Tuesday, October 04, 2022

New Poetry by Malak Nicholas H.

son, are you okay?

You had blood in your hair,
when I met you, you had
broken teeth and your skin
was scorn, full of scars and
small lesions, you spat out
blood and you greeted me,
as if nothing was going on,
as if it didn’t look like you
were close to giving up the
ghost, close to dropping dead.

- © Malak Nicholas H. 2022

Malak Nicholas H. is a writer currently in Europe. He’s a teenager, a middle eastern queer person, but also so much more. And first of all, he is a human who writes about being out of the gender binary & the mental issues he’s been through.

Monday, October 03, 2022

New Poetry by Fotoula Reynolds


Sometimes life feels like
The tiny artful twists of a bonsai
Choreographing me to the places
I am meant to be

With full authority
Rising, climbing the air
Like the sunflower that I am
Mysterious and becoming
Dancing into destiny

Feeling safe and hidden
Behind a weeping willow’s
Curtain-like branches, I’m moved
To beyond all that I know

Treading lightly on seeds
That are September-gold
I navigate a spider web thread
And see the pattern within
Emotion-weave into my soul

On a path of unendingness
My heart travels a landscape
Through butterfly-eyes
I breathe a clean language

On the rotating weather wheel
I am further than middle age
I no longer follow a map and
I trust the season of change

- © Fotoula Reynolds 2022

Fotoula Reynolds is a writer of poetry, born in Australia of Greek heritage. She convenes a poetry group in her local community and regularly attends and participates in spoken word events in and around the city of Melbourne. She is the author of three poetry collections with her fourth due for release late October 2022 titled: Kairos. Fotoula is published widely in journals, reviews, anthologies and magazines and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Also by Fotoula Reynolds: The sanctuary of my garden (2018), Silhouettes (2019), Along the Macadam Road (2020)

Monday, September 26, 2022

New Poetry by Helga Kidder

Recipe for Confession

Kneeling behind a latticed screen, Saturdays you used to confess a teenage fire beginning to flame your belly, tonguing the tips of your fingers and toes. You didn’t know yourself anymore as the fire took over your neighborhood, street by street, you couldn’t extinguish. Each house was threatened as you kindled the fire with twigs and branches you found behind sheds and in dark corners, ate an apple a day to keep temptation away.  You looked in your mother’s cookbook for help.  All the recipes required ingredients you didn’t have or want. The priest had no other solution for your affliction but to tell you, Say ten Hail Mary’s and hope for the best.  Of course, as each house burned, the town shrank.  You left it one morning when you saw on the horizon the sun’s bliss, glittering your needs, the last notes of your song yet unsung.

- © Helga Kidder 2022

Helga Kidder lives in the Tennessee hills where poems find her early mornings where the red bird waits for special seeds, where flowers beg to be watered, where she listens and watches critters slip in and out of liriope.  She has five collections of poetry, Wild Plums, Luckier than the Stars, Blackberry Winter, Loving the Dead which won the Blue Light Press Book Award 2020, and Learning Curve – poems about immigration and assimilation.


Sunday, September 25, 2022

New Poetry by Caroline Reid

After Normanville

in baking January
our skin sweats
maraschino cherries

traces of last year drip
from creases
of tired vocal folds

a squawking flock
of sulphur-crested
cockatoos sail in

batter the air, land
on salmon gums
mollusc tongues carving

syllables out of blue
blue sky
time draws light long

and peachy-blush as if
time is having an affair
with the soft slumbering hills

of the headland and
the world is not turning
a darker axis

little blue wren
in the crackling garden
red-breasted robin

in the knocking pines, why
is coming back from a place
so like never having gone

- © Caroline Reid 2022

Caroline Reid is a plural poet who has twice represented South Australia in the Australian Poetry Slam. She recorded her debut collection SIARAD (ES-press 2020) as an audiobook, adapted it for stage and performs it as a spoken word show, most recently at the Red Dirt Poetry Festival in Alice Springs. Caroline collaborates with film-makers to make video poems which have screened in international festivals. She won the 2021 Mslexia International Poetry Prize for Women.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

New Poetry by Vern Fein

Lincoln Laughed First

Particularly memorable were his words to a young woman whose deep interest in a hospitalised soldier led her to press the question: 
“Where were you wounded?” 
The infantryman, who had been shot through the testicles, repeatedly deflected her inquiry with the answer: “At Antietam.”
 After she asked the president to assist her, Lincoln talked privately with the soldier and then took the young woman’s hands in his own, explaining:
 “My dear girl, the ball that hit him, would have missed you.”

An august occasion—
the Cabinet tense 
like Civil War soldiers 
hidden behind trees
waiting for a life or death volley.

But Lincoln did not 
spread out the scroll
of the Emancipation Proclamation
as the room expected.

