Monday, January 26, 2015

New Poetry by Jason D. DeHart

Need a Bath Boy

there is an endless assortment
of homeless on the on-ramp.
I have heard the sighs and prayers
of well-meaning people in the car,
imagined the muttering lips of bothered
people rushing past to their shopping
and over-priced meals at the mall.
the child, his hair slack, his skin
darkened with grime,
this child, family, cardboard message
creates, for some, an emotional tableau
and I worry about the emptiness,
the stone I carry inside my chest, a hollow
purse I call a life, and I wonder about 
sounds of vehicles swooshing by,
trembling hands the the odor of rain.

- Jason D. DeHart 2015

Jason D. DeHart is the author of the blog,  His writing has appeared in a variety of publications.

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Poetry by Greg McLaren


for Frances Odette

Frankie demands fruit she can’t reach.

We spring it to earth, where it’s hidden, sun-warm,

in laundry.

                 Leaves appear on the kitchen floor.

She looks to the flowers,            

white and yellow, and to me, and points – 

star!      flower!

                        The blossom in my fingers            

smells of orange, or is it

that my fingers now

                                 smell of orange?

She lifts her body, nose-first as if weightless,

to the half-crushed blooms, eyes closed, and sniffs – 

                       I love 

and fear everything. 

- Greg McLaren 2015

A short bio: Greg McLaren is a Sydney-based poet, critic and teacher. His recent books are After Han Shan (Flying Islands, 2012) and The Kurri Kurri Book of the Dead (Puncher & Wattmann, 2007).  A new collection, Australian ravens, is forthcoming with Puncher & Wattmann in 2015.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

New Poetry by William Davies Jr.

Valley Forge

Air, crimson-plum cold.
Windows; silvery
snatched in January,
pronged and writhing 
the same as an agate pot
seized in the caroling
ice of the pond.

- William Davies Jr. 2015

Friday, January 02, 2015

New Poetry by Lizz Murphy


A woman is at home having the time of her life just herself
and her karaoke machine  I know this because she told me

There she sat in the crowded shopping centre just herself
on the circular seat in an arc of people separated by their shopping   I saw her alone in her deciding moment crossed her path like some stray black cat  Our eyes met and she stood up Stood by her conviction

If they don’t want to hear me sing
I’ll buy my own karaoke machine
and sing at home! 

Alone             Just herself

Alone sometimes I think I hear her song  
It drifts down from the north  seventy years old  
a little smoky  a bit cracked  more off-key than on

- Lizz Murphy 2015

Lizz Murphy has published 12 books of different kinds. Her seven poetry titles include Portraits: 54 Poems and Six Hundred Dollars (PressPress), Walk the Wildly (Picaro), Stop Your Cryin (Island) and Two Lips Went Shopping (Spinifex). Her eighth poetry title, Shebirds, is forthcoming (PressPress). She is widely published in Australia and overseas and has some awards and mentions. Lizz was born in Ireland and has lived in Binalong in rural NSW Australia for a long time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Poetry by Michele Seminara

Christmas Passing

travelling home on Christmas Day
full hearts and bellies straining
bush teeming on either side
of this glistening snake of humanity
from the front seat a few sighs 
and then the benevolent curtain of rain parts
to let Great Uncle Tommy pass 

- Michele Seminara 2014

Bluepepper would like to take this opportunity to wish all poetry-lovers a happy new year and a peaceful, prosperous and inspired 2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

New Poetry by Dawnell Harrison

A party

The rocks in my front yard
are gemmed with rain -

a mill of raindrops battle
with the forecast bruising
the sky purple and black.
A party at my house -

the human beehive buzzes
in one at a time as they

lay their needs on me.
My heart is too small

for such desires.
I smile as if I truly care

as the headlights of cars
trail down the street.

- Dawnell Harrison 2014

Fresh pain

The rain marbles the sky
grey and black as the wind

blows my golden hair sideways -
tussles cling to my maroon lipstick.
My baby scrubs the air raw with her
blood red cries,
always wanting something that
I sometimes cannot undo.
Perhaps she holds fresh pain
in her soul that only God
can comprehend.
We move forward.

- Dawnell Harrison 2014

Tiger lilies

The moon frowns on me -
I disappoint her.
Six tiger lilies sit
in a tubular vase
on the kitchen counter.
They are too wild for me -
their spots throw me
off balance.
They seem to lean on me
as their open mouths
say feed me.
I have nothing to feed them -

these beasts inhabiting
my house, my eyes,
my luke-warm assurances
from the world.

- Dawnell Harrison 2014

Dawnell has  been published in over 200 magazines and journals including Queen's Quarterly, Fowl Feathered Review, Nerve Cowboy, and many others.  She has also had five books of poetry published entitled Voyager, The maverick posse, The fire behind my eyes, The love death, and The color red does not sleep.

New Poetry by Les Wicks

Formication Fridays

As someone
who was certain
in this gangrel
runaway beige
thanked them
realtors & lords

If money
can be sharp
then I’m lost.
Ants sweetheart
(dead abnormal).

So back to please
don’t pay
this wrapping
I know.

In strength
you are away
so I comprehend cold
& crash the tides.
Get away with silence,
defeat the mouth.
Shelter is a rough binary,

but it’s not worth it.

