Wednesday, October 17, 2018

New Poetry by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

A Better Catch

The seventy-year-old house
has its charm, well, it doesn’t.
It is the only house I know
where I can find my space.

I have no idea how long I will
remain here. I surmise forever.
It’s hard to meet someone.  It
is far from confounding.  I know

I am not some great prize.
A thief or a fish is a better catch.

I lay in solitudes and I listen
to the train’s whistle late at night.
I never lose sleep in the old house.

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal 2018

Luis, born in Mexico, lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press. His latest chapbook, Make the Light Mine, was published by Kendra Steiner Editions. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming from Ink Sweat & Tears, Poppy Road Review, and The Stray Branch.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

New Poetry by Laurinda Lind

En Plein Air

I've taken my class outside
so they can write paragraphs
about any damn thing instead
of staying squeezed between walls
which they will do soon enough
once snow starts. Up north here
when the freeze falls we don't 
get up from under it for weeks 
and months of our lives in our 
winter suits that look like us but 

are our cold-weather aunties 
and uncles. Now, while they 
are still their own nieces and 
nephews, they hand me their essays
instead of waiting till Tuesday

since they were so happy out 
in the air. Fifteen minutes we 
were alive in the breeze and sun. 
Five days from now we'll all be 
dead, but the dead are different 
relatives, just our DNA gone 
underground a while or for 
the weekend, which is exactly 
the way we will play it
tied inside on Tuesday.

- Laurinda Lind 2018

Laurinda Lind lives in New York's North Country, near Canada. Some poetry acceptances/ publications have been in Another Chicago Magazine, Antiphon, Antithesis, Comstock Review, Paterson Literary Review, Sonic Boom, and Stand; also anthologies Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan (New Rivers Press) and AFTERMATH: Expressions of Loss and Grief (Radix Media). In 2018, she won first-place awards for the Keats-Shelley Prize for adult poetry and the New York State poetry competition. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

New Poetry by Peter Donnelly

Slip Rates


Big economy of mind and spirit.

The world economy's figurations bottom
Out of themselves;

The ripple-effects in the markets
Through display units;

Exchange rates 
Slip like tectonic plates. 



In the oracular opening in Greenspan's vision,
Access to the touchstone,
His touch sibylline or golden.

Tenuous stagflation welters in the ether; 
Bespoke oblations to figures.


Big economy of mind and spirit,
A god that feeds off belief, and aggresses that feeding:
The money is digesting itself.

Communications trade,
Commodity of metaphor. 

- Peter Donnelly 2018

Born in Dublin in 1988, Peter Donnelly’s first collection, Photons, was published by Appello Press in 2014. Following its publication, playwright Frank McGuinness commented that "Peter Donnelly already shows he has a strong imagination; indeed, a savage one presents itself on occasion when the beautiful and brutal confront and confound each other." 

His second collection will be published by Smokestack Books.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

New Poetry by Linda Stevenson

More About the War Years

1. Black Swans

irritation/nothing disastrous
only lies and offal/sandpapers
worry to death/scratching/
pat all smooth to a swansdown/song
( I’ve studied worse contraptions )
my bed crashed lopsided more than once/
accidents on purpose/meant
I’m hiding/pretending not to have soldiered on
in toddler’s uniform/snorting derision/
after tea the oranges/sour green grapes
settling in glass/mute resonance/
sepia of absent Daddy/we throw crust
into our lake/gobbled up/
we didn’t know it wasn’t good for the ducks.

2. Pineapple

the words under the words
key words waiting/wardrobes/
is it ok to put my poem into yours?
I’ve bent over backwards to enunciate
phrases with due emphasis/
help me here Mum or anyone/it seems
like only yesterday/and I’m still coughing
something up/swollen because
allergy to pineapples/trucked
down from Queensland/never seen
before/and after Hiroshima/
they’ve done it they’ve dropped
the bomb/in our kitchen/
stained golden fruit/and blooded.

