As the World Burns

Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

Photo by Tremaine L. Loadholt

A brief description from Candice L. DaQuin’s blog, The Feathered Sleep:

As The World Burns is available via all good book stores in Kindle and softback NOW. It is an incredible collection of writers, many of whom are from WordPress and are in our writing groups, writing some of our favorite work. We hope you will support them and our efforts to spread awareness of socially vital subjects. If you have felt frustrated with politics, COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, Homophobia or any of the things happening ‘as the world burns’ this is the collection for you.

The Feathered Sleep, November 2020

I am excited about this anthology as I have been looking forward to holding my copies (one for myself, one for my mom, and one for my best friend) in my hands since I purchased them online via Amazon. I have two poems featured in this masterpiece among many other WordPress writers and I would be delighted if you gave this work of art a chance. Creatives create: we find a way to push what’s locked inside us out and we do so using various methods/mediums of art. Mine just so happens to be writing.

What’s yours?

wisdom in unconventional places

A Rapid Rhyme

Books on Shelves
Photo by Huynh Dat via Pexels

A Rapid Rhyme Audio Poem


Who would take the bait?
It’d be an added fate to
the mix, we nix the tools we
often use, afraid to partner up with
fools who choose to disguise themselves
& place their wealth on the shelves of
life. That’s right.

Kick back, take it all in
my friend–it’s only the beginning.


Originally posted to Twitter as an experiment.

The little things that make me smile . . .

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Praying Mantis, praying–perhaps?

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Jernee: she finally let me brush her hair so that I could take a decent picture of her.

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Oh, dear . . . a deer.

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My copy of Kristin Garth’s latest book of sonnets.

Sometimes, all I need are the small reminders in life to let me know I’m still living and grateful to be alive. Sometimes . . . this is what I love most about living–the little things.

Crimson Skins (Poetry & Prose) by Devika Mathur: A Review

Crimson Skins by Devika Mathur, Kindle Version available via Amazon

Firstly, I would be amiss if I did not state how honored I was to be asked to review this wondrous work by Devika Mathur. From what I have come to know of the writer, she is steadfast in her talent, dives into the raw and gritty surfaces of her feelings, and has no trouble sharing them with the world. With a style not akin to many writers I have read, Devika expresses herself with poetically sound language and a definite strength in her prose.

The aptly titled debut book, Crimson Skins, begins with “Olive Skin” which is a surefire opener, with power-packed phrases such as “My mother has a concave slippery mouth, untouchable with the slick tunes of time” and “She stitches her concrete bun as a belt of Ganges.”

The first section of poetry gets even better as the writer continues to deeply express herself using a style I like to call “raw surrealism.” “A fixation” is a good example of this. Two lines I found myself reading multiple times because I loved them that much are: “I have seen the postcards of vintage ink our lotus bodies sinking like air” and “You step on to my body, peeling layers of SCARS.” She is no stranger to poignant line breaks and metaphorical stanzas. Many of her poems, from what I have learned, are meant to be absorbed slowly–savored. It would not be wise to rush through them. And really, why would you want to?

“A swan of longing” is another favorite poem of mine. Devika uses a few nature images in this piece, however, the raw and gritty feel is still alive. “Climb up my knuckles, rest on the mount of flaky skin” says so much while not using many words. It’s succinct and compact yet still sends a punch straight to the gut. Another line that held my attention is, “Sew and move up. Climb to my cheekbones, now”–the imagery is intense and active. Reading it took me to another place, one where I would not mind venturing to more often.

Crimson Skins has a variety of work any reader will enjoy. The book isn’t basic and will be able to go the extra mile for years to come. I will be so bold as to say many of the pieces featured in it has the staying power of words by a few greats such as Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Virginia Woolf. It ends just as it began, with an intense piece of writing showcasing the writer’s talent.

