Pandemic XX XX.jpg



Acrylic and gouache on canvas
6" x 9"

Adam Shea Lancaster


Valerie Forde-Galvin

Clouds are streaks of vomit spewed across a bloated August sky,

the crescent moon retreating from tomorrow's sun.

The night is still, and in the absence of a breeze,

a thrashing in the thicket indicates a kill.

Slashing talons quickly end the rodent's cry

and once again the heavy air hangs still.

The bird who hunts at night will feed her young.

I lie awake in fouled and sweat stained sheets

in this bed no longer shared.

He too hunts at night—the occasional convenience store,

the unguarded wallet in a crowd.

He won't be back; I changed the locks.

At least I get to keep the kids,

two souls dreamless, dead asleep.

Wings disturb the fetid air; the owl is on the hunt once more,

her need more urgent with the coming dawn.

The weak must die so that the strong can thrive.

I have no talons. Will my young survive?

Valerie Forde-Galvin is a body-mind therapist originally from New England. She traces her ancestry back to the Irish diaspora of the nineteenth century.  A love of words comes with the heritage. Compelled to write by her Irish genes, Valerie has won a Writers Digest award and been published in The Poeming Pigeon and AROHO. Her blogs on the subject of awareness can be found on her website:

Adam Shea Lancaster is an artist from Dallas, Texas. He creates representational paintings in a style he’s called “Neo-Romanti-Classical”—a contemporary take on draped figures in traditional poses. His themes explore Western culture’s mythical beauty, asking the important question: is beauty mythical in the sense that myth is an “untrue story” or a “storied truth”? Lancaster prides himself on creating fine art with humble craft paint from hobby shops on drop cloths from hardware stores. He’s made it his mission to present painting as accessible to everyone—beginning with the art students he teaches when not in his studio.