TATI’s & TONY’s DEAD POET TOUR // Song by Thomas Runciman

You who know what easeful arms
Silence winds about the dead,
Or what far-swept music charms
Hearts that were earth-wearied;

You who know – if aught be known
In that everlasting Hush
Where the life-born years are strewn,
Where the eyeless ages rush, –

Tell me, is it conscious rest
Heals the whilom hurt of life?
Or is Nirvana undistressed
E’en by memory of strife?


by THOMAS RUNCIMAN (1841-1909)
Public Domain Poetry


“Oranges! No apples!”

She was angry. He, of course, tried not to smile at her pouty determination.

“Don’t worry, dear. Oranges then.”

He stroked her head musingly. He’d give the apples to their neighbour down the street. They had a donkey that’d be only too happy to eat them all.

“And Death! ‘Oranges and Death’!”

“Of course, dear. I will make preparations for the sacrifice tomorrow, first thing.”

With that, she ran to the kitchen where the nanny was fussing with dinner. He picked up the crayons scattered about. Maybe they shouldn’t take drawing lessons in the kindergarten so seriously?


© All rights reserved 2019

Open-Source Poetry Four #3

Our Dearest Readers,

We have an important question for you. It’s so important that we must lean close and ask it in hushed tones. You’d best lean in too, lest you miss it! Ready?


Okay, are you scared now? Yes? Now you know how we felt. We were so scared when we saw how many amazing submissions there were for the previous instalment of Open-Source Poetry! How on earth were we going to pick just one to add to this new lyrical masterpiece? It wasn’t going to be easy.

So, after a great many incantations over blood-soaked prayer beads ripped from the entrails of a satanically depressed gerbil, we eventually settled on Munira Ezzi’s sparkling contribution. Well… we’re kidding, of course. How could we rely on silly bloody incantations? Only a coin toss would do. (Although we do find it rather strange that the results matched.) Anyway, her lines felt like such a logical progression from what had gone before, so we ended up agreeing with the aforementioned incantations and coin toss outcome. How could we not use her contribution?

Now, if you would like us to agonise over your contributions for the next part of this poem in a similar fashion, we suggest you pay attention to the following rules:

1) Read the current version of this communal poetic effort below, and marvel at how scarily good it is (or is that goodily scary?). Then submit your own line or two for our consideration.
2) If we like your line (or two) the best, we’ll add it to the poem, then we’ll publish said result in a follow-up post.
3) Then you keep submitting frightening wordage aplenty in an attempt to chill us to the bone some more!
4) And so the whole process of submission and rejection is repeated until we finally have a horrifying new masterpiece!

PS: For those who may still be recovering from their New Years hangover, we remind them of the topic to the poem… It’s in the style of a good ol’ horror movie!


hm, what should I draw?
maybe a hairy monster with a furry claw
or a demon crow that sticks in the craw
or a huge bloodstained saw

hm, what should I write?
maybe a slow growl will stir up a fright
or a girl will be twirled by a meat-eating kite
or grandma pole-dances in a bikini too tight



© All rights reserved 2020

the day after

there are many things
i just cannot comprehend
why give them head space
why enshrine them in my heart
go ahead and call me fool

i wish only peace
serenity for the soul
merely do my best
i don’t need to beat a drum
nor have any notice me

someone conquers mars
someone sells bad bananas
someone invents worth
none of this matters to me
remember? i am a fool

you can laugh at me
but when you’ve become bankrupt
(i don’t mean money)
i’ll be gone, so far away
basking in another day


© All rights reserved 2019

Ink Cocoon

You’re a word whisperer. I think that makes you dangerous.

You have an otherworldly gift. You can whisper the text from your pages and drink them into my soul. A strange transference of meaning. And you’re unafraid to become a blank clutch of paper as a result. I don’t know how or why you do this. Frankly, it scares me.

I think you know, don’t you, that I can’t help but lean into your presence. Your whisper is like a tocsin in the deep stillness. Too loud. It’s tearing space apart. I feel the gaps between molecules widening. Again, how do you do this? Sorcery’s too absurd an idea to entertain, surely, but how else can I possibly explain this?

I touch your spine. Are you trembling just now? Oh. It’s my fingers. My hands. Okay. It makes sense that you wouldn’t be the fearful one.

Something’s changing. The text is vanishing before my eyes, and with it all sense. And when my eyes skew across you to the pages that follow, it feels as though some inevitable prophecy is being fulfilled. If words can be so effortlessly erased then I don’t know what to do or who to be.

Your gaze is a dare. Stop looking at me! You know very well that your passivity is a challenge I cannot rise to. So… I give myself over. We deep kiss until time runs backwards. My caressing lips. The roughness of your page. Your words continue to fade off the paper into me.

I open my mouth in silent agony, but my voice won’t obey. I hiss. I croak. I dry heave and suffocate. And just at that moment when I realise I’m dying, your words begin to spill from my mouth like ink. They splat everywhere in great, vile, Rorschach patterns.

“What do you see, Herman?”

The doctor’s voice is soft and calm. She keeps the Rorschach test steady in her hands. She’s looking at me with unfeigned patience. I’m grateful, of course, but then I’m distracted by my reflection on a glossy table surface. My face has a deathly pallor. Those crazed eyes. A mouth smeared with black ink.

I wipe this off and smile at her.

“It’s a death’s-head hawkmoth, doc.”


© All rights reserved 2019