Poem by Sylvia Ashby:







The placebo effect depends on trust--


just as any Siberian shaman

can pound the tundra with dancing feet, leap

striking his magical drum

endlessly chanting

calling on aid: Khovaki! Savaki!

over and over


wearing his reindeer head to prick the air

frightening the air with antlers

that hover above like condor wings.

Everything clattering on the reindeer-skin tunic,

glass beads, bells, amulets, stones.

Round and round in agile dance

his incantation drones

invoking spirits from another world

Khovaki! Savaki!

to retrieve ailing souls

from the land of the dead.

The drum, the rattle, the clackers insisting

Khovaki! Savaki!

He stops, listens, waits--no answer--


again attacks the air with antlers,

his dance building to a feverish pitch

into the inevitable trance,

whirling faster and faster

howling fierce animal cries.

Round and round.

Everything flying in a frenzy:

tassels, ornaments, knotted fringe

tufts of beaver and wolf in a blur

the mystic signs on the drum obscured--


He stops! The drum silent.

Summons the sky gods--

(Have they appeared?)

Rigid, he falls: writhes, trembles, contorts

finally consulting with distant powers

talking in tongues

taking in secrets.

Then rests, released from his mystery,

his message of cause and cure--

O harrowing birth!


This, any arctic shaman can manage--


the trance, the tremors, the fall.

All this and more--all--

to bring back my soul

from the land of the dead--


assuming you trust in shamans.














Poem by Dee Sunshine:



A Rain Of Roses

I fell from the sky,
blazing a trail
of violent flowers:
orange as caesarean sex,
red as shiva-shakti,
crimson as you,

my petals torn away
in the scorched wind,

mad mistral mistress,
you plucked at me
with triggered fingers,
till I was
but dry stems
and withered seeds.

You plucked
and I was undone:

I fell to the ground,
a dust of forgetting,
smothering crops
and blanking out the sun.


Dee Sunshine
is an artist, writer, musician, yoga teacher, massage therapist and new age hobo.  Originally from Scotland, he gave up the life of the homesteader in August 2006 and has since then spent most of his time in India & Thailand.  He is the author of three poetry collections The Bad Seed (Stride, 1998) and Dropping Ecstasy With The Angels (Bluechrome, 2004) & Visions Of The Drowning Man (Skylight, 2012).  His has also published a novel, Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God (Bluechrome, 2004).  
            Dee has put blood, sweat and tears into being of service to other writers and artists, most notably in the time-consuming production of the free resources on his website, especially The AA Independent Press Guide, which he edited, in one form or another, from 1998 until 2011.  He also edited two print magazines, Dada Dance (1984-1990) and the short-lived, but sweet, Acid Angel (1998-2000).  He also edited the charity poetry anthology, The Book Of Hopes And Dreams (Bluechrome, 2006).
Dee's art is frequently used in print and internet magazines and has graced the book jackets of collections by Janet Buck, Clarinda Harriss, Rupert Loydell, Norman Jope and many others. Dee's art is now available in high quality, inexpensive reproduction prints, posters and cards from Red Bubble and on various gift items like t-shirts, mouse mats, mugs and fridge magnets from CafePress.
You can check out more of Dee’s creative output on his website and on his Facebook page.  Dee welcomes contact by email: dee@thunderburst.co.uk.





Poem by Valentina Cano:

I was supposed to go to the book-fair
a year ago, today.
But it’s impossible to move
when your legs are sea water.
It’s not advisable to speak, either,
when your mouth is speared through with needles.
Neither should you think with a brain
zapping itself into continuous rewind.
So I don’t go to the book-fair.
I didn’t walk or talk or think.
I sat,
like a basement light.

Valentina Cano
is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, A Narrow Fellow, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, Spark Anthology, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus,White Masquerade Anthology and Perhaps I'm Wrong About the World. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel, The Rose Master, will be published in 2014. You can find her here: http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com



Sylvia Ashby has published 15 scripts for family audiences with thousands of productions; the most popular, an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables has been produced on three continents. After getting a short memoir into Anderbo.com last spring, she was prompted to send out poetry: she now has poems appearing or forthcoming in Right Hand Pointing, Abyss & Apex, Mezzo Cammin, Avatar, Vine Leaves, From the Depths Quarterly, Constellations, Moon Magazine, Glass, Earthen Lamp, etc. She will also have several poems appearing in a forthcoming anthology of Black Mountain College poetry. Visit her site: sylviaashby.com