An update on the new direction of ‘The Poetry Jar’!

8th July 2013,

Hello to all aspiring writers and poets!

I have recently taken over this blogzine from its creator Bruce Ruston, who has decided to focus on other artistic endeavours at this time.

I have many thoughts and goals on the new direction of The Poetry Jar, the main aspiration being to provide a platform that explores the ability of different forms of creative writing, to access unconventional disciplines that would not traditionally be associated with the creative arts.

At this point in time, I would like to put forth a call for submissions of poetry/short stories/dialogues that marry creative frameworks with unconventional subject matter. There is no limit on creativity, imagination and scope.

There is no payment made for published material. All copyright rests with the writer. Please feel free to publish work elsewhere simultaneously.


Stacey McPhail


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Dandelions – Laura Stamp


The nightmare begins sometime

after midnight.  I dream I’m walking

through the living room and into the

kitchen.  Plaster busts line the counter

beside the sink.  They’re white like

Roman statues.  Maybe Greek.  It’s

hard to tell.  I glance around to see if

others might be perched on the phone

table or the microwave or the stove.

They aren’t.  I turn back to the

sink and see a framed photo of my

mother wedged between the plaster

busts.  That’s when I know what’s

happening.  This is a demon attack.

I blast the photo and the heads.

I don’t even think about it.  I react,

like any warrior.  Battle is battle.

It’s a trained response.  The fireballs

I throw destroy the photo and the

busts.  Instantly, my mother appears

on my left, floating above the ground

in a filmy, white nightgown.  She

acts disoriented.  She seems afraid.

She pretends to be an innocent victim.

She’s not.  I almost laugh.  I guess

this demon thinks masquerading

as my mother, the narcissist, will

rattle me.  It doesn’t.  Instead I walk

away from her in the same way I

left her years ago in my waking life.

My younger brother arrives in a

convertible.  It’s blue, the color of

peace, freedom, flight.  As I climb

into his car something startles me,

and I’m awake.  One o’clock in

the morning, and the love of my

life snores softly beside me.  No

nightmares for him.  Flinging back

the sheets, I hurry to the dresser

and grab my pentacle necklace.

I wrap it around my wrist and sleep

soundly, dreamlessly, after that.

Something startles me again, and

I jump.  “What’s wrong?” I ask.

Brilliant sunlight streams through

the curtains framing the window.

Field sparrows toss their squeaky

songs across the grass.  It’s a

beautiful day.  “You overslept,

sweets,” he says.  I shiver when

I remember.  “I had a nightmare,”

I say.  “I never have those.”

Dreams are omens, signs.  When

I have the time, I’ll peel this one

as if it were an orange, deciphering

its meaning, this dream about

my mother, the narcissist.  And

it’s true.  There are too many

narcissists in my life.  Men and

women.  Mostly men.  I’ve been

weeding them out like the dandelions

that sneak into my garden.  Pushy,

invasive, ego-maniac plants.  I

deserve better than that.  I do.  The

next week, on a morning when

powdered clouds seed a lapis-blue

sky, the love of my life kisses my

cheek as he dashes out the door

to run errands: the bank, the post

office, the grocery store, the gas

station.  He never comes back.

He even left his cat, Hecate, behind

this time.  I didn’t think she could

be happy without him.  She is.

So am I.


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Brain Pan – JD DeHart

one must wonder

where the ideas

come from

what deep-seated, unsteady

root they flower in,

that ancient question -

origin of evil, origin of light

too broad and theological

to have a steadfast answer.

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Detection – JD DeHart

there is a small voice

in me

that hopes to slip by

hopes to get away

not with some crime

with the barest of details

a misplaced modifier

a split infinitive

sliding by unannounced.

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Catacombs – Stacey McPhail



My final resting place, lugubrious lighting.

My bones turned to meal, used to fighting.

Absent is the lustrous effulgence of life.

Present are the markers of imperial strife.


The tomb of my Father’s, built by the Sons.

Inscribed of filial love and marked noble ones.

I am taught, I am trained in this family stead,

To rest here with honour with the Kingly dead.


Patrician and Knightly are the mode of my lectures,

But I am shamed to admit it is mostly conjectures.

What of the minutiae of the life before death?

Please don’t rule me till my last lusty breath!

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