
reminding me of memories I never made

in the waning days of summer
there is a scar that I am thankful for
and yet find it so hard to forgive
it pulses along with my pulse, counting time
I ache as the trees do, as the leaves fall
still, I smile at the splendor of colors

the things that you are so frightened of
are the things I love the most
I held my face to you like a mirror
a mere, still in a deep forest
and you ran like a hunted hart
avoiding refreshing pools as your thirst swelled

I am now bound to chase with no quarry
as I watch you run with no pursuer
participants in a game that must be played
do I choose to play, or is fate unescapable
I’ve tried clawing and surrendering
neither choice gives me any peace

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Sunday Feature – Poems by Ken Gierke

Literary Revelations is proud to bring you the wonderful poetry of Ken Gierke. We hope you enjoy this feature.


Ken Gierke is retired and has lived in Missouri since 2012, when he moved from Western New York, where the Niagara River fostered a love for nature. He writes primarily in free verse and haiku, often inspired by hiking and kayaking, while his fondness for love poetry may be explained by the fact that he moved to Missouri to be with the woman he eventually married. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming both in print and online in such places as Ekphrastic Review, Amethyst Review, Silver Birch Press, Trailer Park Quarterly and The Gasconade Review. It has appeared in several print anthologies, including three from Vita Brevis Press and those edited by d. ellis phelps, Susi Bocks and Colleen Chesebro. His first collection of poetry, Glass Awash, has been published by Spartan Press. He blogs at rivrvlogr.com.

On the Cusp

I watch from the brink
as roiling waters touch
the base of the falls,

watch the maple bend
its branches to kiss the leaves
that lie at its feet.

Wind-tumbled leaves will crest
those falls, embrace the waters
that wait below.

I breathe the mist
that hangs motionless,
await the promise of new buds.

The tree stands tall,
the precipice remains,
my life on the cusp.

In Stillness

Where else would I want to be
than here, on quiet water?

The air, not so silent,
is filled with birdsong,

one chorus followed by another,
led by cardinals’ call and response.

Louder and more insistent,
tufted titmice give voice.

A kingfisher passes by,
trilling out its lonely answer.

The only other sound
is the stroke of my paddle.

With stillness that holds such sounds,
where else would I want to be?

Feature of the Week – Nancy Richy and the Art of Telling Stories

Literary Revelations is delighted to bring you two short stories written by Nancy Richy in January 2023. Nancy’s art of telling stories is remarkable. Her creativity, her imagination and her construction of dialogue are impressive. We hope you enjoy the feature.


Nancy Richy is a prolific writer of short stories and maintains two websites on WordPress – The Elephant’s Trunk and The Rhythm Section. She is a contributing author to two #1 Amazon bestsellers – “Wounds I Healed; The Poetry of Strong Women” and “Hidden In Childhood; A Poetry Anthology”. She has been published on MasticadoresUSA, Spillwords and The Writer’s Club. Nancy has also recorded her stories which aired on the BBC radio program Upload and was invited by BBC Radio to do a live interview and reading of her story “The Eighth of December”, about the death of John Lennon.

Nancy, who resides in New York, is married with two adult sons and four grandchildren. Her greatest pastimes (besides being with her family) are music, gardening, writing and maintaining her websites. Her parents were born in Sicily and instilled in her a great love of family, friends, food and music. Nancy is a singer and also plays the piano and pipe organ. She is a self-professed Beatlemaniac and says one of her most exhilarating experiences was seeing the Beatles live at Shea Stadium in New York in 1965.

Deconstructing Christmas by Nancy Richy

It was January 8th, the second Sunday of the new year; Martha asked her husband George to help her take down the Christmas decorations. As was George’s usual reaction, he sighed heavily, a look that said “anything but that” dripping from his face. He just couldn’t help goading her.

Martha planted herself directly in front of George and began singing an annoying children’s song in a very loud voice. The lyrics had been changed and Martha thought they were so very clever; George thought they were maddening and covered his ears tightly with his hands. Martha pulled George’s hands away and sang even louder until George was ready to explode.

“Enough howling! You sound like a cow giving birth!” George shouted in response. “Well, I guess you don’t leave me much choice.” He inserted a bookmark into his dogeared copy of “To the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf, placed it on the side table and pushed himself out of his easy chair.

“Oh, don’t be such an old cluck, George! I have reinforcements.” Martha disappeared into the kitchen and emerged a few minutes later dancing a clumsy version of the bossa nova while rattling a martini shaker over her head.

