Black Petals Issue #88, Summer, 2019

Mars-News, Views and Commentary
A Place of His Own-Fiction by Dorian Sinnott
Blood on the Riviera-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Next Stop: Napper's Holler-Chapter 13-Fiction by A.M.Stickel
Next Stop: Napper's Holler-Chapter 14-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Next Stop: Napper's Holler-Chapter 15-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Next Stop: Napper's Holler-Conclusion-Fiction by A. M. Stickel
Red Dress-Fiction byTrisha McKee
The Dead Are Not Lonely-Fiction by A. L. Hodges
The Taxidermist is Hatching-Fiction by Michael Mulvihill
This Isn't You-Fiction by J. David Thayer
Love River Forever-Poem by Hicham El Qendouci
Fire Rages from Her Fingertips-4 Poems by T. B. Kelley
Sheepsquatch-3 poems by Richard Stevenson



Richard Stevenson


“White Thing,” they call you or

Sheepsquatch on account of

your dirty, woolly hair.


Sabre-toothed albino—

genetic anomaly or just

some lumberjack’s idea of fun?


Your shriek would surely curl paint

and makes the faint of heart

immediately bolt their doors.


Don’t hear tell of human casualties,

though you’ve been spotted scarfing

mushroom tops. Magic mushrooms?


We’ll never know. You beat a hasty retreat

whenever anyone spots you in a glen

or sloggin’ through bayou or fen.


So you’ve got a malocclusion problem—

nothing a vet dentist couldn’t fix.

Why don’t you let us take a few pix?


“Selfie with Sheepsquatch”

(October 2017, Boone County, VA) 

Man, you could have the Honeymoon Suite


in any modern zoo in any city you chose.

Folks would pay a bundle just to get close!

Seriously, dude. And they’d lay on the food!


Think about it. No more scufflin’ about

the shrubbery to root for roots and berries.

No one tryin’ to fill yer narra butt with lead.


Somethin’ to be said for yer urban zoo—

Temperature-controlled—or you can hang

indoors in winter! Pretty girls given’ you perms…


Whaddaya say? Hop in the back

of my Dodge Ram on that blanket—

you’ve got a canopy to keep off the rain.


You can snore to your heart’s content—

the canopy is cross-vented.

You’ll be comfortable. An hour or two—


Slam, bam, you’re in the city, ensconced

in capacious new digs. Get to perform too.

Ain’t that any Sheepsquatch fam-damily’s dream?


Snallygasters in the Rafters


Richard Stevenson


Snallygasters in the rafters!

Hoop Snakes in the hills!

Whirling Whoompasses whoopin’ ass—

especially those attached to little kids.


Grab your blanky. Snag your soother.

It could get chilly. Will get darker.

Take your Star Wars sabre sword;

crawl under your down comforter.


It’s gonna be a cold winter night.

Hidebehinds got nothin’ to hide behind.

Wood boogers are huddlin’ in caves.

All God’s chillen—even the unwillin’—are asleep!


No ‘squatches are windin’ their watches.

No Loups Garou are slappin’ on the goo

to shave. Ain’t a wolf or dogman awake;

even the Sandman has sifted away.


What you gotta do, mon petit chou,

is take all yer heffalumps and whoozles,

yer no-nose potato head dudes,

yer Transformers and Transducers …


Have a last juice, get yer guys in a group,

brush yer teeth; have a piddle ‘n’ poop;

wipe flush, and wash up. Put out the light

and settle in for the night. Easy peasy.


I’ve zapped the creachas under the bed,

evicted the closet squatters. Yeah!

Sent ‘em packin’. Ain’t nothin’ gonna snore

or bore its way through the dark to yer bed.


It’s ALL CLEAR—and waitin’ needs ten toes

to get the blankets warm, a warm boy body

to make the right dent in the sheets,

A dream to calculate the thread count of Nod.


You’ve got flannel jammies to do the job.

Hop in and radiate, son. The day is done.

Got all yer chores done and choices made.

It’s time to make a chrysalis—tomorrow, a butterfly. 


The Burrunjor of Australia


Richard Stevenson


Deep, deep, deep into the Outback,

where few people have ever been,

I leave huge three-toed prints.


Scientists still scratch their chins.

Some think I’m a relative of T. Rex,

maybe even a surviving therapod!


Well, why not? The coelacanth is real—

just some boney fish fishermen off

the Comoros tossed overboard for years.


Think I want human hunters

traipsin’ in hordes through the shrubbery,

tryin’ to take me down to prove I exist? As if!


Tell Spielberg to stick to animatronics—

I ain’t interested in stompin’ across

the silver screen or posin’ for photo ops.


Would as soon eat as greet you

Homo-sape dweebs. Burrunjor don’t want

no soup du jour or salad, son.


I want giblets, hearts, heads—

Heck, I could even go for human haggis

right about now. Or…I could eat your horse.


Cattle, camels, kangaroos—

whatever’s on the hoof is fine.

A nice fluffy lamb’d be nice...


Bein’ bipedal with wimpy arms

means I gotta clamp my jaws

around whatever’s on the platter,


But that’s fine. One strong bite

and I can cradle a critter in my arms

and eat it like a cob of corn.



Richard Stevenson,, of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, wrote BP #88’s poems, “Sheepsquatch,” “Snallygasters in the Rafters,” and “The Burrunjor of Australia” (+  BP #86’s poem quartet—“Saucer, Schmosser,” “Storsjoodjuret,” “Stronsay Beast,” & “Teggie of Lake Bala” (+ BP #83’s poems, “El Cuero,” “La Llorona,” “Penelope,” and “Pope Lick Monster”; BP #82’s poems, “Killer Clowns,” “Queensland Tiger,” “The Turtle Lake Monster,” and “Vermont Pig Man”; BP #80’s poems, “Bondegezu…”, “Donkey Woman,” “Napes,” and “The Yeren’s Complaint”; BP #76’s poems, “Honey Island Swamp Monster,” “Skin Walker,” and “Ucu.”) From a series called Cryptid Shindig, these collected poems concern cryptid encounters, ET lore, or unexplained phenomena; others have appeared in three published volumes in the series: Why Were All the Werewolves Men? (Thistledown Press, 1994), Nothing Definite Yeti (Ekstasis Editions, 1999), Take Me to Your Leader! (Bayeux Arts Inc., 2003), and in a New & Selected volume called Bigfoot Boogie. Retired from a thirty-year gig teaching English and Creative Writing at Lethbridge College, the poet has published thirty books in that time. His most-recently published books are haikai poetry collections: Fruit Wedge Moon (Hidden Brook Press, 2015), The Heiligen Effect (Ekstasis Editions, 2015), Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford Olson Murders (a long poem from Dreaming Big Publications, 2017) and A Gaggle of Geese (haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, zappai, and haikai sequences from Alba Publishing in the U.K.). Other poems from the cryptid critter series have appeared in Aphelion, The Literary Hatchet, On Spec, Liquid Imagination Online, etc. (25+ mags so far) besides the 3 previously published collections mentioned.

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