Not once but twice

Lost and pain, nerves on ice

Retching, groaning

Aching, moaning

Why wouldn’t I fear the precedent

Even if all assumes an accident

No joy in marching forward

Even though I’m lured

By the delight I forgot

Shrouded in the mass that failed a lot

Of us; yet try again – here we go!

The future I wish to know

Revelation 3:11

“Hold fast to what you have,

So that no one may seize your crown”

You have grabby hands


You have your own crown

But you want to dash mine to sharp metal shards

Your words breathe fire

Which melts the gold

Your bitterness tarnishes the mirror face

Like slow-creeping rot

Your empty actions pluck the gems like a scalpel

And it’s all I can do to fight you off

Often it’s my own hands

That remove the glittering diadem

From my very own brow

And shut it away in a deep drawer

My depression hiding my gift from the light

I look in the glass

And see a hideous beast

A mockery of the beautiful adornment

I’m supposed to wear

Some days guarding my crown

Is all I have the energy to do


At That Level

I’m at that level

The second strongest pain

I’ve felt the agony

At the very top

And this is one step removed

I don’t long to die

I’m not at my limit

But I’m a single level away

And so close to the end

This is almost worse

At level two

Because experience says

“You can take one more”

And hope says

“You survived one more

So why are you quaking now?”

The thing no one knows

Is people die at level two

They drown at level two

They raise their loaded gun

And they end if in surprise

Because the lie is

“But you weren’t yet

At that level”



New Steampunk by Shauna Black!

I have not read this book yet, but it looks amazing!


As the Phantom Nightingale’s first mate, Brayde’s life is full of harrowing adventure. He and the crew of the intrepid Carpathia are devoted to Captain Xanthe and his mission to save children from slavery. But when news of Xanthe’s lost sister comes to light, Brayde must decide whether to follow him on their most dangerous mission yet—into the heart of the empire that wants the Nightingale, dead or alive.

Avilene’s plans after graduating from the empire’s most prestigious academy include escaping the overbearing academy director that has dictated the course of her life since childhood. They do not include being kidnapped by a renegade airship captained by the notorious Phantom Nightingale.

When their purposes clash, can Brayde persuade Avilene to forego her duty to bring the Phantom Nightingale to justice, or will the crew lose their captain and their freedom in a desperate attempt to heal the scars of Xanthe’s past?

A swashbuckling adventure full of airships and magic in a future world ruled by a tyrannical Empire. If you enjoyed Scott Westerfield’s Leviathan or Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines, you’ll love The Phantom Nightingale!


ShaunaEBlackAward-winning author Shauna E. Black smiles a lot. But her appearance can be deceiving. Like the legendary sirens of old, she enjoys luring innocent readers into the stories she creates and trapping them there. Her home is sprinkled with spontaneous singing and the enticing smell of fresh baked bread, but her most cherished ploy lies in her passion for writing. Readers should beware of entering her fantastical worlds, lest they lose all touch with reality and find themselves waiting under lampposts for fauns and talking beavers to appear. If you decide to ignore this warning, you can find out more about her adventurous fiction on her website,



Barnes & Noble:

Apple Books:



You Miss Me

You miss me?

But I never left

You ran

When I was real

When my tears pooled

When I pushed back

When I said no

When who I really am inside

Was never what you wanted

Emotionally, you fled

You miss me?

But I never left

I am a chalkboard

I am a chalkboard

A magnet for scribbles

A smooth charcoal face

That none can resist

To soil

And once their words

Cover my skin

I am never the same

No matter how much erasing

And how much water

Tries to wash the smudgy remains

I am still smeared

With the dust and debris

Of words that were once written

On my heart