Souls Submerged in Sleep


Souls Submerged in Sleep



Heavy dew saturates the outer world,

While the inner world rages in flame.

Combustible tempers ignite the fray.

Combatants seek sanctuary from the

Body-blows of words, much as kids

Shut their eyes and disappear inward.

Like an inevitable Judas, each one

Parries blame and launches acrimony,

Splitting hairs and shading truths

Until nothing is left but the spittle of

Screams and the silence left behind.



Rick Hartwell


Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California with his wife of forty-seven years, Sally (upon whom he is emotionally, physically, and spiritually dependent), two grown children, two granddaughters, and fifteen cats! Don’t ask. Like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, he believes that the instant contains eternity.

He has been published in: Active Muse, Ariel Chart International Literary Journal,  Birmingham Arts Journal, Phenomenal Literature, The Cortland Review, Dual Coast Magazine, The Clayjar Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Every Day Fiction, Foreshadow Magazine, Our Day’s Encounter, Agape Review, Blue Lake Review, EgoPHobia, The Galway Review, Fine Lines, Compass Rose Literary Journal, Scarlet Leaf Review (nominated Best of the Net, 2016), Poppy Road Review (selected as Best of the Net, 2011), Torrid Literature Journal (inducted into the Hall of Fame, 2013), Synchronized Chaos (nominated as Best of the Net, 2013), The Stray Branch, Steam Ticket, Leaves of Ink, Poetry Magazine (Editor’s Circle choices 2011), One Title Magazine (received The Jeffster Award from Deconstructing Myths, 2015).and others, both print and online, as well as several anthologies, including: Universal Oneness:An Anthology of Magnum Opus Poems from Around the World; Lowestoft Chronicle Anthology; Bindweed Magazine Anthology; Kind of a Hurricane Press: Poised In Flight, Something’s Brewing, Storm Cycle, Best of 2013, Elementary My Dear, Life is a Roller Coaster, and In Gilded Frame Anthologies; Flash Fiction World Anthology, Torrid Literature Journal: Enter the Gateway, XII, XIII, The Effects of Grace Anthologies; Synchronized Chaos Anthology; Neos Alexandria AnthologyMidwest’s Literary Magazine: Winter Canons Anthology, The Shangra-La Shack Literary Arts Journal Anthology (nominated for Best of the Net, 2013); Whisperings Magazine Anthology (nominated for Best of the Net, 2013); and, Thunderune Publishing: Stormcloud Poets Anthology #2.

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