The Raven Reincarnated

by Kevin Lenihan


Once upon a Mid-day dreary, a bad night’s sleep had left me weary,
Anxious over what the Network’s new season had in store.
While I pondered what was missing,
Suddenly I heard some hissing,
Like a steam leak in the kitchen from the pipes up through the floor.
From the radiator pipes that heat the first and second floor.
Merely this and nothing more.

Oh so distinctly I recall, it was cold that early Fall,
And a chill shot through my body as I touched the hardwood floor.
As I stared at some bland Soap,
I felt a decrease in my hope,
Helplessly I fought to cope, cope with loss of my Folklore.
My beloved prime time passion the producers called Folklore.
Cancelled here forever more.

I just lay there like a slouch, stretched out on my old worn couch,
Content to just procrastinate on every household chore.
Last week’s useless TV guide,
Sitting right there by my side,
Uselessness I can’t abide brought my frustration to the fore.
Shook loose all my fears and worries and thrust them to the fore.
I couldn’t stand it any more.

Presently my guilt grew greater, I just couldn’t wait till later,
Procrastination on the troubles just begets so many more.
For a house left unattended,
Is a house that can’t be mended,
So my rest time must be ended, and I must repair the flaw.
Just get off my lazy tuchus and repair the threatening flaw.
Lest the damage breed much more.

But no sooner had I risen, when I heard the television
Start to spark and sputter like I’d never heard before.
Then my brand new TV set,
Thundered like a flying jet,
All these emanations and yet, no picture to accompany the roar.
The screen had turned to blackness while the set belched out a roar.
High-pitched static and nothing more.

All my nerves went on alert, if that blows it’s gonna hurt
And the fear coursed through my body from my skin right to my core.
I could feel my fingers trembling,
Tried to stop my mouth from mumbling,
Fought to keep my strength from crumbling while I pondered the front door.
My only chance at escaping was to make it through the door.
But my feet stuck to the floor

I just stood in silent wonder waiting for the roaring thunder
To smash my television I’d just gotten from the store.
Protected by a warranty,
A salesman’s promised guarantee,
But their no return decree made the sale a perfect score.
My only source of entertainment was the salesman’s perfect score.
I should have left it at the store.

Then the screen on my TV began to glow fantastically,
Brilliant bands of color like I’d never seen before.
Strobes of blue and yellow-red,
Scorched my eyes and filled my head,
But it deigned to ease my dread like a sunset on the shore.
Like the greatest, brightest sunset as if viewed from ocean’s shore.
A soothing scene and nothing more

Then the colors coalesced, the light a form did manifest,
A strange and bright-plumed peacock slowly rumbled to the fore.
It just stood there motionless,
A pleasant looking but obscene guest,
Conjured up at my behest like some dream that had gone sore.
Just some illness-drenched, sorrow-laden dream that had turned sore.
This it is and nothing more.

Then this colorful bird hereafter turned my staunch fear into laughter,
By the querulous and penetrating expression that it wore.
Though thy feathers bright and gleaming,
And thy black eyes stark and beaming,
Certainly I must be dreaming and I’ll awake with my next snore.
Just a figment of dementia that will cease with my next snore.
Quoth the peacock, Channel Four.

I was startled by the shrillness of that voice that broke the stillness,
And the eyes that gleamed with darkness like a shotgun barrel’s bore.
Was that quote a stark prediction?
That my dreams will reach fruition?
Or might it lead to my perdition as I hope for more Folklore?
Will it bring my final ruin if I yearn for more Folklore?
Quoth the peacock, Channel Four.

This is just a game he’s playing, he really knows not what he’s saying,
’Twast just a random utterance that he made and nothing more.
A mimic like a parakeet,
A bland coincidental tweet,
As random as a startled bleat from a shepherd’s stock and store.
Just a harmless, ignorant utterance from a barnyard stock and store.
Quoth the peacock, Channel Four.

Should I search the television? Dare I start a brand-new mission?
Could there be a grand renewal of that epic called Folklore?
Had there been some mass objection?
Might there be a resurrection?
Does this warrant my inspection of the sched on channel four?
Could Folklore be continued another year or even more?
Quoth the peacock, Channel Four.

I grabbed for my remote control, a great hope swelling in my soul.
Could my hero take his place among the greats of TV yore?
Gentleman yet fighting master,
Elicits tears or joyous laughter,
Bringing to his foes disaster made a legend of Folklore.
My hero maintained order in the chaotic world Folklore.
Quoth the peacock, Channel Four.

I just coursed through endless choices, skating past familiar voices,
Useless scenes and schemes, to me, of doubt and nothing more.
Lives filled up with travesty,
People facing tragedy,
Others chasing amnesty for some sins that went before.
Lives of utter joy or sadness from the things that went before.
Quoth the peacock, Channel Four.

Then I reached the destination, I stopped on the predicted station.
But the screen just flowed with static, gritty noise and nothing more.
The peacock simply fanned his tail,
My lonely heart began to quail,
This isn’t right I tried to wail to the peacock on my floor.
Very soon the bird will leave me as all my friends had left before.
Quoth the peacock, Channel Four

That’s the last I want to hear it, you’re ruining my hope and spirit,
Get away from my decoder box and go haunt some other shore.
Leave no trailer as a beacon,
Of the promises you’re speaking,
Scorn me not for what I’m seeking, and just exit my front door.
There’s no Folklore on my TV so be gone though my front door.
Quoth the peacock, Channel Four

But despite all my commanding, the foul Peacock still is standing,
By the snakelike coax cable that meanders ’cross my floor.
I just graze through endless channels,
Moving pictures seem like panels,
Just made up of pointless annals of folks who never went before.
And my own life with the other lives that never went before.
Are entwined on Channel Four.


