Black Petals Issue #86, Winter, 2019

Winter's Gnome
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Eric Roseman's Poem-Fiction by Jacob Austin
New Orleans Take-Out-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Napper's Holler-Chapter 7-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler-Chapter 8-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Napper's Holler-Chapter 9-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Not This Time-Flash Fiction by Roy Dorman
Our Neighbors, The Zombies-Fiction by Jon A. Park
The Art of Dream-napping-Fiction by Mark J. Kevlock
The Night Side of Eden-Fiction by George Rosas
The Sump-Fiction by Anthony Lukas
Tingles-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Winter's Gnome-Poem by Janet C. Ro
Saucer, Schmosser-Four Poems by Richard Stevenson

Art by Steve Cartwright 2019

Winter’s Gnome


By Janet C. Ro


The sun's wrought iron, the moon cement,

Where Winter Gnomes do dwell—

At the bottom of deeps, when lands lament,

And cold drives thoughts towards hell.


Like orphan born to live forlorn,

Set adrift in humanity,

As you turn to face each gloomy morn,

Don’t wish you’d lived life as me.


I look upon your aged fears,

and with the Winter Gnome,

Walk until we reach the years

That each must tread alone.


At eighty-one, when love you lack, 

The Winter Gnome pursues,

Latches hard onto your back,

And makes you sing the blues.


Helplessly, as seasons changed,

I watched the Winter Gnome

Disturb the nights and chill the days

In which you’re forced to roam.


Death catches up with us, you see,

When life abandons us too—

The sun shining pointlessly,

The moon a meaningless hue.


I gave you gold when friendship sold

At no price at all, my pretty,

But this decline has loosed the hold

Of life on you so cruelly.


Nothing given and nothing said

Could save you from your sadness;

Under the spell of gloom, your head

Might lead you into madness.


Winter’s Gnome may drive you back

To where you must make your stand,

Or enter depths both bleak and black,

Where eternal seas eat land.


Winter’s Gnome, having found a place,

Could become your sole company,

To drain the blood from your teary face

All too hungrily and gladly.


The Winter Gnome can send us right

Into the prison of depression,

Suck out all light, a fearsome flight

Toward endless soul suppression.


Beware the winter, little dove.

Learn a lesson from your friend,

Who did not learn to live to love,  

And thus die well in the end.


So, when your drinking well goes hard,

When it is full of ice,

Spare some time to call the bard

Who’ll treat you very nice.


Don’t leave this life before you love!

You’ve loads of love to give,

The kind that Winter Gnomes remove

That makes you want to live.


Love is the remedy, my friend,

To dispel the winter gloom,

And your burdened back unbend,

Your true spirit given room.


I’ve sent fire bright to melt the blight

That filled your drinking well,

The well where, carelessly, you might

Have fallen, this night, to hell.


We’re sharing something sweet and hot,

Since your senses have returned,

And stopped you doing what you should not

When your bridges all seemed burned.


Beware the deadly Winter Gnome

Who comes around each year,

And keep near to you all those at home

You love and deem so dear!



Janet C. Ro,, of Evanston, IL, wrote the BP #86 poem, “Winter’s Gnome” (+ BP #82’s “Wallie’s Reflection”; the BP #81 poem, “The Statue”; BP #76 poems, “Ghost Lover” & “My Walk to Emberly Park”; BP #73’s editor’s favorite, “The Witch and the Rock; the poem, “Farewell, My Isobel” for BP #68; “Monstrous” and “The Scientist,” for BP #67; “Rose and Gold” for BP #65, as well as the “Angelic and Animated Rhyme Sets”; Alien Rhymes for BP #64, and was featured poet in BP #63 with her Thorough Rhymes). She writes: “Thrashing through armies of roses and thorn, I’m rushing to save my dear pet unicorn. My bones are now breaking and my poor skin does bleed. But rescued by every new word that you read:”

It's well known that an artist becomes more popular by dying, so our pal Steve Cartwright is typing his bio with one hand while pummeling his head with a frozen mackerel with the other. Stop, Steve! Death by mackerel is no way to go! He (Steve, not the mackerel) has a collection of spooky toons, Suddenly Halloween!, available at    He's done art for several magazines, newspapers, websites, commercial and governmental clients, books, and scribbling - but mostly drooling - on tavern napkins. He also creates art pro bono for several animal rescue groups. He was awarded the 2004 James Award for his cover art for Champagne Shivers. He recently illustrated the Cimarron Review, Stories for Children, and Still Crazy magazine covers. Take a gander ( or a goose ) at his online gallery: . And please hurry with your response - that mackerel's killin' your pal, Steve Cartwright.

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