Poems by Siblings

Photo by Cristina Byrne | Actress Alyssa Lou Ann Allen

Photo by Cristina Byrne | Actress Alyssa Lou Ann Allen

I’m a warrior.

I’m a women with dark fire within.

I’m lifting up mountains and praising the gods under the sun while I sing.

This land’s an unfortunate gift we’ve been given,

One that we’ve squandered away.

I fight to define her,

I carry her,

and protect her.

Keeping the demons I can at bay.

- Larissa Nemeth

Photo by Andrew Tanglao

Photo by Andrew Tanglao

You think you’ve stared into my soul,

Do you?

            Watched me exchange trainers

for my teacher heels

under my desk;

            contrived to sneak

up behind me to snigger

                                         while I clicked

in haste to class, late for lesson two.

 But rewind and you disappear like an overexposed ghost; it’s just me and my own two

feet in the dawn,


                             to socks

                             to soles

And that combination clicks

like a train

on rails

            I’m on my way, cushioned in sneakers

waiting for a bus in cold iron light, ground firm beneath my heels

 We’ve been trained

our whole lives to

bear the scars of these pink and puckered heels.

From Payless to red soles,

celluloid sneaks

stiletto spikes encircling our imaginations;

they corral, they protect, they beat us back into ugly cliques.

 You’re a woman?  You choose.

Stand out like two fingers clicked

at you with your tray of champagne in hand, or

                                                                               slide onto a last chance train

carriage unnoticed? sneak

or walk tall? fade to

chameleon gray or hobble through your night as the life and soul-

from which wounds will you faster begin to heal?

 Then there’s the fear, the Achilles Heel.

YOU CAN’T WIN is tattooed up your calf and it’s just clicked

that no matter what’s in your soul

or how hard you train

or how much you have to

give, you’re damned

at ground level or six inches closer to god, not safe in platforms or sneakers

  And whether sneakers

or heels,

or sandals, or square toes-

like the beating of an underfloor heart, the click-

the stomp – they reverberate, build me up as I train

to separate mind body and sole.

  Yes.  I see you sneaking your way up to the cliques

At the top, the eschelons of power, hell round a boardroom table,

Straining to appear alpha.  I may switch shoes when it suits. 

                                                                                                But you

                                                                                                Have swapped your soul.

-Leah Mullen

Photo by Cristina Byrne

Photo by Cristina Byrne

To whose fingers play the music

I bow for style

The rhythm upset my ears

The lyrics left me blind

Notes had me resigned

Neither matters

For in the end it is

The strum that has us combined

Twisted and rubbed

Take a look at these hands

They are not even mine

And yet here I am binded and blinded

Able to sway

Here, music for all.

- Thomas Byrne

1 (202).jpg

30 means,

Italian food,

Spanish wine,

French kisses,

And an Irish bar.

30 means,

live happily,

grow naturally,

dream freely,

And speak honestly.

30 means,

Less of over there

And more of over here!

30 means,

whatever I want it to mean

defined by me!

-Cristina Byrne


Poetry Project: Shoes

Illustration by    Bruna Mebs

Illustration by Bruna Mebs

Dr. Martens 8 Eyes

By Larissa Nemeth

These boots they have tongues

And speak volumes

 they say

Fuck you 

Or fuck me.

They take me miles.

Through dirt, city grime

Up mountains

Down alleys.

Do you hear their heavy heels?


Where we have gone

Where we are eager to go.

In shirt, pants and jacket

Still naked without them.

Like a warrior cinderella

This pair is my sole mate.

Combat-ready but steady wishing for peace.


For the Love of Shoes

By Christina Ihnken

 Head over heels only happens in flip flops,

Falling in love, that still requires real shoes.


Collect all the colors, brown, white, red, and black,

On a plastic shoe rack, arrange them neatly,

Put yourself on display completely.


The ones you love dearest, bring them everywhere you go,

That’s what the trunk of your car was secretly designed for.

Never confuse comfort with fit, fearlessly face buyer’s remorse and regret.


Scuffs and scars inside and out, worn out tongues,

Uneven base, old shoe boxes filled with faded receipts,

A crisp love letter as proof for stumbling into playful pitter-patter.


Your cobbler knows you better than your bar tender.

Are a pair of shoes soulmates, and we are the third wheel?

Barefoot, the new trendsetter, hide your sole but reveal how you feel.


A Start to Unfinished Shoe Poems

By Cristina Byrne

Sometimes I wear them,

And sometimes I don’t.


So, what is the occasion?

