Family Portrait

Vita Brevis Press

Submitted by Ronald E. Shields

This hatred of factories.
I have never been in one.
Thirty years my father labored in a factory making film.
There is no evidence he ever took a picture.
There is a family portrait
taken by a neighbor I suppose.
My father is looking away from the camera,
his gaze focused somewhere the camera cannot see,
none of us can see.
He could be watching birds fly south
or waiting for the ice to break.
It is ten years since the factory closed,
my father gone seven.
As I look at the portrait now I try to follow his gaze.
I can see the river running around the locks,
through the arches beneath the bridge,
past the dark bones of the factories,
out to a hungry sea.

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Photo Credit: Old factory on the Somme –…

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Vita Brevis Press

Submitted by Ann Neilson

“The skies they were ashen and sober;
the leaves they were crisped and sere-
the leaves they were withering and sere;
it was night in the lonesome October of
my most immemorial year” –Edgar Allan Poe “Ulalume”

The ominous sky reminded of
an apocalyptic world,
Its sadistic grin, blighting the grass
the trees and flowers, unfurled.

A history of moans and whimpers
of past ages erupted forth.
The ground cracked and showed no history
of hard work or of self-worth.

Contaminated cities of
industrialized destruction
Killed the earth with selfishness and
heartless deprivation.

A symphony of pity falls
upon deaf ears turned away
Those who are apt don’t watch to find
the ending of the inhumane play.

A melancholy world where all move
alongside the tide of time
Weep for hope and pity from strangers;
alas, there are no souls to find.

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Farmhouse Evening

Vita Brevis Press

Submitted by Ronald E. Shields

The television in the background is a game of blind man’s bluff.
The small wind beneath the tree – the fluttering of a pheasant’s wings.
The light through the window is the moon hunting.
The night sounds, your voice returning naked
or crickets folded into the wall.
The fields retreat to their dark creases in the folds of hills.
Now is the time of the good darkness
when our hands imagine the ripeness that awaits a feathery sun.

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Photo Credit: A Snowy Night – 1939 George Sotter

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REVIEW: The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson // Creepy Premise, Irish setting (!!) and Marvellously Magical

A Whisper Of Ink


And The Wren Hunt was exactly that. I am forever pleased. You know those books that are just twisty and wacky and dark and your soul just squeals in delight? Yeah, that was this book. I absolutely adored this book and I shall drown in appreciation. THIS NEEDS TO BE ON YOUR RADAR OKAY?!


Thank you to Bloomsbury UK for the review copy! All opinions are my own.

Long-DividerSo this was like a drink that at first you don’t like but then you keep sipping at it and then for some reason you can’t stop and you are so thirsty and you’re not even sure you like but it’s so good and wow, there and gone.

(I promise I’m not drunk.)

The premise is as magical as an enchanted potion in a deep dark forest in a land of…

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Reasons, Enough

Vita Brevis Press

Submitted by Edward Lee

Why does the moth
seek the light
only to break itself
and tumble to darkness?
Has some satisfaction been met,
some need achieved,
or was it simply struck down by curiosity,
eyes blinded by brilliance,
regret the last breath of life
in its frail body
as it falls to the ground,
to be swept up by a broom
wielded by a beast
almost as indifferent
as the light the moth sought?

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Photo Credit: Cesar Biojo – Alejandra

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Silver Lake, Ocracoke


Vita Brevis Press

Submitted by Ann Christine Tabaka

Long fingers of night reach out for
evening, embracing her with soft
velvet arms. Quietude is her
name, she lives for this moment.

Diamonds dance across the surface
of the water. Rhythmic waves lap at
a gray pebbly beach, as the last rays
of sun are swallowed by the horizon.

Anchored boats with white sails,
now merely ghosts against a wine
colored sky. Far off, cries of marsh
bound shorebirds fade with the light.

A space between reality and dream,
filled with enchantment. The cosmos
sings to romance. A curtain call for the
moon. As lovers walk off hand in hand.

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Photo Credit: Winslow Homer – Adirondack Lake

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