Saturday, January 19, 2019

New Poetry by Karen May

Dreaming in Music

I wake sometimes
to a dream of music
the notes play
and laugh in the dark

and just for a moment
let themselves be read
like clear and shining words
lined up along the stave 

like the sudden illumination
of a foreign tongue.
But then the score elides
and their keening begins.

What is it that they grieve
as I drift between
the land of words
and music’s seas? 

Do they sing
elegies for wisdom
laments for learning
a grim coda to virtuosity? 

Do they cry
of the blue dance of the depths
stilled, last chords 
fading, words failing? 

Do they sing and sing
of all the light
that might have been.

- Karen May 2019

Karen May writes poetry, sometimes combined with art practice. She grew up in remote areas of Australia and has worked in universities, NGOs and Canadian foreign affairs. For a long while now she has lived in the Southern Tablelands and Canberra. 

Monday, December 31, 2018

New Poetry by Abigail George

The education of stars in outer space

(for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

Encountering the words of an artist.
Words the dreams of an artist. The
marvelous substance of the shine of a
meteor is stuck there unparalleled. It
is like the education of stars colliding
in the inheritance of outer space. The Nobel
prize does not mean he is far superior.
It means he is a teacher. We are two
writers. Two winters. He is older. I am

younger than he is. The lessons that
I am learning from him is not lost on
me. This meeting point of two strangers.
In dreams trees can grow out of sidewalks
without any water. Johannesburg is not
as ancient as the fields are in London.
We are two writers. It does not matter
where we find ourselves. Or our winters.

- Abigail George 2018

Pushcart Prize nominated for her fiction “Wash Away My Sins” Abigail George is a South African-based blogger at Goodreads (link on Piker Press), essayist, poet, playwright, grant, novella and short story writer. She briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. She is the recipient of writing grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, the Centre for the Book in Cape Town and ECPACC (Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council) in East London. Her writing has appeared numerous times in print in South Africa, in various anthologies, and online in e-zines based across Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, and the United States. She is the writer of eight books including essays, life writing, memoir pieces, novellas, poetry and a self-published story collection. She lives, works, and is inspired by the people and mountains of the Eastern Cape of Southern Africa.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Bluepepper would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers and contributors a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous 2019.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

New Poetry by Guy Farmer

At Home

Anytime she meets
Someone in public,
She’s quick to smile
And assure them
That everything is
All right.

Her eyes dart around,
Worried that someone
Will see the secret
She thinks she’s hiding
But is abundantly apparent
To everyone else.

He awaits at home,
Permeated with
Unresolved anger,
Pacing back and forth,
A sordid creature
Guarding its lair.

- Guy Farmer 2018

Guy Farmer writes evocative, minimalist, modern poetry about the human condition. Visit him online at 

Friday, December 07, 2018

New Poetry by Michael Keshigian

The Projector

Upon the old film projector
a few revolutions remain,
moaning as it casts
paltry images of black and white
upon the portable screen,
enabling us to visit a bygone era.
Rapt, we stare at the curdled frames
of lost memories, departed parents
and us, their offspring,
squinting at our younger selves,
we frolic under the glow 
of ancient lights,
carefree lunges beneath 
the cold water sprinkler
that emanated from rusty faucets
attached to a three-decker abode,
the summers unfaltering,
we gathered, smaller, more flexible,
clowning, our parents, so young, 
no wrinkles, more hair,
all of us summoned
for a group pose 
by the off-screen director.
How silently time runs its course,
with strange, peculiar hints
if the changes are noted.
We yearn to climb back,
recapture innocence and joyfulness
the calm, silver light exudes.
Then it ends, the old reel flapping,
the brief nostalgic rekindling
has also run its course.

