Apocalyptic Poetry: excerpts from The Madwoman, by Roy Luna

Iris Cornelia Starkaugen sees better and farther than most people. She’s a homeless woman who cannot bear to be barricaded within walls for they produce static in her visions. She needs to be outside in the open, free to wander the streets of South Beach, even though this exposes her to the dangers of such a curiously nomadic existence. To meet her is such an unusual experience that she has made it into several travel blogs, as if she were a monument or a scenic spot. Not only does she see in advance whom she will meet on a certain day, she prepares for them snippets of poetry in which she has written pieces of their future, along with the earth’s future. Many times these poems describe for the passersby the very moment of their death. Those who don’t understand, and there are many, call her a witch. Those few who do, those who come to believe her prognostications, heed her warnings and flee. The floods due to climate change are coming, faster than anyone anticipated, and South Beach is marked for sudden and complete inundation. Iris is handing out more and more of her poems, detailing destruction, prophesying multitude deaths that will all occur at the same time, and that moment is fast approaching.

Here are four of Iris’s poems as performed by Shameka Holloway, Derrick Skinner, and Nadia Rusakova.

“I saw a tree being cut down today” performed by Shameka Holloway.

Shameka Holloway is a communication enthusiast and lover of travel. She is currently a writer/on air talent for a Fortune 500 company.



“once upon a time waits for no one” performed by Derrick Skinner.



“There is no one left” performed by Derrick Skinner.



“To a lady walking her dog on 9th and Lenox” performed by Nadia Rusakova.

Nadia is a native of Saint Petersburg, Russia. She currently lives in Atlanta, GA, and works as a media production manager.


About the author

Roy Luna: Roy Luna is a retired French professor who dabbles in the arts, tinkers with music, reads heavily in fiction and history, but does not neglect biographies or science. His main efforts these days are devoted to writing a trilogy of novels based on events occurring during the years between the death of Voltaire (1778) and the French Revolution (1789-94), years rich in both enlightened human progress and dark, evil terror. Three times a week he volunteers at Dunbar Old Books, making sure orphaned books find their way to other readers. His library at home may have surpassed the 10,000 mark, and he valiantly tries to read them all… The one important thing to retain about Roy is his horror at the sins, the injustice, the atrocities, the crimes against humanity that are perpetrated and justified in the name of religion. Any belief system that condones such savagery has discarded its humanity, abandoned its compassion, and forsaken its principles of empathy, tolerance and love of one’s neighbor.


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