I need to remember to think of the season

And does it go with what I am wearing.

 Do you think I should change them?


 Are they real?

Or are they fake?

Said a kid about some other kids Puma’s.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“Just look at them, they look fake.”

They look like real shoes to me!


Apparently, Billy Joel says,

“Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers,

You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers.”

Yet, Wale (the rapper) gives this good advice,

“If they’re gonna judge you for life

Say we can’t always be fly

We gon’ be good long as them sneakers white.”

 And wasn’t there a story in Narcos,

About Pablo’s mom stealing a pair of shoes

So he wouldn’t get made fun of in school.


Some have many and some have few

Some have old and some have new.

So, “Where do my sneakers go at night?”

I know, I know,

Where you left them last,

 Or up someone’s ass.

So, if the shoes fits

don’t quit,

take a stand and lend a hand!


Celebrating with Shrooms

On the one-year anniversary of the inception of DIBS, creators Cristina and Larissa ventured deep into the forest … at night … with no firewood and survived (due to the kindness of a friend, of course - Thanks Alicia)! They took a daytime hike near Raymondskill Falls in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, where they rap about life, love, the earth, and human nature.

The gems they stumbled upon in the past year are well represented by the fungus Cristina captured growing in the late summer undergrowth. Props to Sarah Prentice who provided insight into the magical mycological finds and helped with ID-ing them.

The year ahead sure has more mystery in store.


Cortinarius sp.

Cortinarius sp.

Ramaria or other Coral Genus

Ramaria or other Coral Genus

Cantharellus sp.

Cantharellus sp.

Marasmius sp.

Marasmius sp.

Lycoperdon sp.

Lycoperdon sp.

Entoloma sp.

Entoloma sp.

Russula sp.

Russula sp.

Dingmans Campgrounds-Mildford,PA Sept. 2018-2949.jpg
Laccaria sp.

Laccaria sp.

Hypomyces chrysospermus?

Hypomyces chrysospermus?

Laetiporus sp. AKA “Chicken of the Woods”

Laetiporus sp. AKA “Chicken of the Woods”

Amanita sp.

Amanita sp.

Calvatia sp.

Calvatia sp.

Trametes sp.

Trametes sp.

Dingmans Campgrounds-Mildford,PA Sept. 2018-2930.jpg

Mushroom Finds by Larissa Nemeth and Cristina Byrne | Photographs by Cristina Byrne | Help Identifying: Sarah Prentice

Filmmaker Keith Chamberlain

DIBS sat down with Filmmaker Keith Chamberlain, the Person behind Aquariarts Pictures, to talk about the success of Herrings Season 1, the challenges of an Independent Filmmaker, possible expectations of Season 2 and a few things in-between. 

DIBS: Give a synopsis of the show Herrings.

KEITH: Herrings is a dramatic thriller about two men who use the internet to disguise their clients’ digital footprint, which allows those clients to hide in plain sight.

DIBS: How did this series come about?

KEITH: About four years ago, I came across an article about a skip tracer who became a skip maker by using the internet to hide his clients’ digital footprint and thought it would make a great series. However, I was working on other projects and I forgot about it until 2015. Once I decided to make this my next project, it took me 2 years to break the story and another to cast the right actors. Once everything came together, the first episode took about 3 days to make. Now, here’s a  little bit of trivia, the first episode was originally a sizzle reel that I was going use to pitch Herrings as an hour-long show. However, when that fell through, I thought the story was too compelling to abandon and thus I adapted it as a short form web-series.

DIBS: What are the themes highlighted in Herrings?

KEITH: ·Season 1: Everyone has secrets and what some people are willing to do to keep them.

Season 2: Secrets may bring people closer... or tear them apart.

DIBS: Does the show Herrings say anything about the world we live in and if so, how?

KEITH: Definitely, this season, the show tackles timely issues like racial and gender discrimination, the MeToo movement, opioid addiction and the state of modern journalism in the digital era.

DIBS: Have you done other things besides Herrings?

KEITH: Prior to Herrings, I wrote, produced and directed four short films. I’ve also worked in shows and films like “Worthless”, “How to Get Away with Murder” and  “Paranoia”.

DIBS: In your opinion, what sort of stories are important to tell?

KEITH: Right now I’m drawn to drama and personal stuff.  Stories about people living real lives that aren’t afraid to be ugly, very in-your-face type of stuff. The characters in Herrings are complex individuals that just like real life, can garner your sympathy at one moment and your scorn at another.

