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  • Writer's pictureClay Literary

RAVEN- Issue Four (08/09/2020)

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

Image Source: oatsy40/Flickr



you’ll never be able to turn me on like the way adam sandler does in happy gilmore, how he effortlessly slaps those lil’ golf balls all over the place, sweat glistening down his furrowed brow like a hunky sporty madman.

ok, now you :)

Written by Shawn Berman

Author bio: Shawn Berman runs The Daily Drunk. Some of his recent work appears or is forthcoming in Hobart, Rejection Letters, and Stone of Madness Press. He can be followed on Twitter @sbb_writer.



Written by Serena Piccoli

to Alexandra

Nobody sees me

I don’t exist

You’re whirling on winding waves

shaping silvery tides

in the pearly pacing foam

You see me

and make me come

Sculpting wandering waves

into a calm round shell

lifted back into silvery rays

Author Bio: Serena Piccoli is a poet, playwright, performer, and a poetry translator, who writes in both English and Italian. Piccoli's work has been published in various anthologies in the USA and UK and published a chapbook of poems, silviotrump, (Moria Poetry, Chicago, USA). Piccoli is a transfeminist, lesbian, and human rights activist, who writes about social issues, such as gender violence, economic crisis, and social injustice. She has also performed very widely at poetry and theatre festivals all over the world.


I am not the Sun

Written by Leo Mowat

“Flock to me, little Moth, and be disappointed

For I am not the light you seek,

The glowing grace you call the Sun,

This name for me that you’ve appointed.”

“If I am not your Sun,” I say,

“Then why do you admire me so?

With wings and heart all aflutter,

You innocent, unperturbed prey?”

“If you are not my Sun,” says he,

“Then why does it hurt so much?

To be near, to love, to fear,

And yet, never seek to be free?”

What the author says about the piece: "This piece is centred around the idea of imposter/stockholm syndrome. The 'moth' who is relentless in their chasing of the 'sun', is not too dissimilar from those of us who, despite it hurting us, chase after people who push us away/deny themselves love and affection."

Author bio: Leo Mowat is a twenty-year-old pursuing a career writing fiction prose, poetry and scripts. Though Mowat has only recently begun the journey into the world of being a freelance writer, she has been passionate about this interest for as long as she can remember; writing stories in her school textbooks and on her Grandad's old computer. When Leo isn't writing, she loves spending time with her two dogs and cat, playing video games, and spending time outdoors. 


Blind Man’s Bluff

Written by Nathaniel Frankland

Every day’s a game of

blind man’s bluff,

ornamental eyes kept free from dust

behind a scrap of fabric -

(same knot,

different cloth)

darkness pasted across my face like tapenade on


thick frames with uneasiness for lenses,

and what use are colours to eyes that cannot see…

what use are thoughts to mouths

too afraid to speak?

forever guided by guesswork and


listening out for the strike of a match,

to paint imaginary white onto

actual black – 

one spark of light that follows the

fearsome sound of a

snake’s hiss,


cold water poured on a scorching hot


a phosphoric soul kiss held loosely

between foreign fingertips and

for a fleeting moment,

(if only in my mind)

I saw the colour of


(…tulip cultivar)

Author bio: Nathaniel Frankland is 26-year-old Yorkshireman who lives in London. As French graduate, he currently works in the wine industry, but likes to spend much of his spare time writing poetry and music. His poem, Instagramophobe, was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition April 2020.


Maria Renate Von Mossau’s Wilted Rose Petals

Written by Christina Ciufo

Unterzell Abbey’s stone hallways

are surreptitious and quiet.

The grey stones, withered and cracked,

still retains the abbey’s holiness,

but conceal its hysteria and tainted

by demons and witchcraft.

Church bells ring their melancholy,

hymn of Maria Renate Von Mossau

and her witchery upon the German village.

The air becomes immerse and oppressed

in mugwort, rue, yarrow, and charred witch’s flesh.

A young nun with a beautiful, pale completion

walks alone in the abbey’s hallways.

Her emerald eyes, like glowing cat’s eyes

in the night, illuminate her witchery nature

and animosity forever condemned in the House of God.

Her cold, blue lips do not recite a prayer.

Her white hands resting on her side

do not hold and caress the rosary

and its’ beads. She remains solemn.