Five Halloween Haiku

Space Alien - Vikingby Denny E. Marshall


Creatures visit Earth
To have good times and blend in
On Halloween night

Halloween full moon
All law enforcement in town
Expect a long night

Halloween attack
Humans think the event is
Just part of the show

Halloween door knocks
Did not know the Viking is
’scaped ax murderer

Halloween monster
Wearing costume to cover
His real scary self



by Denny E. Marshall


Swear you hear a sucking sound
Cannot put your finger on it
Feel like being pulled somewhere
Other than where you’re headed
In this experience you cannot place
Assume you are not alone
Believe others along for the ride
Each share a choice not made
Pins of light are all that is visible
When you peer into the darkness
Do not see anything else
When you look out from the window
Too late, you realize a truth
A black hole is hard to see


Five Haiku


Illustration courtesy of the NASA Image Gallery

by Denny E. Marshall


Aliens arrive
With no spaceship or journey
Born in the earth’s core

Mars evolution
Once life forms and atmosphere
Hidden by craters

Galactic guitar
Strums unknown notes
Of dark gravity

Alien hunter
Shooting at me in the woods
Orange coat season

Martian colony
Few paint house interiors
In the color red


The Change


Illustration courtesy of the NASA Image Gallery

by Hailey Holcomb


Bones shift
made to feel like
by the agony.

Screams rise and
fall on deaf ears
as skin stretches to

‘What’s happening?
Make it

Every sense comes to life.

Ears twitch at
rustling leaves
and soft fur waves to the
The smell of the earth,
the dirt, the trees,
makes blood boil.

Muscles spring
fleeting free


Ode To Humankind

by Denny E. Marshall

Inspired by “Ode to Humanity


The invaders can read our mind.
It is the end of humankind.
We are pets, the entire race.
Aliens now control the place.

Told make a choice and do not lie.
Pick from family, one to die.
Weapons target from ships in space
Aliens now control the place.

The brother struggles to decide.
Fate of sister he cannot hide.
Wish they would pack and leave no trace.
Aliens now control the place.


Me and My Clones

DNAby Ilona Hegedus


We are celebrating with champagne
as me one got a promotion,
and me two got another degree.
Me three is having a baby.
Will the child call me daddy one?


Alien Abduction

Alien Abduction

Illustration by Matt McIrvin

by Lucy Arnold


This is why I believe in aliens:

The possibility of being sucked into the sky
to be probed
Is part of what makes life meaningful
Because if human beings are interesting enough
that some aliens need to probe them,
If human beings are that complicated
and require that kind of study

Then people obviously
aren’t as simple as I suspect
They aren’t as easy to figure out
(i.e. evil, greedy, close-minded, violent, miserable)
as I think.

That’s what I hope
and that’s why I’m willing to sit around and wait,
Hoping that I’ll be abducted by aliens,
a scenario that would be

Bad for me,
Good for mankind.


Here They Come

Here They Come

Photo from NASA Image Gallery

by Rob Balder


A thousand steely meters, measured stem to stern.
A crew of four aboard. Explore, report and learn.
A planet, sick with pain and root rot,
Shrinks to a blue dot.
Leaving the mess,
Leaving the nest,
Here they…

Yes, mankind heaved itself up, bar by bloody bar.
Now this clean machine will take them to a star.
But most of what it took to build her
Came from their killers,
Came from their wars,
Came from their core.
Here they come.
Oooh, I told you.
I told you this day would come.

We’ve seen a dozen like them crawl up from the clay,
And then destroy themselves. They always find a way.
And we’ve got too much work to miss them
In ten thousand systems
Here we design
Here we refine
But here they..

We hold the stuff of space and time at our command
They’re only animals, they’ll never understand
They’ll find the net of quantum tunnels
And build a McDonald’s.
Burgers and buns
At each shining sun.
Here they come.

Oooh, I told you.
I told you this day would come.

There’s no solution we could ever justify,
We know the answer like we know the end of pi.
And we see why
Peace solves all equations
Even invasions
Even the quark
Even the dark
Here they…

Tycoon, tyrant, diva, beggar, martyr, murderer, hero,
Loan shark, Walmart, Marco Polo, Mozart,
Archimedes, Auschwitz, Kingdom of the Mouse, it’s
Too soon to say that they’re a cancer.
They might be the answer.
Packing a gun,
Out of the slum,
Here they come.

Oooh, here they come.


Lives on Planets of Our Solar System

Lives on Planets in Our Solar Systemby William Boons


Mercury: Mass Production
dig for dark gray ores
androids manufacture
androids for conquest

Venus: Adaptation
pitch black
beneath opaque sulfuric acid clouds
un-scaled flagellated
kingdom of fish-beasts walk with

Earth: New Trend 2100 A.D.
dated habit under blue sky
no longer give birth to their young
selves clone selves

Mars: Invisible
dive in red rivers
stain their feathers burgundy
mask another year

Jupiter: Romance of Four Kingdoms
red brown yellow white
four armies of viral beasts
warring for conquest

Saturn: Saturn’s Venus’s-Flytraps
air-float nymphs scraped off dead scales
winged carnivorous plants

Uranus: Spawning
green reptilian mermaids
nest emerald eggs
in jade riverbed

Neptune: Neo-Genesis
submerge and harbor
in turquoise acidic sea,
with red-boiled blood rushes
throughout embryonic veins,
a new life form on Neptune

Pluto: Deserted Species
through emptied ice-locked hills
circled abandoned globe
swarms of nanobees