3. He and She

she told me she brandished a gun/
challenged on my behalf/ and you know
what...i believe her/we may well be
of a bloodline on trial/and what now...
if I follow down to my own death
can I bleed out phials of liquid love
for a larger purpose? nothing new/
nothing to see here/it only hurts
when I breathe/at least back then
the headline spat in your eye/
column by column of dark cuneiform/
high significance/so he taught me
how to decipher at a young age/
front page said the war was won.

- Linda Stevenson 2018

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. Chapbook "The Tipping Point" published in 2015, active as a poet within the online poetry sector.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

New Poetry by Angelene Karas

Hyperion’s arms

Old myths have dominion over life choices.

darkness can be overcome
with the stealth of light 
but healing forces abandon me.

cascading from the darkness of the past.
I fall into Hyperion’s arms
reciting an incantation for another God.

Charon greets me in the next life.
I flick the coin rested upon
lifeless eyes in his direction.

- Angelene Karas 2018

Angelene Karas is a Greek-Australian poet who also teaches. Words can lie dormant in her mind, but when they are ready to come forth, they are explosive. Her work has been previously published in the WSUP, The Wild Goose e-Literary Magazine, Verity La and The Disappearing. She was a runner up prize recipient for the Roaming Rainbow Writing Competition in 2017.

Monday, September 17, 2018

New Images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

- Wayne H. W Wolfson 2018

- Wayne H. W Wolfson 2018

Just click here to visit Wayne's site

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Vale Ramon Loyola

Ramon Loyola, 1967-2018

It is with a heavy heart that Bluepepper must report the passing of Ramon Loyola, poet and editor, of a brain aneurysm earlier in the week. Ramon was not only a talented poet and a conscientious editor, but a kind and generous man whose presence will be sorely missed on the Sydney poetry circuit. Rest easy brother.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

New Poetry by James Walton

Do whales think in blue

Then I touched the wetted skin
fletching thoughts
the pod’s skittish deference
a line of sight

If I’d said I loved you
there where ancient sands
kissed at my toes
like keys through ribbon to paper

Or the taste of shortbread
a slow melt of lemon myrtle
old mills in renovation
a scalloped turn of edges

We pushed the clumsy calf 
shoving with our backs 
until the sea opened its palms
in sudden rolling eptitude

There was nothing left to be
our feet squeaked on the beach
laughing with our sonar code
we shook hands with the sun.

- James Walton 2018

James Walton was a librarian, a cattle breeder, a farm labourer, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many journals, newspapers, and anthologies. He lives in the old coal mining town of Wonthaggi in South Gippsland.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

New Fiction by Abigail George

Girl from Mars, or Postcards from far away

I stare at him from my desk. He wears thin shirts. He’s unmarried. He’s published a book for schoolchildren. All of these notes of information I store them up as I come to learn of them through rumours and schoolgirl gossip as I do my secret love for my English-English teacher. He takes the bus and every day he can be found in a thin stream of schoolchildren walking from school to the centre of town, construction all-around of a parking lot. His fingers are the fingers on a guitar. So, his words become my words. Everything about him is electric. Remembering how futile everything seemed to be in the beginning when I had first found myself in this country. Swaziland.  How miserable and homesick I had been, it had all been worth it.

In my mind’s eye in the time he takes with the short story he reads aloud with expression and the questions he poses to different students, while he walks around the class I devour the characters and the lines of poetry he recites is like a flame. He constructs fire, cats, young love, symmetry, sleet beautifully. It is almost as if I can feel the young heroine’s passion. I am that young heroine cast aside in youth, that most high feeling not reciprocated, not given a chance to develop, transition into maturity. Secret love crushed, just a seductive experiment, a material concept for my wish-fulfilment ideals.

There are molecules in everything. Even in K.R.’s feats of pretty things he left behind when halfway through the school year he disappeared on me leaving all of us half-smitten schoolgirls with our skirts hiked up high, brushing against thigh, knees quite bare and long-sleeved white blouse, dark heads bowed over their readers, textbooks and binders behind. There was no warning that he would leave to teach at another school. So, it was something that took me by surprise when the new English teacher introduced himself. And I had to learn how to cope all over again.