“Now you’re speaking my language, señorita!” George replied, rubbing his hands together in anticipation. Martha poured them each a drink. George took a sip, savoring the perfectly chilled vodka. No matter what he thought about Martha, she could make a damn good martini. George stoked the logs in the fireplace, enjoying his drink and staring at the flames.

“Are you just going to stand there while I do all the work?” Martha asked, her temper starting to rise.

“I’m getting into the spirit, Martha. Are you going to begrudge me every little pleasure in life?”

Martha drained her glass. “The trouble with you, George, is you’re perpetually petulant!” She struggled with the tongue twister and laughed raucously. 

“Shut up, Martha. You’re incredibly less humorous than you think you are” snapped George as he poured himself another martini. Martha suggested George fuck off and went back into the kitchen to prepare another round. Popping an olive into her mouth, she was startled to hear the sound of breaking glass coming from the living room. 

“Honestly, George! How can you be so clumsy? We’ll be drinking our martinis out of plastic cups at this rate!” 

The un-decorating rapidly deteriorated when Martha realized George hadn’t dropped his glass; it was one of her treasured Swarovski crystal angel ornaments. It landed on the hardwood floor and shattered, the slivers spreading like a crack in thin ice.

“You dumbbell! You wretched, good-for-nothing oaf! I despise you!” Martha shrieked like a wounded animal.

“Oh, stop braying, Martha. It isn’t exactly a Michelangelo, you know!”

Martha picked up George’s beloved book and threw it in the direction of the fireplace. George lunged for it and crashed into the Christmas tree, toppling everything onto the floor. Lights and ornaments smashed under the weight of his body and he cried out as broken glass tore into his skin.

Oh, God! My ass! My neck! Bloody hell! There’s glass everywhere!” he bellowed.

Martha casually finished her martini and threw her glass into the fireplace, delighting in the tinkling sound and the dancing flames. She looked at George entangled in the tree, shards and splinters of glass strewn about, and she started chuckling. Clutching the martini shaker, Martha chuckled more and more until she tumbled into the easy chair laughing uproariously. She removed the cap and poured what little vodka was left straight into her mouth. Standing unsteadily, she looked around the room. 

What a dump!” she quipped.

“Darling, I’m in a fair amount of pain. I believe I’m going to need a Band-Aid … and another martini. Be a dear and make a fresh batch.”

George started laughing uncontrollably as Martha danced around the room singing “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf, Virginia Woolf? Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf so early in the morning?”

Slurring her words to the song, she fell to her knees in a dizzying fit of drunken hysterics.

NAR © 2023

Stop the Heartache by Nancy Richy

“Mr. Bennett, we did everything in our power but the injuries were too extensive. I’m sorry. Your wife did not survive the surgery … the surgery … the surgery … your wife did not survive …”

My eyes flew open and I gasped for air like a drowning man. My fisted hands clutched the disheveled sheets on my bed. I was soaked in sweat, my heart racing. The recurring dream came back last night. Gradually my heartrate slowed down and my fists unclenched. Laying on my back, I stared up at the softly whirring ceiling fan. I closed my eyes for five seconds and the tears started. It never gets better; it never gets easier.

Three years ago my darling Olivia, my life-force, my soulmate, my wife of two ineffably brief weeks died in a ghastly motorcycle accident while on our honeymoon in Barcelona. Frozen in place, I stared at her broken body; my brain told me she was dead but my heart and soul refused to listen.  

I remembered the ambulance and police arriving, the excruciatingly long ride to the hospital, the lonely wait in the eerily quiet emergency room and the surgeon’s words … those words that haunted me day after day after day. My wife was dead, my brief marriage erased and my heart crushed. We hadn’t even opened our wedding gifts.

I dragged myself to the shower, trying to wash away the dream. It didn’t work. It was time for me to leave here, escape the memories and the sadness. Our friends stopped calling long ago and there was nothing left for me. My parents were dead; Olivia’s parents wished they were dead instead of her. In this huge world I was utterly alone. It was time for me to go.

A loud thunderclap announced it was not a good day to take out the bike. I’d been sleepwalking for three years and I’d had enough; I needed to do this. For the first time in forever I removed my wedding ring and placed it on the dresser next to my phone and wallet.

“Will the bike start up?” I wondered “Or has it died, too?” I grabbed my helmet and walked to the garage. The bike was plugged in; when did I do that? In one of my rare moments of clarity? I slipped on my gloves, opened the garage door and climbed on my bike. It was pouring and I had no idea where I was going. It didn’t matter; I stopped caring. Now I needed to stop the heartache.

NAR © 2023