- Les Wicks 2014

Les Wicks is a widely published Sydney poet.

Monday, December 01, 2014

New Poetry by Daniel Barbare

Mother Cooking

Mother eats watermelon.
Watching the news. Talking
the whole while. Goes
back to the bedroom.
Comes back wearing pajamas.
Boils corn and slices fresh Blue
tomatoes. Fries chicken. While
biting her tongue. The house
smells delicious. The
oil is just a crackling. The
kitchen is quiet. It’s ready.

- Daniel Barbare 2014

Roadside Stand

Labor Day.  Coming down
the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sun
on our backs. Gravel
drive. Dust flying off the wheels.
Looking at squash, fuzzy
whole okra, green beans. Tomatoes
soft enough to slice this evening.
Wildflower honey,  pickled beets,
bread and butter pickles, dill and
garlic. Mother buys sweet
And peaches to soften in the
window. I buy three plump and
red tomatoes for $2.00.

- Daniel Barbare 2014

Danny P. Barbare resides in the Upstate of the Carolinas. He works as a janitor at a local YMCA. And has been writing poetry off and on for 33 years. He says he enjoys the cold weather in the South and taking long walks especially if it snows. His poetry is mostly about what ever strikes him at the time.

New Poetry by Colin Dodds

The Urgent Center Expands

The urgent center expands,
takes the newspaper as its skin.

As it went in history,
so ran the NFC wildcard game.
The religiopolitical Saints
overran the astrological Rams.

Aside from that, the story was familiar and unchanged.

The linemen were terrifying,
though easily persuaded, hulks.

The receivers were handy
with the razor and the getaway.

The running backs went straight home
and would be foremen someday.

And the quarterback was the driven patrician
with nothing but an immense promise
and an immense burden for a life.

- Colin Dodds 2014

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at

Thursday, November 27, 2014

It is my sad duty to inform you that a matter of hours ago Southern Redbacks batsman, Phillip Hughes passed away as a result of the injury he sustained at the Sydney Cricket Ground earlier this week.
The word tragedy gets used far too often in sport but this freak accident is now a real-life tragedy. Just shy of his 26th birthday, Phillip has been taken from us far too young.
As a cricketer, Phillip was an incredibly talented and dearly loved member of the Australian, South Australian and Adelaide Strikers squads and a former NSW representative. He also played county cricket in England and IPL in India. Without doubt he was a rising star whose best cricket was still ahead of him.
As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip’s family, friends and team mates at this incredibly sad time, and of course to the Australian cricket family and the State Associations. We are thinking of you right now.
I’d like to thank you and the broader cricket community around the country for the wonderful show of support given to Phillip and his family. From social media to phone calls to our front desk, the support has been tremendous and I want to thank you on behalf of Australian cricket.
If you would like to pay your tribute to Phillip and his contribution to the game of cricket, you can do so here.
Phillip Joel Hughes played 26 Test matches for his country. He will be sadly missed and forever remembered.

Yours sincerely,

Chief Executive Officer 
Cricket Australia

Bluepepper has nothing else to add,

The Day Cricket Stopped

If poetry really does possess any curative powers, then all our thoughts are with you, Phillip Hughes.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

New Poetry by Peter Venable

Heart fibrillation begins.

The doctor peers over a surgical mask
and furnishes a pep talk. Joe’s hands clamp
on the table; knuckles jut into the walls.
His eyes weld to an instrument tray:
scissors, tweezers, hemostats and some unnamed gadget.
A curved suture needle twinkles at him.
Doc grips a syringe--pricks, plunges,
then the scalpel . . . .

Joe stares into a ceiling bulb
and whisks into a phosphorescent tunnel
where rainbows arch, dissolve into bubbles,
and pop into pinwheels.

Something distant yanks

and Joe lifts his head. The doctor threads and tugs
a knot, removes a blood-speckled mask,
and hums while leaving the room.
The nurse takes Joe’s hand, guides him up,
and escorts him into the lobby.

At the door she leans toward his ear,
and invites him for drinks
at her apartment after work

- Peter Venable 2014

Peter works as an almost-retired addiction and mental health counselor, volunteers at a prison camp and food pantry, and is graced with a happy marriage, daughter and son-in-law, and Yeshua. Poetry, The New Yorker, and Atlantic Monthly are not worthy, unlike Bluepepper, of his sagacious poems.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Poetry by William G. Davies Jr.

The Path to Citizenship

You can almost hear the fife and drum.
What are the Federalist Papers?
How many amendments are there
to the Constitution?
A couple speak to each other
in Guatemalan.
On this day, a celebrity judge
will do the oath.
He’s affable, tall with shiny hair.
He tells a joke, people look for a snare.
A woman clerk sets aside an Edwardian novel
and passes around miniature American flags.
After The Pledge of Allegiance
there are pictures, light snacks.
An old man wearing a necklace of bones
contemplates a portrait of Ronald Reagan,
in particular, a white handerkerchief 
in his left breast pocket, monogrammed 
the way the man’s bones are known to him.

- William G. Davies Jr. 2014

William and his wife have just bottled a case of red wine from their very own grapes. He has had some more work accepted by The Cortland Review and is working with his publisher, Prolific Press, on a forthcoming book of poetry: Before There Were Bones.