Black Petals Issue #107, Spring, 2024

Mars-News, Views and Commentary

Editor's Page
BP Artists' Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
(After) Life is What You Make It: Fiction by Richard Brown
Gauche Cuisine: Fiction by Gordon L. Stewart
Here's to Forgetfulness: Fiction by Roger Johns
Insights Into the Trajectory of Human Cetacean Communication: Fiction by Andre Bertolino
Mal Ojo: Fiction by M. N. Wiggins
No Dark: Fiction by Bill Dougherty
Overtime: Fiction by Dennison Sleeper
A Cut Above the Rest: Fiction by Roy Dorman
Resemblance: Fiction by James McIntire
Sign of the Times: Fiction by Liam A. Spinage
The Attic Party: Fiction by Michael Fowler
The Renovators: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Balance: Flash Fiction by Rick McQuiston
Bawk Dark: Flash Fiction by Michael C. Jessen
The Incident With the Mismatched Man: Flash Fiction by Charles C. Cole
Radio Tower: Flash Fiction by Blair Orr
Take Me With You: Flash Fiction by Steven French
Slippery: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Where Dead Babies Come From: Poem by Nolcha Fox
302 Asylum Avenue: Poem by Joseph Danoski
Another Story: Poem by Joseph Danoski
Home Repairs: Poem by Joseph Danoski
A Creepy Leap Year: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Funeral Memorial: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
BatGrl: Poem by Casey Renee Kiser
Twin Flame: Poem by Casey Renee Kiser
Shadow Play: Poem by Simon MacCulloch
Dark Ride: Poem by Simon MacCulloch
Leviathans of the Void: Poem by Christopher Hivner
Sunbursts: Poem by Christopher Hivner
Into the Eyes: Poem by Anthony Bernstein
Airtime: Poem by Peter Mladinic
Gloria: Poem by Peter Mladinic
The Sorcerer: Poem by C. Walker
Frozen Eve: Poem by C. Walker

Spring, 2024-Chris Friend


The month of April gets it's name from the Greek goddess Aphrodite (her Roman incarnation is Venus) in both versions were love goddesses. April was a time of opening with the spring flowers blossoming and opening their petals to receive the sun's life and blessing. The Anglo-Saxons called the month Eastermonath and it is the month honoring the spring goddess Eostee which gives her name to the Christian festival of Easter.

April 1st is April Fool's Day, a time of the trickster and playing pranks. Possibly the day comes from the Norse goddess Loki who was honored on April 1st. Loki is an ornery trickster spirit who was known for making mischief and causing trouble. This seems to also be related to the court jesters of Medieval Europe who were the only figures who could tell  a king the truth and not suffer consequences.

Unlike other holidays like Halloween that begin at sunset, April Fool’s Day starts in the morning. On the Norse calendar, April 14th is the festival of Sommarsblot, or their official beginning of summer. April 5th was the ancient Roman festival of Megalesia which was a festival of Fortuna , better known as Lady Luck. April 10th is the final day of the festival of Fortuna. Fortuna can be identified with Fates. April 12th was the festival of Cerealia which was an eight-day long celebration of Ceres, an earth goddess. She is guardian of the earth and the fruit harvest. Naturally April would be a time of the spring planting.


April 13th was the day of the Roman festival of Libertas, a time to honor liberty. And as I said above February 14th was the Norse celebration of Sommersblot, the halfway point of the year. April 22 was a day honoring St. George who was also known as the dragonslayer. This day was a time to see processions of revelers of dragons, hobby-horses, and giant effigies. One of George's incarnations was Sigurd who slew a similar monster.

My own opinion was that the dragon represented winter with St. George who was summertime incarnate. April 25th was St. Mark’s day, in which St. Mark was called upon to encourage the growth of the crops. It was also known as Cuckoo's Day when the migratory birds came back home from the south, which was a clear sign of the return of summer. April 28th was the festival of Floralia, honoring the goddess Flora, the mother goddess of flower and youth. Beans and other seeds were tossed into crowds celebrating the holiday and encouraging fertility of the land. April 31st was May Eve or Beltane Eve, a time to light great bonfires to drive away the forces of darkness and evil. 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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