Black Petals Issue #89 Autumn, 2019

Dear Pneumonia
Mars-Chris Friend
BP Artists and Illustrators
A Tale of the Dark Web-Fiction by Blair Frison
Drop, Pt. 2: Help Thy Neighbor-Fiction by Michael Mulvihill
Gas Stop-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Grandad's Legacy-Fiction by Jan Cronos
Hive-Fiction by Dan Cardoza
My Nighttime Parents-Fiction by Malik Mandeville
Orphans at the Dark Door-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The News that Night-Fiction by June Driver
The Raft-Fiction by Stephen Caesar
The Voice from the Dark-Fiction by Scott Kimak
Dear Pneumonia-Two poems by Michael Mulvihill
The Well-Poem by Jason Rice

Dear Pneumonia


by Michael Mulvihill


Should I love you?

You simply take my breath away,

And when I tell people of how you enraptured me

So that my sighs drew you into my lungs,

You probably think others envy such depths.

Yes, you made yourself at home there, so

Please do not tell your close friend, Death.

He might be jealous enough to impress,

His fetish being bodies on a plinth

And having them carried to cemeteries.

Pneumonia, let’s keep you and I a secret;

It’s much better that way.




Ghost of Chelmno


by Michael Mulvihill


It snows on ashes that forests surround, everything gone quiet, 

My burning body breaking its bones in fire long after

A slow, protracted death in a crowded, gaseous tube,

While praying to be saved, begging for mercy in vain,

Naked as on the day of birth, the day of death begun in icy terror.


I did not want to be swallowed up by the jaws of death,

Even though all my worldly goods had been taken from me.

We who were almost frozen, in the end, burned brightly.

I did not volunteer to be dehumanized, treated as refuse,

Categorized as something to be disposed of…


To kill people in the precise fashion in which I was killed

Requires the victim to be completely dehumanized. 

Thus, brutally and systematically killing them becomes easier.

It was carbon monoxide our killers used, in case you want to know.

Is it wishful thinking that I, being dead, can communicate this to you?


A wretched, strangulating death jammed amid other men!

I am so tired of living it over and over again.

To you, reader, what is both shocking and morbid 

Is to me, merely fact oscillating from life into death,

The end of a story, painful, communal, and horrid.


I want to know the story of those who killed me and my kind. 

I want to know why onlookers, as I was taken away, did nothing,

Just stood like statues that did not care for their fellow human being.

I want to know why they did not object and stop this from happening

To me and the people like me who died here with me?


I want to know if they miss my presence among them,

Those not like me, destined to survive the holocaust,

Or, if they were happy to see me go because I was different from them.

The answers to my curiosity, I am sure, are painful.

One is never exterminated for pleasant reasons.


I never suspected I had this coming to me;

I did not, to my knowledge, offend others. 

I lived, to the best of my ability, an upright life.

I was not strictly pious, but I worshipped God,

And did everything I believe God asks a person to do,


I followed and loved them all—Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and so on.

I loved the one God, and did not put false gods before Him;

I loved my neighbour as myself because I loved Yahweh;

I conducted myself as a Jew who knows there are 613 Mitzvahs to keep 

And does his utmost to keep them. 


I loved to go to the synagogue,

To hear prayers and Torah in Hebrew;

I felt at home in the temple of God,

And when I was not able to be in the synagogue

I missed it and dreamed of being there.


So how could all this have happened? Why were we chosen?

A certain level of homeland depravity meant hatred was always simmering.

I remember Father sitting me on his lap and telling me that he was beaten

When he was young simply because, like me, he was a Jew.

Finally, hatred boiled over and demanded yet another sacrifice: mine.



Michael Mulvihill,, of Dublin, Ireland, wrote BP #89’s “Drop 2: Help Thy Neighbour” and the featured poems, “Dear Pneumonia” and “Ghost of Chelmno” (+ BP #88’s “The Taxidermist Is Hatching.”; BP #81’s “Drogol’s Inst.” & “Killing Time”; BP #80’s “Rise”; BP #79’s “Drogol the Nosophorous and the Calf of Man”; BP #78’s “Self-Immolation,” BP #77’s “Lupine Savagery”; BP #76’s “The Watchers”; BP #68’s“The Toasters’ Tragedy” and “Ziggy’s Afterlife Analysis”; “Homeless” & “Why the Hell Siberia?” for BP #67; was featured author for BP #65’s “Ethagorian Evidence (Parts 1 & 2)” & “Uninsured Assurance”; VAMPIRE HORDE, Ch.1… for BP #63; BP #61’s poems, A Love Story Beautiful, Capitalism’s Modern Architecture of Love, Red Brick, The Securocrats, and Toxic Addiction; the poems, “Fatigued,” “O Mother,” & “Spike-Inverted Hearts” for BP #58; “The Cleaner and the Collector” & all 6 BP #56 poems; BP #50’s “The Soul Scrubber” and as featured vampire poet with A Vampire’s Dilemma: Love, Becoming a Vampire, Vampire Insomnia, and Vampiric War in The Kodori Valley; wrote BP #49’s poems—I, the Vampire, The Reluctant Vampire of Tbilisi, Vampire Observations, and Vampire Psychoanalysis). The 30ish author published a short story, “Ethagoria Nebsonia,” in BP in ‘98 and had a poem, “The Bombing,” in The Kingdom News about a domestic tragedy in Ireland. He has two 2007 poetry books out with Exposure Publishing: Searching for Love Central and The Genesis and Anatomy of Love, and has written the horror novels, DIABOLIS OF DUBLIN & SIBERIAN HELLHOLE.

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