Coming Soon: Whispers of a One-Eyed Raven: Mythological Poetry


I’m hoping to have it released in early November. I’ll post more information when I have a firm date!

We Began Breaking Up Before We Even Met

Smokey dim lit pool hall–
Red lights making volcanic plumes
Of loneliness, desperation, and shame–
Next to a brittle brown pine tree
A quarter mile off the grey gravel road
In the shadow of Interstate Five

Rusted vomit-soaked jukebox
Softly singing Sgt Pepper and Imagine
To half empty dance floor of wallflowers,
Lost souls and broken hearts.
World weary alcohol-soaked Army veterans and
Naive intellectual freshman English majors
Cling to one another, boa constrictor grip: Afraid
Of solitude, depression and dying alone in an empty apartment.
Distorted delusional visions of idealized lovers:
Never changing, never disappointing, never existing.

Experimentation, shampoo lube and 3,000 miles later,
Living twin bed fucking in off-campus squalor.
Catholic Hare Krishna Taoist correcting
School newspaper editorial grammar.
Noahite Indiana Jones finding lost Ark,
Signing covenants with blood dripping from a bleeding penis.
A relationship as smooth as an infected diaper rash.

Bright clear sunlit college courtyard
Spring flowers bloom, feral cats in heat,
Gulf winds blow carefully chosen rational reasons
Putting a bullet in the head of a rabid dog.

Before the breeze could clear brimstone smaug
Soldier boots hit pavement,
Tactical retreat, regroup, prepare for next engagement.
His Sapphic poetess slightly disappointed that he left
Just like she told him to.


The Trans-Atlantic Brain Blown Blues

The Beatles opened my eyes
To a kaleidoscope of colors
Illuminating that frizzy haired
Ragamuffin on the corner
Of a Greenwich coffee house,
Who blew my mind
With laser guided metaphors and
The free-flowing phantom phrasing
Of that wild mercurial sound.

Frontal lobe dusted,
A cerebellum cloud
Ascending the heavens
On a westerly wind
Bursting with a hard rain
From which there is
No shelter.


I Lost My Voice


I lost my voice
In the fog,
Crushed by the darkness
On which it once fed.

I lost her
And my soul poured out,
Page after page,
Until every tear rhymed.

I lost him
And the well
Slowly dried up,
As I tumbled down
Like Alice,
Forever falling,
Never landing,
Tears streaming,
Silently screaming,
Until broken
At the bottom
I came to land.

I tried to cry,
But I couldn’t breathe.
I tried to die,
But I couldn’t leave

My boy, my light,
The only life I still had
To live for.

The air was
Oppressive and thick,
Like Tampa in August.
Barely breathing,
I couldn’t speak,
I had no voice at all.

I held my broken cup
And prayed for rain,
Soothing cool relief,
To let me sing again.


Flowers on the Wall by Kristiana Reed [Book Review]


Flowers on the Wall by Kristiana Reed

Review by John W. Leys

I first encountered the poetry of Kristiana Reed on her blog My Screaming Twenties and very quickly became a fan of her writing. Last year Reed published her first poetry collection, Between the Trees, which was a fantastic poetry cycle telling the story of her emotional life. The depth of her poetry and her skills as a writer belie her youth, like many great poets and writers Reed seems to house an old soul, or at least a soul prematurely aged by experience. I devoured Between the Trees and looked forward to reading more of Reed’s work in the future. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that she was publishing a follow up to Between the Trees so soon after that books release. I was not at all disappointed.

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The Love Song of a Lost Raven


And then I went
All on my own
Knowing for sure now
That nothing is carved in stone.

Nothing lasts,
Everything ends.
Sanity largely hinges
On the color of one’s lens.

Nothing seems as it should
Nothing happened as expected.
Though the choices were foreshadowed early,
And demand to be respected.

April is cruel,
But July’s no picnic either:
Endings, beginnings, and birthdays,
The wheat’s waiting for the reaper.

The heavens draw darker
As the sun into the west descends.
The future grows shorter
As my hair greys and thins.

Follow Helios’ chariot
To the valley where ravens have flown,
Dim and dusky dirt roads
I must forever walk alone.


This poem was inspired by Kristiana Reed‘s Instagram poetry prompt to write something inspired by TS Eliot’s ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’


I’m Falling

The years go flying by
Like shooting stars,
A flash,
A motion in the sky,
And then they’re gone.

I stood before you
And presented you
My soul.
Today I sit alone,
Broken and cold.

I never thought
To be here again,
But I should have known
It would happen.
It’s a familiar place
No one should visit:
The walls are drafty.
The mirrors broken,
The only reflection I see
Is my own.

I need your love
To make it through the night,
My ship would be
Stranded on the rocks
Without your light

I need you here
To hold my hand,
‘cos I’m falling
And I don’t know when
It’ll stop.


The Darkness of His Dreams: Poetry, Reviewed by Candice Louisa Daquin

The Darkness of His Dreams by John W. Leys


Reviewed by Candice Louisa Daquin

I have consistently admired John Leys as a writer for several reasons. He’s very honest to himself. He’s not an overtly crude writer, and he is true to himself and very passionate about his beliefs.

In his latest collection of poetry published by Broken Wing Publishing, in the poem the book is titled from, Leys writes; “They all want a hero /Not an uncommon want, it seems/ But in whom does a hero confide/ The true darkness of his dreams?”

It is this early poem that speaks loudest of Leys intention with this poetry collection. He’s expressing how difficult it is to meet expectations and irrespective, whom do you tell of your real feelings?

This struck me perhaps more deeply than anything Leys has thus written, for its brute honesty and how relatable this is. How often we try to be heroes of one form or another, going through life with positive affirmations, and never telling a soul of our true thoughts, and sometimes, how dark in comparison they are.

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At the Edge of the World with You @ Free Verse Revolution

Very pleased to have my latest poem, At the Edge of the World with You, posted on Free Verse Revolution!


Rhythmic waves rolling,

Breaking on the beaches:

Mother Earth’s pulse.

Poseidon’s salty breath

Blowing through

Thinning hair.

The sun sets beyond

The borders of the world.

All we have is each other.


John W. Leys is an indie poet from Redmond, Oregon. John has been writing poetry since he was 14 years old and has had his work published in a variety of small publications over the years. Earlier this year John was one of the ports included in Nicholas Gagnier’s book All the Lonely People. On July 30th, 2019 he published his first book of poetry, The Darkness of His Dreams: Poetry, which is now available on Amazon.






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The Abyss

I look into the abyss
And the abyss looks away,
Frightened by what it sees.

I feel so empty,
So alone,
Even my demons
Have abandoned me.

The sharp sting
Of the claws fade
Into an unbearable
Dull throbbing