Black Petals Issue #95 Spring, 2021

Mars-News, Views and Commentary

BP Editorial Page
BP Artist's Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Blue Meet-Fiction by George Aitch
Dark Alleyways-Fiction by Adam Phillips
Iris' Vanity-Fiction by Tristan Miller
Scalp Cleanse-Fiction by Kajetan Kwiatkowski
The Muscus-Fiction by Alice Stone
The Wrong Place-Fiction by Ante Caleta
Things That Happen-Fiction by Guido Eekhaut
Tidal Horror-Fiction by Sal Braden
Two Martinis In-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Vampire-Fiction by Gene Lass
Hypnic Jerk-Flash Fiction by Vismay Harani
Speed Dating-Flash Fiction by Alexander Condie
Step Out-Flash Fiction by Ed Nobody
The Packing Bay-Flash Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Trophy Kill-Flash Fiction by Eddie D. Moore
Occupational Hazard-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
The Definition of Crash-Poems by Paul David Adkins
Ghost: A Working Definition-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Vampiric Threnody-Poem by Carl E. Reed
Leelanau Lake Monster-Poems by Richard Stevenson
Ballast-2 Poems by Angelo Letizia
Pit Bull-3 Poems by Pete Mladinic
Shadow of Sleep-Poem by Teresa Ann Frazee
Microcosmus-3 Poems by Daniel Snethen
The Higher Dimensions-Poem by David C. Kopaska- Merkel

Spring, 2021—Chris Friend


For St. Patrick's Day I decided on my usual weird spin on the holiday. So, this week it will be the vampires of Irish folklore. As with many Irish mythological figures the vampire is inter-connected with fairies. Among the Irish the fairy is often intertwined with ghosts, witches, nature spirits and on occasion the vampire. Even two of the greatest vampire stories ever conceived were written by two Irish men. Sheridan Le Fanu wrote the seminal "Carmilla" and Bram Stoker created "Dracula". I would as­sume that many elements of Irish vampire lore made their way into both novels.

One of the most famous Irish vampires is the Dearge Due which translates to "red blood sucker". This fiend can be traced further back than the Celts and early Celtic tones. In this case the vampire can be stopped by piling on vast amounts of heavy stones on its grave, thus stopping it. One famous tale of the Dearge Due consists of a beautiful woman whom I assume is also the undead, being buried in a churchyard near a tree known as Strongbow's tree. This churchyard is said to be near the homes of Stoker and Le Fanu and is a popular tourist site for the vampire enthusiast.


The "fairy mistress" known as the Leanhaum-shee (shee meaning fairy) was considered a destructive vampire fairy whose feminine charms could seduce and then destroy a healthy young man. The only way to break her devilish charms was to find her another young man to seduce, allowing the first young man to escape her clutches. It is quite possible that many of the Irish and Celtic lady vampires got their start as ancient goddesses of war, who were described as having a blood-thirsty nature.

As the belief in gods and goddesses dwindled away they were replaced with the idea of blood-thirsty ghosts and demons haunting the land on long dark nights. The proverbial banshee is likely a relic of an older goddess con­nected to disease and death. And so it goes.


Chris Friend,, of Parkersberg, W.Va, wrote the BP #84 poems, “The Sentinel” and “Psalm of Mithra” (+ the BP #81 poem set, “Angel of the Bereft,” Beauty’s Sleep,” & “Dark Trinity”; the BP #80 poem, “The Temple of Colors”; BP #79 poems, “The Marquis” and “My Bloody Valentine”; the BP #78 poem, “The Old Yule Goat”; BP #77’s 4-poem set: “At 50,” “Owls,” “Vintage Halloween,” & “Xmas in the Doll Asylum”; BP #76’s 4-poem set: “Hag Fairy Communion,” “Love’s Sepulcher,” “Night Wanderer,” & “St. Andrew’s Feast”; 2 poems for BP #75, “Angel of the Pagan Dead” and “Churchyard Watcher”; BP #72’s 2-poem set, “Ed Gein” & “Sour Puss”; and the 2008 poem “All Hallows’ Eve”), writes and illustrates our “MARS News” column. He did a cover for Black Petals back in 2000 for the fall issue, and has been around ever since. BP keeps up two websites for him and prints his column in the issue quarterly. Chris has a gallery at and was featured artist in Kurt Newton’s Ultimate PerVersities (Naked Snake) [Jan. 2011].

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