Stars far off were whirling away at a swift glance with a pure, pale rush on this sleeping planet. Loss I learned bound you, the beautiful, the fragile and the rare and in the swan-like wonderland of this ancient countryside I remembered playing with dolls, the wounds children would leave behind that mushroomed, exploded like torture and that was slow to vanish. I melt into the river of darkness all around me in my dreams in this foreign country. (Swaziland is a swimming goddess on the end of my mother tongue, all I want to do is translate it), darkness like a decorative shroud covers me up from view until it seems I can hardly breathe but it is for my own good. It is to protect me from witches, vampires and werewolves, zombies and the apocalypse. No more Mr Smith to protect me.

The other learners are more unforgiveable yet less conniving and wild than other girls and boys I’ve come across. There was part of me that was scared of growing older, celebrating another birthday, going through with the ceremony of all of that. All my life I’ve been, well, frightened what other people would think of me. So, this is where my conversations with Buddha and God come in. I found in silence a song of love and the older I seemed to get the more that song seemed to give way to a theory of flight and I simply came alive to see what escape there was in it.

Like shooting stars falling from the night air’s skies orbit to the earth, they do not journey gently in dreams. Mr English, K.R. is still three suns exploding in my face and in his leave of absence I found that there could be a continual sense of healing found.  Healing multiplied in name, identity, space and peace of mind. When he was no longer there, I would pretend I was writing to him in class, that he would get my letter and that I could touch the fine-fine threads of his silver hair, trembling, that I could run my hands through it, through my fingers, pinch his unkempt hair. I would write to him in equations, promising solutions, graphs that could be negotiated, essays, assignments. I knew, I knew that no relationship would ever come of it.

I was still a relatively young girl on that stretch of open road reaching emotional maturity, a spiritual existence, a sense of my physical being and the sense of the more experienced, less giving world around her. And that I was as present as present was present. I did not yet know that as a woman I would-be capable of many wonderful things in my future. I did not know then that I would become a writer. That the wisdom I collected in youth would only be put to use later on in life. I had no idea that that high school stage would pass, like the age of 16. It was a world that I didn’t quite feel up to the challenge of taking head on, made up of chiefs and tribes of men that I didn’t feel I completely belonged to naturally.

K.R. made me wish to be united against this world with someone who could speak for me, protect me against the harsher, darker elements, harmful dimensions. Already I was depressed but I didn’t call it depression then. Then I called it ‘being quiet, being slow, soaking up the sun, sucking hollows into warm chocolate Easter eggs melting in my hands, dreaming of the syllables unfolding in my imagination of haiku. In Swaziland, everyone knew that I was weird-different and in accepting that I was different took the shape of the Nile.

- Abigail George 2018

Abigail is a poet and writer hailing from South Africa's Eastern Cape.

Monday, September 03, 2018

New Poetry by David Ades

The Reaper

The Reaper resents always being described as grim
though he keeps his resentment to himself. 

Who would he tell? 

He knows it is just one misrepresentation among many
and of lesser consequence than most.

He considers himself more the embodiment of whim,

sharpening his scythe with humour and irony,
approaching his task with the gaiety of fulfilment.

He is a master of levity after all

as the dearly departed rise around him
like a throng of balloons.

It is a wonder they don’t hear his chuckle

as he comes to them, his deep basso profundo
belly laugh endlessly mistaken for the roll of thunder

after the last lightning strike.

- David Ades 2018

David Ades is a Sydney poet, late of Pittsburgh via Adelaide, who has just returned from the Queensland Poetry Festival where he talked a year's worth of poetry.

Monday, August 20, 2018

New Poetry by Renwick Berchild

Love Doodle

In the evening she sketches me.
Throws down the lines of my body, shadows my contours,
builds my eyelids and knees. 

With looping rounds she mounds my breasts,
scoops my stomach, scratches
my scars in groups of three.

Twisting strokes, she mashes my hair,
presses my lips beneath my long nose, chases
down my back, molds my shoulders.

My feet she massages into being,
my head she mounts, my tongue she inserts,
she places each weathered finger on my stumps delicately. 

She flips the pages, and now
we are rolling, swimming nude and colliding,
rising out of a bed, beaching ourselves onto the moors.