“The art of silence” is placed exactly where it needs to be–the best for last. “Quietness, comes to me like sex, wild hum in the lost arid air” caught me off guard and I doubled-back to make sure I read the opening line correctly. I did and it is perfect in every way. The ending lines are as follows: “Cities often collapse while searching another one, and here is my tombstone, polished gold grave, beneath twigs of moth.” I read those lines and I know what poetry is. I feel what poetry is. I will remember what poetry is.

Crimson Skins comes as no shocker to me with its high caliber of writing and a plethora of poems and prose to choose from on which to connect. Devika Mathur shows that she is no novice to the world of writing. I look forward to its debut in June of 2020 and will be one of the first to purchase my copy. If you are a lover of poetry and writing that seeps into your skin and rattles your bones, then you should too.

I will be purchasing the Kindle version before the weekend is out, however, I also am going to purchase the paperback version when it is available too. I had the grand opportunity of diving into this work of art prior to its publication and I assure you, it’s worth every accolade it will amass within the first few weeks. Let’s support a fellow WordPress writer, shall we?

A Cornered Gurl Presents

QUINTESSENCE: A Literary Magazine of Featured Medium Writers

Quintessence: Issue #1, Spring 2020|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

“Quintessence” is a literary magazine to be published yearly in the Spring. The writers you see featured in this literary magazine are contributors to A Cornered Gurl and have been faithful in their support, encouragement of others, and submitting strong and poignant work to be read freely on the platform. This is the first issue.

I am fighting back a few tears at this moment because what I envisioned for A Cornered Gurl is finally here … A Cornered Gurl Presents QUINTESSENCE: A Literary Magazine of Featured Medium Writers is published and ready for your purchase, perusal, and praise. We will take your constructive criticism and pointers too, as we intend to grow each year. I always knew I wanted to start a literary magazine, however, one to be shared annually. It is not lengthy and does not include more than fifteen writers. I knew it would not be an anthology or a journal. I plan on keeping the published writers in each issue to a minimum of around sixteen to eighteen.

In this first issue, there are fifteen writers, including myself. The magazine has three sections: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry. It is an “8 X 11” full-color and glossy print layout, consisting of 42 pages. It includes four of my original photography prints as the images accompanying the beginning of each section.

We have worked incredibly hard on this as we wanted to give our readers something special.

Currently, Quintessence is published through Lulu and is awaiting possible distribution to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online notable sellers. The current price is $17.00 (USD) for a paperback which is at the discounted rate of 15%. It will remain $17.00 for three weeks in paperback form. After that three-week period, it will revert back to its normal price of $20.00 (USD) per copy.

Because this is the first issue and we want the word to get out as widely as it possibly can, I have also included an e-book copy at $6.50 (USD). However, with this format, you do not get the full aesthetics of the beauty of this magazine. My copy came this morning and I have held it so much that if the magazine were a person, I am sure it’d demand that I unhand it.

Below, you will find links to both the paperback form and e-book (to be sold only on Lulu) form of Quintessence. Now, that I have cried a few tears and seem to be a little overwhelmed with happiness, I want to thank this issue’s contributors:

Anto Rin, Anthony Cloe Huie, Elizabeth Helmich, Crystal Lady, Gladysdaeweeks, Roxana Ștefan, Sam Kimberle, Tien Skye, Terry Barr, Ngang God’swill N., Sara Weaver, Wild Flower, Willow T. Lovelace, and Barry Dawson IV. Thank you guys for your wondrous words, your tireless efforts in A Cornered Gurl, and for your ways of encouraging others.


Quintessence: paperback

Quintessence: e-book

Thank you to each of our readers, supporters, family, and friends and of course, our community here on Medium. Without all of you, our growth and this magazine, would not be possible.


Peace and blessings


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.


Addendum: I have created a direct link to Quintessence and also if you go to the site directly as opposed to viewing from the Reader. If you look to your right, directly under my “gravatar” is the tab and image for Quintessence which will also take you directly to its page. It is also populated as an additional page via the navigation bar.