Sunday, July 24, 2016

New Poetry by Jonathan Beale

Bye - the - Bye

By Barnes Pond SW13 on a bright spring morning

The accident of the molecular.
All heads: men - women - dogs
-Pidgeon’s and all the fish & toads
of the pond.

Silken veils we each breathe
here – sat by Barnes pond
on the sun kissed April morning.

A goose shrieks against
the wind – fracturing
(like a bolt of thunder).
Practically visible as lightning
The daffodils (now yesterday’s idol)
fading and dropping away.

An old woman draws against the pavements
Insufferable mood.  Yet still she goes on….

Waiting for: The passing of time, life and… more time
As the pigeons scatter around
For the rich pickings
that make or may not make their day.

In these wide sparse arenas
where something runs, pulsates
into silence. A sweet happiness is just around
the corner, here. Bye-the bye

- Jonathan Beale 2016

Jonathan Beale poems published in such journals as: Penwood Review,  Ink Sweat & Tears, Down in the Dirt, Mad Swirl,  ‘Don’t Be Afraid: An Anthology to Seamus Heaney’, Ygdrasil, The Four Seasons Anthology, The Seventh Quarry, Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, The Curly Mind, The Beatnik Cowboy, Dali’s LoveChild, Storm Cycle Anthology (Best of Hurricane Press 2015), The Jawline Review, Bluepepper, and Jellyfish Whispers .

Friday, July 22, 2016

New Poetry by Mark Roberts

The Age of Rubbish

I rode my bike through the last days
of the rubbish dump over shallow hills
covering the waste of decades.

After the war they filled in the bay,
the muddy shallows and the salt marsh,
with discarded war waste, planes,
tanks and jeeps. Drove them
into the mud till they sank,
then drove the next tank over the top.
They had to punch holes in the crates
of unassembled spitfires so they
would sink. The spoils of war.

A sea wall was built, a hard boundary
between the victory of land
and the flow of the river.
The age of rubbish, a public tip
for the garbage of the fifties.
Methane outbursts mixed with
old aviation fuel seeping
from the depths. Rats and crows.

- Mark Roberts 2016

Mark Roberts is a Sydney poet. He edits Rochford Street Review. His latest collection, "Concrete Flamingos" has just been released.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Poetry by Meredith Pitt

Through the Window
after Julia Darling

I shall heave up and nudge an extra pillow at my back,
enjoy the tea you left like a bloom beside me.

The pheasant and I will pick up our conversation
about the state of the garden as I spread

the sand of toast along the quilt dunes.  I will once
again marvel at your splayed camellias along the fence,

the blooms peeking through like neighbours while I
rest back against the headboard.  I am at last

ready to venture past the window and take lungfuls
of that crayon blue horizon.

- Meredith Pitt 2016

Meredith Pitt is a Sydney-sider who has recently completed a Masters in Psychotherapy following her interest in why we do what we do.  She has luxuriated in a poetry focus week at Varuna and been published in Meanjin.

Friday, July 15, 2016

New Poetry by James Walton

Ludwig’s Riff

Unlike my desk or room and bookcases
the garage is a mess that hides things.
The extra set of screw drivers
handles eaten by rats. That ball of twine,
now I have a baker’s dozen.
I never left the fencing pliers by the one inch
joiners in that box. Surely something else,
an incantation a spatial anomaly lingers.

Like the feeling when a song comes back
from where ever it’s been. Sound waves
catch in skin unaware with ankles tuning
in the foreshore. Played while doing the dishes,
out they go. Circling like birds of prey,
waiting for the side way look. Distraction
lets them in again, humming, mouthing words
lost until they re-admit themselves.

Though Beethoven’s hearing left before him
Moonlight Sonata roams the stars,
arcs of never received light race ahead of chatter
mixed with all the transmissions, the spilled tea
of radio plays, Lear in defiant wandering.
Somewhere a comet streak meanders over chords,
an intersect of time and space reconciled
by the first alert of introductory notes.

- James Walton 2016

James Walton lives in the Strzelecki Mountains in South Gippsland, Australia. He has been published in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers, and many journals and anthologies. He has been short listed twice for the ACU national Literature Prize, is a double prize winner in the MPU International Poetry Prize, and Specially Commended in The Welsh Poetry Competition.  His collection ‘The Leviathan’s Apprentice’ is available. He’s been a Librarian, bred Salers cattle, and was a public sector union official for many years.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

New Poetry by James Diaz

The Light Behind Our Eyes Is An Explosion

Are you on fire yet?
Do you know the way?
What is everyone waiting for?
Oh, that old song and dance
dressed for the occasional emergency
first bite 
of every inspired wound
how badly are you

this much?

my brother & I ate from the same table
but his name was always hiding itself
in the least likely of places
one underneath the welcome mat
another in a barrel of hay

late at night
when the highway groaned
we lit cigarettes and laughed
at the pain of our parents

nothing comes easy
soon we were the ones 
other people found funny

- James Diaz 2016

James Diaz lives in upstate New York. He is the founding editor of the literary arts journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared most recently in HIV Here & Now, Chronogram, Foliate Oak & Indiana Voice Journal.