Church bells ring and she dissipates,

leaving behind red and black rose petals

in the abbey’s hallways.

Author bio: Christina Ciufo is a passionate writer in poetry, short stories, flash fictions, fables, and completing her first novel. After graduating Sacred Heart University with a BA in English, she continued to expand her writing abilities at Manhattanville College’s MFA Creative Writing Program and by May 2017, graduated with an MFA degree in Creative Writing. She completed Sacred Heart University's Education Program in December 2018 with a MAT in Teaching in both elementary and secondary. She is currently a Sunday School Teacher at St. Timothy's. She has appeared in Gravitas, Spillwords, Ovunque Siamo, Nymphs, Vamp Cat Magazine, Z Publishing Ohio, Nightingale & Sparrow, Truly Review, Mookychick, Door is a Jar Magazine, Bonnie's Crew, The Poetry Question, Twist in Time Magazine, Moonchild Magazine, The Wolf Feeds Poetry, Crêpe & Penn, Marias at Sampaguitas, dream walking, Selcouth Station Magazine, Beneath The Fever and The Wild Literary Magazine.


Pride hues

Written by Nabanita Baruah

“There he goes tip toeing into the barren land

of anger and frustration,

terrified of sapiens calling him names,

that he hides and feeds himself with lies.

He paints rainbows, ruminating it for a way of escapism yet healing;

he dives into his dilemma of existence and hence this thought of making love to a man, for a moment, took him down the memory lane;

when he kissed a man, in his early twenties

a man, with curls and crayons,

who smelled like honey,

who on the deathbed, kissed him a goodbye;

later, his mother said he was in depression

but he knew what killed his beloved.

Silence seeps in slowly

as the memory of his beloved brings him back to reality, he tries to escape from;

yet he walks into a gay bar

making it obvious, a blurred memory lingered around him;

and steps back and goes back to hiding in the shadows.

If he was to paint his life in colours,

it’d have been some cheap whiskey and chocolate flavoured fudge, he and his beloved were smashed with.

These colors would fade away into tinted hues, he knew;

with each passing year, so he adds colours of pride and love;

comes out of the cocoon in rainbow colours,

and is beginning to revive.”

Author bio: Nabanita Baruah hails from Assam, India, and is currently pursuing B.A LL.B (Hons). She started penning down broken verses on paper when she was a kid. She has a keen interest in reading and writing. She writes for journals and blog sites related to law, but poetry is an integral part of her existence. Writing is an escape for her. She believes that this world is a sad and beautiful place where only kindness, love, and pain thrive, everything else is just a fallacy.


the last half inch before sleep

Written by Austin Anderson

the last half inch before sleep,

cradled after crying, this is

what my daughter sees: a tie-dyed blue

Zeppelin tee, a pink wall

& books her sister likes

to read. in her dreams

there are no empty streets

or playgrounds

without kids.

there are no bullets.

there is no shouting.

there is a back window

view of a valley cut

by a stream & bison

drinking there.

there are chimes

in the trees

& while the aspen leaves

flip from yellow to green,

there is a song

that she can’t sing.

there is a house

& a hallway,

a spotted yard

with a mole hill.

there is a sister on a bike watching her front wheel & for the first time,

there is a father

letting go

of a teal & purple bike.

Author Bio: Austin Anderson writes poetry—though friends, family would more expect him stuck in some spreadsheet or coaching forty-somethings through deadlifts fifty pounds heavier than a month ago. He's had work published in Iron Horse Review (2015 AWP Intro Journals Project Winner), The Southern Quill, & a local poetry gumball machine.


The in-between

Written by Yewande Adebowale

I am somewhere floating in the middle

of day and night fondling with fiddle

as each passing day strings by

and the end draws nigh

day finds me somewhere composing an evergreen tune

by morning and noon

twilight shall find me with masterpiece in hand

scored for the marching band

a timeless song

night shall find me ready to play for long

Author Bio: Yewande Adebowale is a Nigerian Lawyer, storyteller, poet and author of two collections of poetry titled, "A tale of being, of green and of ing" (2019) and Voices: A collection of poems that tell stories (2016). Adebowale's works have appeared in Galleyway, Afritondo, Visual verse, Trampset, Pride Magazine, Lumiere Review and elsewhere.

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