The moors, she drew them.
And the moonlight she painted, and my gasps
she wrote in ink. 

Our love, printed on pages,
a charcoal colored heart rendered in the shape 
of birch leaves. 

- Renwick Berchild 2018

Renwick Berchild is an emerging poet. Her poems have appeared in Vita Brevis, The Stray Branch, The Machinery India, Lunaris Review, The Blue Nib, Slink Chunk Press, Streetcake Mag and other e-zines, anthologies, and journals. She was born and raised on the angry northern shores of Lake Superior, and now lives in a micro-apartment in Seattle, WA. You can find her work and additional links at 

Monday, August 13, 2018

New Poetry by Nadia Wolnisty

I Can't Wait for  a Lifetime of Vanilla Sex with You

Orchids are as delicate
as the testicles they are named after,
and I have murdered dozens.
Orchids, I mean.

The one I bought at a grocery store
and gave to you to say I'm sorry
blooms more every year. You said
you thought you killed it
by caring too much, but
it came back more verdant
last spring.

You spend your days
in a cubical, getting pastier,
but I think in another life,
you harvested vanilla.

Listen, vanilla grows
on orchids and blossoms
for a few days only each year.
Hundreds of years ago, a slave
engineered manual pollination
without the use of bees.

Farmers must watch closely
because there's a twelve hour window
to get it right. One hand is to open
the rostellum, another for the stigma.

I am a private person, in my own way,
and you more so. I'll just say this:
the things you can accomplish in your own
body with a patient help.

The farmers call this cultivation.
I call it making love.

- Nadia Wolnisty 2018

Nadia Wolnisty is the submissions editor of Her work has appeared in Spry, Apogee, Anti-Heroin Chic, *Isaucoustic, McNeese Review, Paper & Ink, and others. She has chapbooks from Cringe-Worthy Poetry Collective and from Finishing Line Press and a full-length from Spartan. Her third chapbook is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

New Poetry by James Diaz

From Shadows to Star Lines

then there's the ark i never had the wherewithal to build for you
and the rain that almost took us under
and the dark we lived in for so many years
it was underneath our fingernails 
and knotted in our hair
we were dripping with it

then there's the fact of you
the feel of you, all your broken weight
your coming through the longest tunnel 
in such a daze, oh, not one single board 
could have kept us afloat then

but now, why not now
are we done fighting the old us
the terrible us
can we be beautiful and in pain
isn't there a life in that, 
all that didn't kill us but tried so very hard
and in the end fucking failed, like we did
and will again and again,

then there's the fact that we don't know what to do with each other
with ourselves, the fact that we bleed longer than most
hit harder, ride farther, fight fuck and fall deeper 
than is survivable 

then there's the fact that I love you
love you love you love you
but cannot heal you

there's the fact that you already are and just don't know it yet

Oh what terribly true things we have to learn from the dark
how to dance as if our feet were our heart, our heat
our listening little wisdom tooth fierce and wanting 
and living it the only way we know how. Broken down. Hard. Intact. 

- James Diaz 2018

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger ( Indolent Books, 2018) and founding Editor of the Literary Arts & Music mag Anti-Heroin Chic. His work can be found in Occulum, Bone & Ink Press, Moonchild Magazine and Philosophical Idiot. He lives in upstate New York.   

Friday, August 03, 2018

New Poetry by Abigail George

The red-sparrow instinct of the phoenix

(For the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

    The wild can be savage. Forgive me.
    Forgive me. It is my lack of memory.
    The night. The night. Ghosts falling
    From the attic of my soul. Your mouth.
    Your eyes. You’re near and that is all
    That matters. Linger. Linger. Frame
    The depths of your heart. Sacrifice your
    Heart in your twenties. Give up those
    Ghosts but only if you want to. Only
    If you dare. Look at this verse. Read
    This and weep or laugh because this
    Is cupid-country. I only knew of liberty
    When you left you see. There was no
Other way to print the face of God on the grass that
    Just grows and birds that just fly away. A woman
    Loved is changed. I’m in the deep end
    Of the swimming pool again. A mermaid
    Numb to the bone with desire and winter-
    Mischief. I’m a hungry and thirsty traveler
    With my head in the kingdom of clouds.
    A tangled mermaid. Half-fish. Half-bone.

