Saturday, September 19, 2020

New Poetry by Yash Seyedbagheri


Autumn Evening

clouds puff with pink and white linings
across a pale blue dreamscape
shadows spill over country roads
long and deep
where trucks no longer sputter and roar
with exhaust and frenetic energy
and cracked laughter cackles
Bushes burst with gold and flame
Ponderosa and aspens sway
hundreds of needles and tender little leaves
the wind whispers her breathless hush
a butter-colored light flicks on through the pines
the crickets begin to call
frogs join the chorus
shadows deepen and shimmer

- © Yash Seyedbagheri 2020

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA program in fiction. His story, "Soon," was nominated for a Pushcart. Yash has also had work nominated for Best of the Net and The Best Small Fictions. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, CafĂ© Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others


Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Monday, September 07, 2020

New Poetry by Paul Tanner

woe, yay!

this poem is about depression
so you better publish it.

this poem is hashtags 
and well-meaning ones at that:
it’s #depression
and #mentalhealth 
and you don’t want to miss out, do you?

never mind it’s not very good:
it can’t NOT be good
because it’s about mental health.

never mind you don’t like it:
you can’t NOT like it,
otherwise you’re prejudiced 
against mental health.  

never mind you don’t like me:
you can’t NOT like me 
because I write about mental health.

if you don’t publish this poem
I’ll have to write another poem 
about your intolerance 
and everyone will back me up
because they don’t want to be seen 
as intolerant either

so publish me
or else.

publish me 
for both our sakes:

the awards  
and rave reviews 
and royalties 
will really help

with my depression. 

- © Paul Tanner 2020

Paul has been hounding independent magazines for many years. His latest collection, “Shop Talk: Poems for Shop Workers”, is published by Penniless Press. 

Sunday, September 06, 2020

New Poetry by Karen May


Rinpoche clears his throat
sips his tea
presses the left side
of his nose
shuffles pages – English
over Tibetan
over Sanskrit –
settles a buttock
offers a sonorous prayer
and launches.

Two hours later
– slowly releasing pressure
and forgoing altitude –
his hermeneutic
time and space travelling

- © Karen May 2020

Karen May’s poetry has been published by Bluepepper, Cicerone Journal and Poetry d’Amour 2020 anthology. She is a climate and ecological activist and artist, and lives in Ngunnawal Country.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

New Poetry by Jillian Smith


I dream of a wing
blood-colored and trembling.

It glistens, spit-thin,
unattached to body or being,

riding the air without singing,
carrying without lifting.

From a tangle of cloud, 
it jostles to be free.

A fragment in space,
it seeks wholeness in others,

reminded by itself
of what it cannot be. 

- © Jillian Smith 2020

Jillian Smith is a writer living in Atlanta, GA. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Poetry at Georgia State University. Jill's poetry has been featured in SOFTBLOW Poetry Journal, Anderbo, Bluestem Magazine, and Barking Sycamores. Originally from outside Philadelphia, Jill got her BA in English from Penn State University and her MFA in Fiction from Florida State University. She recently got married, welcomed two cats into her family, and moved into her first home.

Monday, August 31, 2020

New Poetry by Dan Raphael

Blank Slate      Blank Clock

As if a satellite in an invisible sky
observing from another time
oxygen slowly evolving
a quantum sunrise
before we can duck or get on the freeway
negotiating the tide, setting the moon free
when people without worry or clockwork
with an appetite for other light, drunken sun
regular as dogs needing attention
a drummer with more hearts than hands

We learned to make light with heat an unexpected by-product
soon as trees got dead enough
the story of an erupting volcano handed down like a zen koan
i only let this stream step on me once
that spring the soupweed didn’t grow
we learned to eat coyotes so more rabbits for us

When we realized the mountain had another side
a splash    a stain    scars without wounds
bruises without falls or collision 
talking with someone who knew my great great grandmother
figures in moist smoke
a deer turned inside out
a rock with my face in it

- © Dan Raphael 2020

Dan Raphael's poetry collection Moving with Every was published this June by Flowstone Press. More recent poems appear in Caliban, Unlikely Stories, Pangolin, Mad Swirl and Rabid Oak. Most Wednesdays Dan writes and records a current event poem for the KBOO Evening News

Friday, August 21, 2020

New Poetry by Les Wicks

Harbour Town 

In this season I can only aspire to make trouble. 
Wearing all my clearance clothes 
I loiter at this bum-hole of winter 
await any ending. 
Constantly constant this 
isn’t peace or retreat, just almost. 

Wind rifles up the coast 
an indigenous flag falters  
beside an invader’s tomb of frigid marble. 
The decommissioned sun joins the other homeless drifters. 

Then September is ablaze. 
Down on the docks trouble is brewing tea. 
The union refuses to concede 
while I sail by in my excuse thimble 
& count money. 

This drags on as all things do 
the season rots the fingers… 
they’d held on through nasty months,  
now to compost beside 
eucalypt leaves & nest-fallen chicks. 

City beaches abrade our pert decisions. 
Drinking all the salt we craze about in lethargic elegance 
until the drum solo  
when DNA wakes the lovers up to tweak & rustle. 
Silver eyes watch, reflect on water. 

