Lorcan Cassidy




Lorcan Cassidy is a recent graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Although he studied Fine Art Sculpture in college, drawing and illustration have been lifelong passions for him. Most of the sculptures he has produced have an illustrative nature to them. As for his subject matter it is oftentimes macabre and strange. One of his tutors described it as, ‘Quirky with a touch of darkness.’

Féilim James: Ad Lucem

Black-driven, chaos-bent, breathing brute cacophonies,

It lumbers up the wooded slope at midnight, swamped in moonlight,

Flanked with fervent wind-blown limbs of green grown black with shadow,

Comes from heaven’s darkest hollow, clambers, clutches mountain, draws

Breath on black-blown breath, claws

Air, imagines skin, bare –

Null-brained, we swim

Under lulling sun,

Our cool, succulent nothingness

Trembling at its fat, black root.



Féilim James is a young writer from Dublin, Ireland, currently an undergraduate of English Literature and Psychology in Trinity College, Dublin. A writer of both poetry and prose, his works have been previously published in various literary journals such as Icarus, Rant + Rave, and Trinity Journal of Literary Translation. His poetry through Irish has won five Oireachtas literary awards from 2011-2015, as well as earning publication in the journals Feasta, Comhar, Comhar Óg, and An Scríbhneoir Óg. Féilim has also twice been selected for Fóras na Gaeilge’s Tutor Scheme.

Erik Nelson: Crossing Willow Creek (parts 1-4)


Part One: Unshakable Shadows

For want of things needful, men cry;

The ancient springs have all run dry.

For flowing brooks, the people pine;

Each time they look, they see a sign.


The sons and daughters of song sing low,

No more replete with lust;

About the streets of sorrow they go,

About the streets of dust.


The wheel of the well is broken now;

The golden bowl is bust.

So none repeat any token vow,

For it’s too late to trust.


With hearts that pretend to have hope but sag,

They start, at the ends of their ropes, to drag

The various enchantments they take:

Shadows of dreams they can’t seem to shake.


Part Two: Over the Brook of the Willows

Failing, languishing is the vine,

So, without song, men savor wine.

Wailing, anguishing is each tribe,

Devoid of strong drink to imbibe.

The flower faileth, then drops;

The hour aileth, then stops,

But still the rook, through its bill, crows:

Over the Brook of the Willows.


Their loss they swallow and thus carry,

Across the hollow to the prairie,

Traveling heavy or light

To a place e’er out of sight,

Where wolves and bears with cattle lie

And none have heard one battle cry,

Where, in a nook, green grass still grows:

Over the Brook of the Willows.


Part Three: The Burden of the Desert of the Sea

They cannot stay but have a plan,

Though traumatized and weak;

They’ll make their way, as best they can,

Across old Willow Creek.


With their gold, silver and tears, they leave,

For nothing has grown for years;

They pack what they hold most dear and grieve

O’er the rest that disappears.


By hand and foot they carry it,

The rich by horse and chariot,

Through lands of desert seas of sand

To start all over, somewhere grand.


They chart a course to save the day,

By which they plan to travel,

To cart their junk and pave a way

To stitch dream-seams unraveled.


With spirits sunk so very low,

They’re looking for the lea;

The caravan can barely go

Across the desert sea.


Part Four: Under the Shadow of Her Wings

Through lands of fire, brimstone, distress,

The darting snake and flying dragon,

Through lands of lion and lioness,

They cart their stake, the rich by wagon,

The poor by blistered hand and foot,

With palms and soles as black as soot,

To where grass still grows free:

Beneath the willow tree.


They’re going where the sparrows sing,

Over the hills and far away,

Where no one, ever, was crowned king

Or had his fill denied each day,

Where human graveyards can’t be found,

Where none have paved the naked ground,

Where the owl shades her hatchlings

Under the shadow of her wings.


To Be Continued



Erik Nelson was born in Madison, WI, in 1974, grew up in British Columbia, Canada, as well as several states in the United States, before obtaining a Masters degree in Literary Theory from the University of Dalarna, in Falun, Sweden; he then taught English at the college level in the deep south of the United States for ten years, before moving to the high plains of Colorado, where he currently lives, lucubrates and works as a librarian.