    Half-flesh not tasting of smoke or plume.
    I have few excellent friends that I write to.
It is the writing that is the great unknown. The song.
    The pizza is cold but I eat it anyway.
    Even depressed I would pray. Meditate.
    Sit in silence for hours on end in my
    Bedroom, and the wound would become
    A spell. The hospital bed would become
The source of that spell. I was sad then happy
    Then sad again but all this time I could
    Still write. I wrote for my Father who art
    In heaven and my biological father. I
    Wrote for my brother, and his son. My
    Mother and my sister. Your poetry is
    Made of concrete though. You’re priest,
    And curator. Prophet and husband. Father
    And poet. You’re brilliant with words, Joop
Bersee. I’m writing this for you. To you. Eating this
    Cold pizza was as depressing as the day.
    Near the city of Johannesburg there’s a
    Darkness there that’s the friend of sinners.

- Abigail George 2018

Abigail's book, "All About My Mother", is available for free download from Ovi Magazine's online bookstore.

Monday, July 23, 2018

New Poetry by Linda Stevenson

“About one microsecond before sleep falls”

A poet answers me thus,
speaking of grasping tulips/phrases
in those gravis, divided moments...
and I would add
a full blowzing moon
if you yank your window blinds
up, venting into darkness,
slipping in and out of the spotlight,
offering flowers in sacrifice.

He didn’t actually include tulips,
my poet friend. I wrote them in,
thinking of the red and orange ones
they brought me, my guests;
imagining Sylvia, in hospital,
writing of tulips, her clipped accent
muted by white paper, white nurses.

See how things connect, see how
our minds are not so separate,
see how half-acknowledged truths
prickle us, even at bus stops,
when the waiting becomes an ode,
a cry transposed to scribble,
a volume of old sighs,
a valediction.

- Linda Stevenson 2018

Linda is founding member of Melbourne Poets Union, facilitator of poetry groups in gaols and community centres, contributor to anthologies, recently published in various literary magazines. Chapbook "The Tipping Point" published in 2015. She is also active as a poet within the online poetry sector.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

New Poetry by James Walton

Converted Maternity Wing, Wonthaggi

I live in the old lay over ward

the infants’ windy smiles
fall out of the lining of night
a row of piano keys resting

whilst at the end of Campbell Street

the fishers 

pudgy fingers hands of bananas
are dragging lines for ocean trout

saltier from the desal plant

in water needed to flush rivers 
back to the sea

ankle deep a wading foreshore
my forehead is breezing 
             then a coal train
                  stalled in a tunnel

gaunt by steam whistle moves

birds beneath the netting
the quince unripe

dawn hooking silhouettes
chess with macadamias
leavened decades in covenant

away from the ticketed price
squirming and fearless
             layettes to dress
                  a value of things 
louder than the dormant blinding

- James Walton 2018

James Walton is a Gippsland poet.

Monday, July 16, 2018

New Poetry by Jim Conwell

In the Field

The oats are tall here. 
They stand up straight and dry, 
seeds hanging like fruit along their edges. 
The vast rustling forest of this field 
is full of bugs and hunting frogs, 
unaware of the reapers to come.

The land falls to the road and then lies flat to the vast horizon. 
And here, at the boundary of this small farm, 
the earth has been flattened
into a smooth hollow.
He has lain here on some moonless night.
His body, on this spot. I know it.

He is small, perhaps the size of five years, maybe seven. 
He is not dressed for this place or this climate. 
No-one has pulled a coat on him and roughly tugged the edges closed.
But he does not feel the cold, though the ground is cold and the air colder. 

And no one comes in the night 
though sometimes, he thinks he sees something travelling 
along the field’s edge 
and he makes himself smaller without moving.