- Michael Keshigian 2018

Michael Keshigian, from New Hampshire, has been published in numerous national and international journals, recently including Aji, San Pedro River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Muddy River Review, Passager and has appeared as feature writer in over a twenty publications with 6 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations (

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

New Poetry by John Rock

In Reply To Autumn

  I know what you’re telling me:
  that there’s only listening
  that if I close my eyes these colors
     are so close to what I see
           like a coral reef
                                   of lichen so blue
                                   and changeable just enough
      to know that something has happened
                           summer’s possession
   like leaves’ fingers falling on dawn’s keys
             cars full of hung-over people returning to the cities piled on the horizon
                   beaches laced with char
                           washed up from a fire on an even more northern shore
                            raven stepping among the necklace
                                  looking for things to eat
                                                        among the jewels of fallen fire
                    all living from fires even more northern than America

- John Rock 2018

John Rock grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in the United States and spent many years on the shores of Lake Superior working on poetry.  He presently lives in northern New Mexico where he's in love with attempting to transcribe the wind and moonlight in the pines.  And the ravens soaring above them.  More poetry and novels at

Sunday, December 02, 2018

New Poetry by Jonathan Beale


Beneath It’s mauve tangerine evening 
pained immortal against the blue 
Cast from mother earth’s essential 
Being – to seeing where the… edge 
Meets – here is where the avenues 
and not the streets weave
among the myriad of green
against the fir trees vengeance 
and the hopeful cherry tree spring 
too far way, as this time consumes us.

- Jonathan Beale 2018

Jonathan Beale is published in 50 plus journals including Mad Swirl, Danse Macabre, Aaduna, Your One Phone Call and The Screech Owl et al. He has a volume published by Hammer and Anvil The Destinations of Raxiera, and is published in The Poet as a Sociopath and Drowning published by Down in the Dirt. He lives in Surrey.  

Saturday, December 01, 2018

New Poetry by Glenn Ingersoll

two too neutral

I like to imagine myself healthy and beautiful.
Also, with a chihuahua.
He raises his head from the carpet to look at me.
Our bodies organize themselves.

It’s cold. Three prongs of antelope horn.
Water’s antecedents.
A man I once knew is taller than I knew.
It breaks out of the carapace all squishy-squashy.

Physical violence in response to moral indignation.
I would purr, too, if I were you and in this situation.
The pearly button once closed which shirt?
Billions of solitary friends.

- Glenn Ingersoll 2018

Glenn Ingersoll works for the Berkeley Public Library (Berkeley, California) where he hosts Clearly Meant, a reading & interview series. He has two chapbooks, City Walks (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular). He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Recent work has appeared in Crack the Spine, Bridge 8, and Askew. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

New Poetry by Linda Stevenson

Subtle Gardening

Whipper snipper and spread soil;
there’s a clumsy green thing
needs putting away, falls
down at the slightest.
We need to be delicate
and gradual
in our enterprise. Only a girl
can work with me on this block,
caring more for feelings
than results.

You could dig out a few more
dandelions, plant
native violets. It’s not really
a rockery, not
fully indigenous,
not planning for a lawn.
I like the dead leaves,
mulch and covering.

It will be hot and tomorrow
also. I’ll be watering early.
It’s the understandings,
the understatement,
the tiny, hardly visible,
we’ll achieve;
not even sure if they will
for any time at all.

- Linda Stevenson 2018

Linda is a founding member of Melbourne Poets Union, facilitator of poetry groups in gaols and community centres, contributor to anthologies, recently published in various literary magazines. Her chapbook, "The Tipping Point", was published in 2015.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

New Poetry by James Walton

an absence of Giotto

in the damper sand
a streamer of sea weed
like an arrow at the bullseye


curled as it is
by a one-way wind
its mystery of being


the odds beyond reckoning
a circle for employment
its circumference deep enough


until the tide reclaims
places beyond the living
of each day and night again

- James Walton 2018

James Walton lives in South Gippsland. He was a librarian, a farm labourer, a cattle breeder, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many newspapers, journals, and anthologies, and has been shortlisted for the ACU Prize, the MPU International Prize, the James Tate Prize, and Jupiter Artland. His books include The Leviathan's Apprentice  2015, Walking Through Fences 2018, and Unstill Mosaics (forthcoming).