Instead, that oak-tree, strong man
took a news article from his pocket
and began to read Artemus Ward,
a humor writer from Cleveland 
who made Lincoln laugh
though slavery was not funny at all.

He knew it and steely-eyed 
stared down the grimaces and grunts
in that room and this bumpkin president
read an article he found funny
about a hayseed performer bashing
in the head of a Judas figurine
at a carnival show. 

Lincoln, notorious for telling jokes,
laughed first and told
the disapproving eyes 
if he did not laugh 
before he pronounced,
he would die
and that they needed
the same medicine 
as much as he did.

Then he ended slavery
in the rebel states,
which was no laughing matter. 

- © Vern Fein 2022

A retired special education teacher, Vern Fein has published over two hundred poems on over ninety different sites, a few being: *82 Review, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Courtship of Winds, Young Raven's Review, Blue Pepper,  Monterey Poetry Review, and Green Silk Review. His first poetry book—I WAS YOUNG AND THOUGHT IT WOULD CHANGE—was published by Cyberwit Press. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

New Poetry by David Dumouriez

I saw this bloke at the bus stop who 

I saw this bloke at the bus stop
who looked like Warren Oates.
Collar-heavy shirt in powder blue,
hair slight and crossing east-to-west,
and not the closest kinship with his razor.
But it was the shades -
retro, brown, too big -
that magicked up the era.
Didn’t hear him laugh - that would
have been the clincher - but he’d not
have been disgraced beside a Fonda,
Jack, or Hopper. Quite what the value is 
to be a Warren Number Two, don’t know.
For it’s not the look that makes the man,
but the man that makes the look.
     In the graveyard.
                With a head.
A battered Prince of Seediness, undead.

- © David Dumouriez 2022

David Dumouriez once won a poetry competition by accident and the memory of it still haunts him. His hobbies include cricket, horology, and finding new ways to avoid talking about himself.

Monday, September 12, 2022

New Poetry by KB Ballentine

Winter Triptych


Wind rushes the house,
   growls around corners,
doesn’t rest though night
   has tumbled in. Lights
blinking, we wait
   for the blizzard, hoping
the logs, the candles will last.


   Snow and light sculpt
the yard. A background,
   a page fresh and new.
No fussing gusts, only the chimes
   furred and frozen, oak and cedar
accepting the ephemeral. Ice
   crystals rising inside our breaths.


Slipping on re-frozen tire tracks,
   slush shifting gritty and gray,
I watch blue skies, meager sun
   re-form the layers: top crust cracking
into dirt or gravel, asphalt slick –
   stiff fingers, runny noses tricking
our memories. Forgetting wonder.

- © KB Ballentine 2022

KB Ballentine’s seventh collection, Edge of the Echo, launched in 2021 with Iris Press. Her earlier books can be found with Blue Light Press, Middle Creek Publishing, and Celtic Cat Publishing. Published in North Dakota Quarterly, Atlanta Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, and others, her work also appears in anthologies including I Heard a Cardinal Sing (2022), The Strategic Poet (2021), Pandemic Evolution (2021), and Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace (2017). Learn more at www.kbballentine.com.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

New Poetry by Benjamin Fox

So Cliché 

Our earth circled sun appeared 
in the west this morning.

Everything under it was old.

- © Benjamin Fox 2022

Benjamin Fox is fifty. He’s had by a compromising wife and three tall children. Ben struggles while smiling in Salt Lake City, Utah. He does not buy into the predominant church or their politics, but strives daily to be a gentle and good force in the world. Ben is full of wonder and seeks after kindness.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

New Poetry by DS Maolalai

How to be funny 

- for Michelle 

I can't help it – I say things 
that are needlessly, 
thoughtlessly cruel. I'm sometimes 
a snob, and I sometimes think how  
to be funny is by telling people  
they aren't clever  
in ways they won't notice, 
or not right away. in work  
there's this girl – we get on 
but I talk her down often, 
as if we weren't exactly  
the same sort of fool – both  
answering emails and phones 
to be snarled at by strangers eight 
hours each day. but she gets in a bother  
(she cares about people) 
and I can't help then  
but laugh, because I do  
less often than she. a poem like this 
will end generally  
with a pat little metaphor.  
I need more of an instinct 
for how to be kind.

- © DS Maolalai 2022

DS Maolalai has received eleven nominations for Best of the Net and seven for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in three collections, "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016), "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019) and “Noble Rot” (Turas Press, 2022) 

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

New Poetry by A.J. Huffman

The Propriety of Balance 

I am noble bird with self- 
made wings, stitched to a consciousness 
I cannot describe.  Together we are 
godly, ghost and galvanized grace 
erupting in moments of majestically 
released breath. 

- © A.J. Huffman

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has published 27 collections and chapbooks of poetry.  In addition, she has published her work in numerous national and international literary journals.  She is currently the editor for Kind of a Hurricane Press literary journals ( www.kindofahurricanepress.com ).