Dark Lady Poetry - Volume One, Number Four




Volume One, Number Four

January 2010


Dark Lady Poetry is an online literary magazine, with a focus on poetry. With an eclectic taste, anything goes, and we encourage up and coming writers in their pursuit to be read. Good words are always appreciated. 

Dark Lady Poetry welcomes Two-Thousand Ten, and all the possibilities a New Year can bring. Number four has a global vibe, bringing together voluminously talented writers from all over the world. From Lagos, Nigeria, we have an incredibly vivid and beautifully apocalyptic poet, Jekwu Anyaegbuna. Also joining the roster of fourth issue poets are U.K-bred wordsmith, Paul Grimsley, and from Limerick, Ireland, Edward O’Dwyer. But three is never enough, so to add to the array of worldly poets, issue Four is also home to a lyrically handsome poet from Taiwan, Chen Chengli, and Brandon Swarrow, a sharp poet from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Due to a high volume of submissions and a marvelous amount of readers, issues will appear on a monthly basis, with new issues live on the fifteenth of every month. 

Thank you again, to our readers and contributors.

Be sure to check out the subscription feature and receive notifications about updates, upcoming issues, DLP contests, and future events.




Jekwu Anyaegbuna


New Factory

Mouth Gun


Paul Grimsley     



Empty Phrasing

Voices Breaking


Edward O'Dwyer

 Femme Fatale



Chen Chengli

My Babe Monster

Those Were The Days



Brandon Swarrow

Hugo's Song

 Ring on the Second Hand






Jekwu Anyaegbuna








They discover you’re a thief the day you bury

your mother. You steal the coffin from that


carpenter, whose head resembles nothing but

a long ridge full of white weeds.


Sympathizers discover and recover their

long-forgotten properties you stole earlier: cups, spoons,


kettles, brooms, calabashes, shirts you are ashamed to wear, towels.

You steal a bible, and place it inside the stolen coffin for your


mother to read inside the grave. You go to confess to that

clergyman who doesn’t believe in God, yet he celebrates Mass,


shouting, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” He tells you that Jesus created God,

and you believe him, believe his avowed forgiveness.


Now your mother enjoys the grave, but you’re restless over the gold

that glitters on her neck, around her fingers. You are night-is-dangerous. Night


protects you as you dig and steal the gold. You think your mother’s embalmed corpse

should not be left to rot away; you cut and auction parts of her body.


Your next daughter is your mother come back without limbs; and your mother

says she wants to punish you for amputating her corpse: a clear dream last night.


Your next son is a hawk, a fall-and-pick-and-run-and-hide: part of the punishment.

Expect more because your mother is a crippled corpse, a great disability in heaven.





New Factory




My new factory manufactures Holy Spirits,

so you can buy one and get really possessed, and

cast out demons, and make the blind see and

immediately recognise that red is red, the colour

of fire and blood. You can resell my Holy Spirit

to someone else; my products are transferable.


Never doubt how a blind person gets to know

the colour of fire is red: Has he ever seen fire

before being sighted? Miracle. Has he ever seen blood before?

Why does he say the colour he sees is red?

The Holy Spirit I produce remains impotent on doubters.

Doubters don’t buy my products; only believers do.


My new factory manufactures salvation. This product

is free but we distribute it like raffle draws every Sunday.

Employees that fail to work on Sundays miss this product,

and their bought Holy Spirits, even the most expensive, do not

bear enough fire to attack demons. Demons rejoice when such

absentees shout, “Holy Ghost fire.”


In my new factory, tithes and offerings are constitutional.

The Holy Spirit you purchase does not work for you

unless your tithes and offerings are consistent. Several

rounds of offering per Sunday ignites the fire in your

purchased Holy Spirit. After all, a hungry prophet only sees doom;

a well-fed prophet sees progress and prosperity.


My new factory has been ordained by bishops, and soon

it will grow into a big church, provided we sell more and

more Holy Spirits to believers, gullible enough to resell

and convert other believers in another factory to see the power

and potency in my products. My new factory will move into a

big warehouse soon!






Mouth Gun



You are the cockroach that commits the crime

for which rat is blamed. You use your mouth to cut

down a tree, to cover your shame with the leaves.


You are an owl that brags, that dirty-mouthed

owl that says, “ Whenever my mother is to be buried, I will

dig the grave with my mouth and feed all birds

to the brims of their stomachs.”


Then your mother dies, suddenly, of hunger,

and boils come visiting you; some sit on your

cheeks, others inside your mouth. Your cheeks are

bulging; your mouth is bulging. The birds are

waiting to be fed. And the grave has not been dug.

Your mouth is a gun that aims at nothing, but shoots itself.