Maggie Mae: Married to a Monster

not the kind you think of

when the word presents itself
there hasn’t been gifts
or flowers
or cakes
no declarations of love
I am veiled in quicksand
my ankles stolen
right from underneath me
A preacher speaking “blah, blah, blah, God” ….
and all that stuff
my dear family and friends
gathered around me
a single dove laying on
an altar
plugged into oxygen
plastic wrapped for perfection
the caterer
with the smile of a thousand devils
reminds me to pay my bill
tonight we roast the dove
Maggie Mae has been a featured poet for Arts 4 The Homeless and Sojourner’s Indecisive.  Her poetry has been included in several literary magazines including Poetry Now, Conceit Magazine, Curio Poetry, Yes Poetry, The Vein, Requiem Magazine, The Screech Owl, and many more. She maintains a blog at www.maggiemaeijustsaythis.wordpress.com

Dermot Hurley: Here be Monsters

It hangs like a terrible tapestry

In the throne room of your house

You receive your exalted guests

Beneath its colorful folds,

Less blue and green than pastel shades

But the swirls of cartographic art

Embed in my mind the legend

‘Here be monsters’



Dermot (Diarmaid) Hurley is an aspiring (read unpublished) poet, former professional bodhrán player (other instruments are available), and a language enthusiast from County Sligo. After a few years living in the artistic hub that is Galway city, writing as Gaeilge, and a brief stint in Dublin, Dermot relocated to sunny Valencia, on the east coast of Spain, where he lives with his partner and baby son, writing in whatever language comes closest (which means lots of bad Spanish rhyme).

Trish Delaney: Mottephobia

First you feel them writhe

as they feed in your sleep:

peccadilloes furrowing —

wriggling through the mind’s

mire, burrowing deeper

every night…until

they metamorphose,


A sensory deluge of hair,

dust, and scales

flutters, — no strikes —

at the back of your throat

and can’t be coughed away.

You’ll wake from choking

on their powdery residue.


You drink your coffee so strong

that you’re sick—smoke

your scut-bitten nails yellow,

and keep a candle lighted

to burn them wing by wing.

Tonight’s fight is over but

you still can’t shake their taste.


Don’t look in the mirror

while you brush your teeth.

Daylight isn’t all it seems;

something twitches in your optic nerves

controlling your every blink:

it’s the moths flitting back and forth

puncturing the darkness of your pupils…


that’s how they escape your dreams



Trish Delaney is originally from Wexford but currently lives in Dublin where she works in programmatic ad operations for an Irish advertising agency. She writes her poetry as an escape from the world of maths and calculations that dominate her working day. Some of her previous work has been published in Skylight 47,Spontaneity.org, increature.com, Oddball Magazine and as poem of the week on Headstuff.org 

David Boland: Amsterdam & North Donegal


Amsterdam you humid bastard

all my clothes are soaked

but I bought more in the second hand market

on Haarlemmer Road.

I fell in love with Vincent Van Gogh

he was just as fucked up as me

and I feel an affinity with anyone on the periphery.

I faced my childhood on the side of the road by the river down in Amsterdam.

Me and my mother, we took a plane

we went back again.

I met my mother, we got on the yellow tram line.

We were talking about Summer

a little girl who was a friend of mine.

We walked the old streets I played on

I was just a child then

we ended up at the old apartment

it used to be a heroin den.

Oh what’s worse is the silence that happened then


North Donegal

There is a place, north Donegal

some of my memories are there

the blonde and the brunette

the girl with the short hair.

It’s the place where I made

some of my earliest mistakes

the best thing that I ever did

was getting out of that place.

I remember the winter

the springtime and the autumn

but most of all those summer nights

we spent in her garden

and I’m going back there

no matter what you say

I’ve been invited

to her wedding day.

Stones’ throw from you.

It’s the lying, it’s the wasting

it’s the cheating on yourself

I’ll wait for love.

It’s the drugs, it’s the late nights

it’s the bottle I love the most

I’ll wait for love.

The autumn, the fading light

the darkening day, the compensating night.

I walked home, left it unsaid

with pounding heart I died a distant death.

The days draw down, dwindle, scatter

it all ends and none of it matters.

I linger on, become undone

I learn my fate is to always be in love.

Slip and slow down, square one again

I’ve made mistakes that I deeply regret

I’ve made mistakes again, again, again.



Born in Dublin in 1984, David Boland spent his childhood variously in Amsterdam, Dublin, Limerick, Shannon and Donegal. He has lived in Galway for the last decade where he is Artistic Director of An Áit Eile and curates the popular Citóg night in the Róisín Dubh. He also makes music under the name New Pope.

G.B. Ryan: Little Fishes

In early hatcheries

the fry lived in a pool,

over which a dead cow’s

head was hung. The maggots

that devoured the cow’s head

dropped off in the water

and became salmon food.

This taught the baby fish

to wait for food to drop

from the sky. They lost their

instinct to fear shadows

of predators above.

Mothers, remember this

when you are preparing

to feed your little ones.



G.B. Ryan was born in Ireland and graduated from University College Dublin.  He is a ghostwriter in New York City.  Elkhound published his SURPRISED BY GULLS in May 2015.

David Edwards & Mark Hill

There’s nothing to fear but fear itself;

I don’t believe those words myself.

What about monsters, the devil himself?

I could be disembowelled by some evil elf!1st verse

Every night before I sleep,

I check beneath the bed and sheets.

For horrible beasts with razor sharp teeth.

They’ll rip me apart while I’m counting sheep!