DIBS: As an independent creator, what are some challenges that you face? And how do you overcome them?

KEITH: The two biggest challenges for me has been scheduling and money.  

A lot of the episodes are made based on the availability of the actors. There was a 16-month gap between Season 1 and 2, several of the actors are either no longer in the area, no longer acting or have moved on to other projects. There was also the matter of recasting certain roles and eliminating others that proved very challenging. Also, for Season 2, I had a definite end date of production and that, at times, conflicted with several of the actors, which is why some characters and their storylines are featured more than others. Trust me, there was a LOT of rewriting involved. In regards to money, while many of the cast and crew were fine working for free, I decided not to go that route for Season 2. This was one of the main factors for the 16-month gap as I wanted to pay my actors more than gas money for Season 2. Even though the budget for Season 2 is larger than Season 1, it was still relatively low and I was upfront about the budget with every D.P and Sound Mixer that I contacted. There were a few no’s but surprisingly there were quite a few yes’s. At the end of the day though, it all comes down to sheer will and a lot of faith.

DIBS: In your opinion, what defines success in filmmaking?

KEITH: When your film resonates with an audience, there’s no better feeling, in my opinion. Some filmmakers want name recognition, but I would much rather have my work recognized.  

DIBS: What sort of success has Season 1 brought?

KEITH: The show has won several awards, including Best Cast, Best Drama and Best Actor awards for both Dax Richardson and David Ogrodowski. Recently, the show was picked up by JivewiredTV,  a streaming television station launching on Apple TV in late June 2018.

DIBS: What can viewers expect in Season 2?

KEITH: Viewers can expect a more nuanced look at the characters introduced in Season 1 as well as several new characters that I think audiences will find equally, if not more, compelling.

DIBS: Lastly, in your opinion should filmmaking be used for entertainment or social change?  

KEITH:Why can’t you do both?

Keith Chamberlain is an award-winning filmmaker who currently resides in Blackwood, NJ. Since 2010,  he has written and/or directed several short films. His last short film, “The Burning Tree”, was both nominated and won at several film festivals, including Golden Door International Film Festival, Pittsburgh Uncut Film Festival, and Hang Onto Your Short Film Festival, among other venues. He also was the founder of the Dysfunctional Screenwriters Society, which from 2010 - 2015, paired local screenwriters from the Philadelphia area with actors for table-reads of their screenplays.

Stay tuned for Season 2 coming soon to the Internet


About Aquariarts Pictures : The goal of Aquariarts Pictures is to produce films, music videos, documentaries with other production companies as well as independent film investors to create challenging and powerful productions and bring those pictures to as wide an audience as possible.

Check out Season 1  HERE

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Still By Cristina Byrne

Still By Cristina Byrne

Still #1, #2, #3 are from Unnamed Photographers -  Still #4 by Cristina Byrne.

Earth (day) Life

One of my earliest memories with my Nana, who spent a lot of time caring for me in my youth, is her pointing out the Robin Red-Breast. “See, Larissa, when he comes back, you know it's spring.”  So, each year when the snow and ice and gloom get to be too much to bear, even now, I look out for Mr. Robin.

Nature came to me in a small scope- raking leaves, helping plant flowers, catching earthworms, stomping in streams. It was these intimate experiences that parlayed into a much wider admiration and certainly adoration for the outdoors.

Now I have two kids of my own- and a small patch of earth for them to explore and call home.  It is both heartening and terrifying. I wonder quite often what parts of this earth we will lose in their lifetime- what will I have to explain as “well, this USED to be…” it is a question too big and troubling to tackle most days.  So, I just bring them outside. We collect rocks we find and talk about how they have arrived at that spot (Glaciers? ICE AGE!), take them to the creek (is it rushing today and muddy? Low and clear? Bone dry?). We also talk about the weather, animals we see, bugs, weeds and more.  Even the news can play a part. We visited Puerto Rico about two years before Hurricanes Maria & Irma hit the small Isle of Enchantment. We talked about their weather patterns, why this might have happened, what was lost and what will have to be rebuilt.

These efforts may seem small or random at best- but they are not without an inherent lesson. Be an observer.  Be present. Catch the light through the leaves in the trees and the raindrops glancing off your skin. What we hear, see, smell and feel today might not be here tomorrow.  And you should NOTICE that. Bear witness to the changes around you because they matter.  

What my children and your children and their children do or don’t do to protect what has sustained us in in their hands.

What we do to aid them in realizing their role in this web of life is entirely ours.


Words by Larissa Nemeth Images by Cristina Byrne