- © Les Wicks 2020

Les Wicks is a Sydney poet.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

New Poetry by Jane Downing

Black Forest

The road is lined with
carnivorous trees
the kind that beckon you
in deeper
amongst their kin
promising fairy tales
delivering nightmares

It rides the line
through the forest up
onto a snowy ridge, a ramping
sweep around a bend
beyond the reach of witches

Where you are in full view
of the horizon

Those who go into the forest
seldom come out
the Grimm heroines who
may or may not be content
with their rewards – us
parked with other metal steeds
on the gravel drive
engines ticking down
to rest

Let loose from the car
the curse is put on ice

Gluhwein is served in mugs
thrown on a potter’s wheel
It warms welcome
hints at cloves
a smell memory of kretek
cigarettes there’s no time to

- © Jane Downing 2020

Jane Downing has poems published around Australia including in Cordite, Rabbit, The Canberra Times, Eureka Street and Best Australian Poems (2004 & 2015). A collection, ‘When Figs Fly,’ was published by Close-Up Books in 2019. She can be found at

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

New Poetry by Andrew Leggett

For Joseph Coleman, 1810-1833

As the sun goes behind the hill above Glebe Gully,
I think of you, Joseph and wonder, where did you go,
after they hanged you by the neck at Old Banks 
on the Paterson River? Are you here, at Maitland, 
under this ground, where they dumped the remains
of convicts in anonymous holes—no more dishonour 
for you than Greenway, the forger, whose best
designs would not spare this plot, where he came 
through cholera, five years after you? He dissolved 
in your mould, that of you and your neighbours, 
whose bones were scattered and mingled with others 
as earth shifted with the Hunter’s quakes and floods.
Whether your bones lie in this ground, or not,
has your spirit flown past the sun, back to London? 

Did your brother know? Did Townshend send Henry
from Gresford that day, to stand with the chaplain 
and ask would he write something home to your mother?
Did Henry speak regret for the way he taught you
to pick a gent’s pocket and he’d always remember
you held him and fed him when taken with fever
during the lay-up when the ship drove to Spithead
before that long journey on the Marquis of Huntley?
Did they send Edward Cory to let you say sorry
you lifted that shovel to strike his head and to pray
for forgiveness, (though I’ve read that you said
you’d sooner hang than work for him another day)?
And when it was done and you were dead, did
Henry’s tears wash before they took you away?

- © Andrew Leggett 2020

Andrew Leggett is an author and editor of poetry, fiction, song lyrics and interdisciplinary academic papers. Andrew has resided at various places in three Australian states, but now lives at Port Macquarie, New South Wales, with his wife, Linda Kaarina. They collaborate musically to record as the Blood Moon Wailers. Andrew’s writing is widely published in Australia and internationally. In addition to medical degrees and postgraduate qualifications in psychiatry and psychotherapy, he holds a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Queensland and a PhD from Griffith University. His two previously published collections of poetry Old Time Religion and Other Poems (1998) and Dark Husk of Beauty (2006) were published by Interactive Press. He was editor of the Australasian Journal of Psychotherapy from 2006-2011. He is the current prose editor for StylusLit.

Monday, August 17, 2020

New Poetry by C S Hughes

Aberdeen Street

On Aberdeen street
   the steps go up
       and back in time
                      steep work
                              for a man
           with a knotwood walking stick
      snail-bent and watching
the calligraphy of foot-worn stone

                  In the morning dark
a cat shape disappears
                    a sawtooth fear
                          leaves wittering
       a whine in the ears
               a shadow sinters
as quickly gone

                  words muttering
a shawl of beetled wings
       stretched against the burgeoning resistance
  of day’s upward climb
            they take a stymied flight

           You sour apples
                      he says to her
   all crowcraw bright
             forgetting she is gone and bittersweet
       as burnt sugar and cinnamon

        She swallows proffered morsels
                      head tossed back
  then bird-replies, replete

                   You know a crow
    is just a songbird
            if you listen past the laughter
with a broken heart

- © C S Hughes 2020

C S Hughes grew up by Sydney’s beaches, and Tamworth’s cattle yards. He attended schools for a penance, was duly martyred. He worked for a short while, selling books and spices, hit several roads quite hard, dropped out of numerous institutions, got lost inside a book, occasionally emerges to write a poem or photograph long past days. He now lives with a cat and an historian in south east Gippsland, Victoria, where he sometimes publishes books, but mostly just watches how the green green hills mirror jealously passing clouds.

New Poetry by Linda Sacco


In the pursuit of the sun, the moon and the stars, I took a magnifying glass. 
For so long, you went about your day, unaware of my warm gaze. 
Seasons changed, and like a tree losing its leaves in autumn, I got to know your colours.
Wind took the pieces, casualties of nature, and blew them out of my reach, 
rendering you bare and cold. 
No matter which angle I tried with my magnifying glass,
I was camouflaged between the distractions of the day,
the regrets of yesterday and the promise of tomorrow.
Finally, like a soldier without a commander,
my volcanic temper erupted, cooled to melted rock, and never reached you.
I remained camouflaged. 

- © Linda Sacco 2020

Linda Sacco is a teacher and writer living in Melbourne, Australia. Her qualifications include Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing) from Victoria University and Master of Teaching (Primary) from The University of Melbourne. Her poetry has been published in Poetry Quarterly, Dual Coast Magazine, Three Line Poetry, Inwood Indiana, 50 Haikus, Haiku Journal, Tanka Journal, Track + Signal Magazine and Dead Snakes. She is the author of the Which Is Your Perfect Pet? ebook series with titles on Dog Breeds, Designer Dogs, Cat Breeds and Birds.