With my bed side light I can sleep without fright.

My room is so bright, I’ll survive the night.

For the ghosts can’t hide away from my sight.

But tonight I’ll be brave and turn off the light…2With my bed side light I can sleep without fright

A creak, a crack

I’m under attack!

3 a creack a crack

My dreams are breaking, I find myself waking.

The devil is snaking; it’s me he’ll be taking!

Under the sheets in the dark, I’m quaking.

I need to find a way to stop shaking.

4I look up and see teeth, shiny and sharp

I look up and see teeth, shiny and sharp.

I’m their target, alone in the dark!

Take my torch in hand to steady my heart,

With a shine of the light, tear the evil apart!

I must be strong, and oh so brave.

I can’t let the monsters make me their slave.

If I don’t fight back, I won’t be saved.

I must send those beasts to their endless grave!

I devised a plan to take control;

To vanquish every ogre and troll!

I need a torch, and a sturdy bowl;

A sweeping brush to save my soul.

5i need a torch a sturdy bowl, a sweeping brush

Now, each night before I rest in my nest:

I recheck the bed and do my best

To settle my nerves and calm my chest,

To find the pests; wherever they rest.

The bowl’s a helmet; in case of attack.

With torch in hand I lay down flat.

And poke with the brush where the monsters are at;

They scatter from light like a vampire bat.

I’ve waged my war, I move to the drawer.

I’ve never thought to check here before,

But shine my torch and lift clothing galore.

I see nothing there, but I had to be sure.

6 I bash with my brush

With my check nearly done, my panic abates.

I take my torch, bowl and brush to the drapes.

My torch goes dim, I hear claws scrape…

I must be ready when the ghosts take shape!

I bash with my brush,

Turn the fiends to mush,

Shine my light in a rush,

Till the monsters are crushed!

I don’t have a wardrobe, but you should check there,

You don’t want to wake to a terrible scare!

With the brush in your hand; demons beware!

With my check now done, I can rest without care.

There’s nothing to fear but fear, I see:

With torch and brush, the devil fears me!

I scare the elves, the monsters flee,

With my torch held close, I can finally sleep.

7With my torch held close, I can finally sleep



David Edwards is a Dublin based writer. His writing path started with stage plays and has slowly meandered towards children’s poetry and novels. For most of his life, he felt like he never would, and never wanted to grow up, and although life has forced some change to that, writing for children has been the his tie to youth. Over the years, he has tried to find any outlet for his creativity, from music to circus arts, from stand up comedy to theatre, but the focus has always been the same: make someone’s day that little bit brighter. Many of David’s plays have been put on to large and small crowds and one of his puppet shows is currently on display in the Wax Museum. He is always looking for new projects to work on, which led him to completing the NaNoWriMo challenge in 2015. Since then, he has become focused on completing his first novel, balancing his time between writing books and studying for his software development degree.


Mark Hill is an illustrator/photographer living in Dublin. He is self taught illustrator and went to IADT to study a degree in photography. He now splits his time between professional photography and illustrating. Mark lives with Kate and his two cats Nymeria and Pippin. “I enjoy the other worldly. Creating stories using beautiful, unnerving images. I get a lot out of collaborating with other artists and their works of any medium. I find that when two great art forms collide you always have the opportunity to create something special.”

Orla Fay: Andromeda’s Sleep

Calibos takes Andromeda from her sleep,

The Clash of the Titans, 1981

The steel playground slide collects at its base

rainwater that is warm as a pool

of seawater in the sunlight

left over by the tide.

Lush green trees are heavy with hawthorn;

perfect pearl throws.

On the electricity pole

the single crow

on a corner of wire that forms a square;

the north, the south, the east and the west.

The swallows dive pulling heart chariots;

theatrical daredevils.

The sky vacantly journeys aided by twilight

and abetted by the moon.

In the middle of the night I awaken

to scurrying sounds that rise up

from below through the open window.

“Who is it?” the owl calls. “What do you want?”

Paralysis starts in the feet, travels

upwards coldly gripping calves.

Tumbling through darkness

I disturb fixed stars that startled

fall in glitter showers

in a world where trees drag their roots

across the swamp,

where voices are echoes,

where he fawns over his own reflection

in a pool adorned with vines

that are caressed by his arm’s stump.

When the fire dawn birds call

I am picked up in talons

and returned to the cauldron of morning.

And I never remember who he was,

my captor, nor what he wanted

except that some dark part

of my soul questioned

and he answered.



Orla Fay is the editor of Boyne Berries Magazine. Her poetry has been published in Boyne Berries, Crannog, Abridged, The SHOp, North West Words, The Linnet’s Wings, The Stony Thursday Book, Orbis, Carillon, Shot Glass Journal and Silver Blade Magazine, among others. She is a Forward prize nominee and she keeps a blog at http://www/orlafay.blogspot.ie