Paul Grimsley






i paralysed myself intentionally
this cat and mouse game extended
pushed to lengths of infinity chess board
we compartmentalise into a division of eyes
of i, and different perspectives
funhouse mirror directives that work us divergent
broken apart where the decision forks the road
for one room a mask; for the other a shadow

and later, when the script demands consolidation
i am picking shards with careful fingers
and laying them aside in tiny piles
like needle sharp smiles scattered
poking around and pushing for the gestalt
while the broken calculator gives back wrong answers
i cannot collect myself, together
pulled and pushed and left like tide borne debris

they watch from the outside
throwing voices into this echo farm
trying to pull narcissus from the snail shell
extricate from the downward spiral
but the winding staircase collapses
looking at myself ahead, behind
my travelingunraveling mind
sat amongst the fragments laughing loosely





Empty Phrasing



poets and prophets of nothing
all your dog end days and ramblings
stubbed out in the ashtray smoking
debris in the beer floating
it collects in the veins, that crap
works to change the inner workings
rust in an over wound clock
that ticks as a bomb until disintegration

our words scrawled on the wax tablet
our thoughts erased on the cold morning
philosophies dredged from the beer mug
vagaries gathered from the shaman's drug
all our vision quests are on an in the maze centre
all these failed attempts to cut the umbilical
inertia push from the centrifugal impetus of
mother spinning like a lynchpin in your world

Freud would be proud of your denial
all the chauvinists stood on trial
with their crocodile tears standing stagnant
anything real in them left dormant
they might make a stab at real some day
with their flaccid pricks in their hands
surrounded by empty bottles
taking a piss test because of some low rent whore



Voices Breaking


some voices are lost in the passage of time
others shatter in brittle instants
the fragile beauty tested, stressed
pushed to the limits of a straining note
that no one can hold
it is the resonant frequency of dissemble

we waited to hear what was left to say
but the half formed alphabet soup
is a gobbledygook of nothing
an incoherent suffering leaking out
to stain the other pages
to provide an unwanted footnote





Edward O'Dwyer


Femme Fatale


She came strutting over so boldly,

tapped him on his shoulder,

said she’d been watching all night

and asked if he’d like to dance.


“Sorry,” he said, “I’m seeing someone,”

but she just said “don’t worry,

I can keep a secret,”

her face one big seductive smile.

“Come on, let’s have a dance.”

“You don’t understand,” he resisted –

“It’s serious. We’re in love.”


At this she fixed him in such a stare,

unblinking mascara eyes.

“What’s her name?” she asked.

“Life,” he answered.

“Ah yes,” said she – “I know of her.


“But still,” she went on,

“I should probably warn you,

I can be persistent

once I know what I want.

And I’ll always get it, sooner or later.

Just wait and see –

I’ll have you.


“I’ll be there some night

when you’ve had a big row,

and you’ll be alone. You’ll turn around

and there I’ll be,

and it’ll happen, you’ll see.


“I’ve met many like you.

You’re no different,

and you wouldn’t admit it, I know,

but you don’t need to;

I can see it clear as day,

what you’re thinking now –

that I’m much prettier than she is.”





Though you may know me

as his bitter, resentful brother


yet I only fall

and always do so gently,

never with force,

on all those things and in all those places


he is so suddenly leaving,

taking back

his gifts of radiance, patina and lustre

and heading off beyond horizons

to where you cannot follow,

and so


though you may know me

as his bitter, resentful brother


yet I fall like consolation,

so gently

and always without force,

on all those things and in all those places


he once was

but is no more,

and here I will stay - with you -

being what I am

and sorry this is all I know how to be,

until his shining face

rises apologetically over the hills

and it’s time I go, and


though still you may know me

as his bitter, resentful brother.








Chen Chengli


My Babe Monster



              -To Thesis


I was a child unfamiliar to life,

Married to my blind passion.

I was pregnant with you,

My invisible babe.

You had been sleeping all day

And growing up silently in my brain.


You were a gluttonous babe,

Absorbing my train of thought

And my happiness and hopes

As your essential nutrition.

Hence I got a migraine afterwards,

And fell ill with no fixed schedule.


My heart broke each time I thought of you,

My dearest babe.

When my youth was wandering on the pages,

My dream could never escape from the hard covers.

In the labyrinth of books,

How dazzling I was when I kept vomiting words.

You were doomed to be malnourished,

A fateful freak.


My babe monster,

I gave you birth under my fingertips.

You, so unsightly, but do not worry.

I would apply cosmetics on you every day and night,

Until the venerable professors hold you in their arms.


Yet I had to hold a public hearing for you,

And disguised you as a hopeful child in advance.

I would shout myself blue in the face,

Until the stern judges throw an unwilling smile to you.





Those Were the Days




                   -To a Knowledgeable Friend


We meet.

And climb.

15 floors high.


We chat.

We debate.

We smile.


We share movies, stories,

Theories, melodies,

And unforgettable memories.


We msn.

We email.

We click, type, and type.


Then we pause

And listen

To a final farewell.







Brandon Swarrow


Hugo's Song


Attention – She craves it

Money – She caresses it

Love – is non-existent


She has no ears just lips to suck the good out of you

She has no tears just hands to take it all from you

Daddy is a starving influential maestro

Hugo Read This!


Values – They rape them

Manipulation – At its peak

Scheming – New ways to poison


If you would only just absorb

Society desensitized but every bit as lethal

Hugo Read This!


Arrogance is tolerance - delusional worship

Paparazzi heads hang like tiny pears

Hallucinations, infatuations are just two omens

Ignorant rivers of our evolution


What’s that dripping from your sixth finger?

It is the consequence – the most obsessed of fans




Ring on the Second Hand


Time flies by is cliché you know,

Hey, where did that last minute go?

Are you better, are you wiser?

Make an effort to surprise her?


Twas’ precious then, forgotten now

As good a time to make a vow

A minute longer waste no more

Aging, saying you’re “just plain bored”


“Forever’s” new profound lush tone

Marks each moment a new milestone

Idleness stops eyes open wide

Revealing bright and polished diamonds


It’s beautiful to laugh and smile

Take a forbidden chance right now

Life ticks and talks and waves goodbye

Achieve love most before you die