The Face in the Water – Basilike Pappa

On Free Verse Revolution again, with a re-telling of Snow White.


I am a lake.

I lay myself in the heart of this land where the snow falls soft, the rain sings gray, and the dark is trimmed with the song of the nightingale. I am smooth in serenity or ripple in mirth. The world around is mirrored in me – the traveling clouds, the austerity of the woods, the hills, and on one of them a castle of gleaming stone. I am water, that out of which everything is born. I have a million memories.

She was a queen – tall and sinuous, with black eyes, opal skin and a voice sweet like deceit. She touched me and smiled at the way droplets hung from her fingertips like liquid diamonds. She looked into me, saw her face, and said: ‘How beautiful I am! Surely this lake hasn’t seen a face

like mine. Nor should it ever see.’

I rippled in…

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Basilike Pappa, How Demons Get Their Wings

It feels great to be Dodging the Rain again



Here comes streetlight
and me again

a lover’s cheap charms
all over her diary

ambrosial language
for naked game

erogenous trust
her throat moans deeper

my sliver of smile
how can she know

true love cuts
red is a singer

in vocal cords
to stain her dress

death is a river
to wash her away

my knife is fed
I feel them grow

Basilike Pappa is a bookmonger and a wordcubine. Her work has appeared on Intrinsick, Timeless Tales, Rat’s Ass Review, Surreal Poetics, Bones – Journal for Contemporary Haiku, Sonic Boom, and Visual Verse. She is a member of Sudden Denouement – A Global Divergent Literary Collective. Most of the time she can be found reading near a window in Greece.

You can read more of Basilike’s work here, and on her blog Silent Hour.

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Mosquito Soup and What It Meant – Basilike Pappa

On Free Verse Revolution, with a strange kind of soup.


There was a man who had mosquito soup for dinner

I should have told him what it meant

I laughed instead; scared him away

I want to tell him I’m not the same

but sometimes I run after windswept crumbs – 

the chase still alive under my skin

I want to finish that story where the rigor mortis of a major planet

dried the sea, left the fish flailing in the shallows;

I started it as we gin-fizzed against the yellow of the kitchen walls 

(egg-and-lemon sauce, the kind I detest) 

– I want to tell him what it meant, but it was in a dream, so it doesn’t matter

I was chemicals on top of everything else–

think of a smooth bandage over the present– 

and he held on to a bag of old clothes (when afraid, stand still) 

He was wearing them when his casual plan backfired underneath

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I Am the Woman – Basilike Pappa

Being the woman your mother warned you about, on Heretics, Lovers and Madmen. I have some sisters too you should watch out for.

Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

I am the woman your mother warned you about:
She and the other matriarchs exchanged recipes. Babies in arms, children tugging at their sleeves. High pitched squealing. The perfect detergent for spring cleaning.
I zoomed out.
Someone asked me something, I said ‘what?’ Then they exchanged glances.
– Isn’t the day hot, and could you beat the eggs?
– Sure, why not?

I beat the eggs and I was thinking the last time I did spring cleaning must have been summer because it was hot. Then someone came and brought me pot. That’s how I missed a spot on the window glasses.

I am the woman your mother warned you about:
When she told me ‘when you get pregnant,’ I said ‘I’m not taking any chances.’

‘Son, she’s cold. Chit-chat was like we spoke foreign languages. I have a feeling she’ll never bake a pie. She only paid attention when…

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Basilike Pappa, As Rain Inside The Brain

Proud to be on Dodging The Rain today. Thank you, Neil Slevin!



Melinda stores memories inside chickens – uncaring birds.
Buys groceries.
Eats. Cleans. Makes a cup of tea.
Sitting by her window she knits long scarves. Hobbies are a good thing.
It all feels like calling home and speaking in a foreign accent, or like a strange cat sitting on her armchair.

Melinda used to have her rooms full of nightingales. Sometimes she flashed them at people. Well, she is only human.
But counting nightingales before they sing all their songs is a cheater.

It comes as a missed train, as rain inside the brain; as unequal exchange, torn page, minimum wage. It comes as derealization, depersonalization, as minding the gap but still getting your foot stuck in it; as varicose vein, chest pain, not so sweet martha lorraine. It comes as blue, to paint blue the heart; as human factor, x-factor, max factor. It comes as…

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Bee Jams – Jimmi Campkin

I must. I love it.


Sitting uneasily on the remains of an old washer-dryer, I look up to the sky and toast the world.  At my feet, dead yellow grass paws pathetically at my shoes.  I light another cigarette and blow smoke into the day.  It is nice to feel involved in some small way with this wider conscious, even if their habituality leaves me feeling isolated and pointless.  

This old washer is hollow now; just four flimsy pieces of metal with the innards long since ripped out.  To my immediate right, a pair of sneakers hang in the thin air of this syphilitic town.  The Boy had finally reached his crescendo, despite our best efforts.  Even now I didn’t dare look up at the floating, lifeless body looking down on me.  Rarely did he gain the upper hand, but here we are – The Boy swinging from a tree and me left to explain…

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