Monday, July 04, 2016

New Poetry by John Sweet

song of the wounded horse

18 year old girl naked &
beautiful in the room at the end of
the hall and will you be the one
to tell her that christ is dead?
don’t just stand there
while the trailer begins to burn

don’t think you can ever stop a
war being fought for profit

the sink in the bathroom drips and
the children are hungry and
i am tired of being told to take
pity on the junkies

i am tired
40 year old ghost on the other end
of the phone tells me we had to
dig for seven hours to find
our daughter’s body and what can
you say to this?

the men out there die of AIDS
or they live forever

the women commit suicide

there is nothing you can build
from the bones of angels but
i collect them anyway and at night
if you’re quiet you can hear the
noise this house makes as
it pulls itself apart

in the morning you can walk
through the rubble of your past

feels like being lost except
that all of the pain is familiar

- John Sweet 2016

John Sweet sends greeting from the rural wastelands of upstate New York.  He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the need to continuously search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest collection is APPROXIMATE WILDERNESS (2016 Flutter Press).

Friday, July 01, 2016

New Poetry by Hugh McMillan

Towards the Sea

Where the burn joins the river
the language of water is verbs,
rushing from the hills and the fields
with the wind that breaks

the surface in flakes of glass
that mob and scatter like birds.
My daughter is often there:
for now, it is the boundary

of her empire. She sits for hours.
Sentences form, break apart,
and then move away always,
towards the sea.

- Hugh McMillan 2016

Hugh McMillan is a poet living in Galloway in south west Scotland.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Poetry by Abigail George


It is a weekend of ascension and seawater.
Your face still haunts me.
She shows her face and all I see is love.
The beacon of my heart
is governed by mysterious
drowning things. Even
her laughing, serious,
fighting, sonnet movements.
Once there was an Eastern
frontier at the Eastern Cape.
A Kat River Settlement. Khoi.
Four wars were fought there
between the Xhosa and the
settlers but that’s history.
Men were like twisting flame.
The sermon of the major
earth is serene now. It’s a
winter sky and a winter rain
that gathers overhead from
eternity to the hereafter. The

faded call of unsung sorrow.
You mum belong to a barefoot
people. The terror of the
Pacific when it comes to your
tribe of children. You taught
me to lead and not to follow.
You were the skilled expert
when it came to my rage. I
only have to say that I am hungry
and my mother feeds her cub.
The continuous noise inside
my head goes away but not the
memory of my mother’s forehead.
Her astonishingly beautiful
African violets. The scene of
luscious green grass from childhood
forgotten. Her face is still
hauntingly beautiful. You, who
taught me how to write about everything I know.
To see the world around me.

- Abigail George 2016

Abigail George briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. Some of her poems have appeared in and are  forthcoming from Birds Piled Loosely, Hamilton Stone Review, Literary Orphans, The Writing Disorder, Toad Suck Review, Vigil Pub Mag. Some of her stories have appeared in and are forthcoming in Spontaneity, Hackwriters Magazine, Ovi Magazine: Finland’s English Online Magazine, and She is the recipient of grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, Centre for the Book in Cape Town, and ECPACC (Eastern Cape Provincial Arts .

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New Poetry by Jane Frank


All this time later, I still hear the screams
of a lizard flailing in the clutches

of a brahminy kite, cliff height
above the clear stretch of ocean,

a metaphor for that day, I’ve since thought:
too hard to converse, too many tests

set for me to fail between bites of Roquefort
cheese and bread you fed me, a gentleness

that cajoled me into thinking in third
person of a picnic in a painting with a soft

winter sky. It still bothers me that the kite
kept flying so remorselessly over the sea.

Where the Wild Things Are

From Brown Dog Café
I can see cranes
sculpting the skyline
into something I won’t know

and I move beyond sadness,
try instead to shelter
in the neon jolt of laces
on the retro, sideburned man

eating salmon and dill crème
fraiche on toast at the table
next door, the pair of peewits
circling the telegraph pole

beside the nondescript street,
the pleasant numbing of my teeth
on a triangular shard of ice
and abstract patterns of titian

light vibrating on fig leaves,
the sensation of my back
touching the wall – acceptance,
without turning my head,

that it is stark and white,
emblazoned with a drawing
in clear black ink of the Wild
Things boy chasing a brown dog. 

- Jane Frank 2016

Jane Frank lives and writes in Brisbane. Her chapbook Milky Way of Words has just been published by Ginninderra Press. She has poems forthcoming in Antipodes, Cordite Poetry Review and takahē.  

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Poetry by Michele Seminara

Bow and Scrape 

How freeing, to bow out; there's wisdom in it. 
Mind's tumescence halted. 
What's twisted in you 
no longer twisting 
in me. 

Silence is best. 
Stillness. Trying not
to put a word wrong. 
(I speak so circumspectly 
these days even the dog won't come!)

Enough. Just keep going.
(But let's admit it's not much fun.)


I close the blinds to block out probing eyes.
The roses on the window sill
                                         still flame against the sky.
Darkness crawls out early    from the rain.
A stranger calls    to check    that I'm alive.

The Fall

One day I shall fall
down those stairs
and it will be 
a release.

I fall 
I must surely recall 
my children and feel ashamed. 

The fall will create an elongation
in time, a lacuna for recapitulation.
And nothing will flash before my eyes—
Nothing. Only darkness; easeful darkness. 

- Michele Seminara 2016

Michele Seminara is a Sydney poet and chief editor of Verity La.