Black Petals Issue #96, Summer, 2021

Mars-News, Views and Commentary

Editor's Page
BP Artists' Page
BP Guidelines
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Dark Resurrection-Fiction by Michael Hopkins
A Dip in the Pool-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Far Down in the Credits-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Guilt Trip-Fiction by James Flynn
Ky'thagra's Big Day-Fiction by Devin Marcus
Larger Prey-Fiction by Richard Brown
Lover-Fiction by N. G. Leonetti
Sail Away-Fiction by Chris Allyne
Sleeping Again-Fiction by Russ Bickerstaff
The Poison Doorway-Fiction by Dionosio Traverso Jr.
The Tick Bite-Fiction by Robb T. White
Bake Sale Inspiration-Flash Fiction by Samantha Carr
Hotel with Full Amenities-Flash Fiction by William Kitcher
Reincarnation Jeopardy-Flash Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Sex Fiend-Flash Fiction by Karen Bayly
Witches' Sabbath-Poem by Mike Collins
Blood-Poem by Mike Collins
Death's Pornography-Poem by Mike Collins
Temptation-Poem by Mike Collins
Painting Light-Poem by Mike Collins
Dark Waltz-Poem by Marilyn Lou Berry
The Last Victim of Vlad the Impaler-Poem by Mehmet Akgonul
The Bravest Ant-Poem by Mehmet Akgonul
Ain't Alien Spores-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Giant Goldfish-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Igopogo-Poem by Richard Stevenson
Megamouth Has Cavities-Poem by Richard Stevenson

Summer, 2021-Chris Friend


Hey, everyone, hope you’re having a great summer.


The month of July is named after Gaius Julius Caesar (102 B.C. - 44 B.C.) in the year 44 B.C as a way to honor the famous Roman Emperor. Among the Anglo-Saxons the month of July was known as Litha Se Oefterra, meaning lithe or mild. It was also referred to as Heg-month or "hay month” as well as Maedmonath.

Among the ancient Celts the month of July was referred to as the "Hungry month" the time before the festival of Lughnasa/Lammas (August 1st) when the food supplies from the previous harvest were beginning to run out. With this, there was the ever-present chance of famine. Thus, all Celtic eyes were on the beginning of August when the next major harvest begin. On the Gaulish calendar the time of July/August was Elembiuous or claim time when obligations were either claimed or concluded among neighbors. If friendly requital was not forthcoming then legal recourse it front of a judge was to be expected- The claims were to be settled by the time of Lughnasa.

Lucky birthstones for July are the ruby and Onyx.


August was named after Augustus Caesar, the first Emperor of Rome in 63 B.C. The Romans celebrated Consualia the third week of August. Consualia was a festival designed to honor Consus, the Roman God of the Harvest. August 23rd was Vulcanalia, a festival to honor Vulcan (not Mr. Spock) the Roman God of fire flame.

Among the Celts, August 1st is the| time of Lughnasa, the beginning of the harvest time and the official end of the lean month of July. The festival derives its name from Lugh, a popular god of Old Ireland. It was believed to be a festival in which Lugh held to honor his foster-mother Tailtiu and its name translates to "the binding duty of Lugh." Tailtiu was an ancient goddess connected to agriculture who was claimed to have died clearing a path among the trees for people to plant their crops. This was the time when the grain harvest began and the worry of famine could end. To celebrate, fairs were often held with the swimming of horses across lakes, contests of strength and dancing were held.

The festival would become adopted by the Church and given a Christian identity as Lammas or "loaf-mass" which is what it is now known by. The festival holds a much deeper meaning with this being a time of "marriage" between the Celtic people and the land (Mother Earth if you like.)

Lucky birthstone for August is Carnelian.

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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