- Jim Conwell 2018

Jim Conwell’s parents were economic migrants from the rural west of Ireland and he was born, and has lived most of this life, in various parts of London. He has worked as a psychotherapist for nearly 35 years and, in recent years, has dedicated real time to writing. He currently has had poems published in various magazines including Pushing Out the Boat, Shot Glass Journal, The Coffee House Anthology, The English Chicago Review, The Fenland Reed, The Frogmore Papers, He has had two poems shortlisted in the Bridport Poetry Prize. He is married to Annemarie van der Meer and they have eight grandchildren. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

New Poetry by Tug Dumbly

One Version of Les

What’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution 

– Constantine Cavafy

Your bullied childhood your moneymaker,
embunkered otherness a blanket 
burred about you by your beloved nanny 
Nurse Grievance, flopping out her trusty old dugs
to be suckled yet again, way beyond 
the age of consent, two frothing jugs, 
bile and honey, poison next to cure, 
one expressing a dairy of dissent, 
the other drugging away the pain. 

She soothes you to sleep with fairy tales,
fables grim to whet the spade, 
to dig the trench, to send periscopes
up all those sweaty academics  
and desperado intellectuals   
scoping you from their towers, 
all those elites howling for your scalp, 
stalking your corpus down Escher halls 
of privilege and power. 

But Christ, what if the unthinkable happened Les
and the barbarians cancelled the gig,
threw in the towel on pillaging Bunya,
slapped ya back, said good on ya,
even worse, dared to love ya?

Jeeze, maybe someone blundered.

What if the enemy didn’t exist,
or had done a Gallipoli flit,
pulled out on the sly, leaving you squeezing 
a figment of thistle in each clenched fist,
howling at a bucolic sky?

No lie, Les, but could be 
apart from the odd angry scribbler –  
the Last Tasmanian Poet gone feral,
carrying on a futile Thylacine resistance –
the Huns and Vandals have abandoned 
their advance on your books. 

Their Hercules couldn’t brook your tortoise 
over the distance, you set to mean a slog.
(Though the animal could be wrong –
Jeremiah was a bullfrog). 

To make more shrapnel of metaphor,
maybe your Turk has crept down to their trench
to find nothing but gifts – chocolate bars 
of critical acclaim: ‘Attaboy Ataturk, 
your salvos won the day!’

You stormed Normandy without casualty,
took Troy without a horse,
the fortress doors of Academia 
are unguarded and swinging wide:
‘but come inside, you’re on the course!’

The chatterers and cultural pashas
offer garlanded entrées, to  
Chairs bestrewn with posies, in 
lecture halls bedecked with bouquets.

On a laurel sash pinned a note:
‘sorry we missed you. Just popped down to the shop
for your latest anthology. 
Make yourself at home –
we’ve drugged the dogs, drained the moat. 
Everyone’s dying to meet you, 
if you haven’t another appointment …’ 

Fuck, what a fly in the ointment!
Universally lauded. 
How dare they queer your disappointment!

But how ‘bout this Les – if you finally 
win the dynamite prize, don’t chase us like 
the loaded dog. Just accept our surrender. 
You won the war, unconditionally even.

Though she still won’t like the terms 
your old Nanny, Nurse Grievance.

- Tug Dumbly 2018

Tug Dumbly is a poet and satirist who has performed his poems, songs and monologues on radio and in schools, venues and festivals, both in Australia and abroad. He has released two spoken word CDs, once won the Spirit of Woodford storytelling award, at Woodford Folk Festival, twice won the Banjo Paterson Prize for comic verse, and three times won the Nimbin World Performance Poetry Cup, most recently in 2017. He was runner up in the 2015 Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize, and recently completed a project writing 12 Christmas-themed poems, based on historical documents, for Housing NSW, which were displayed in installations around Sydney’s Rocks area in the 2017 Christmas season. 

Sunday, July 08, 2018

New Poetry by Barbara De Franceschi

Hands in the Dark

I haven’t got my mother’s hands.
Her fingers were like ivory candles 
that lit piano keys with a kindled flame.

Memory links to an ache in my chest.
I don’t remember those hands 
in tenderness. 

They must have lifted me from sleep,
wiped away tears,
bandaged a scraped knee.

Recall allows me passage into many things,
but I cannot remember 
her caress.

I had a fascination 
with her slender wrists,
tiny blue veins crisscrossed underneath,

a black leather watch band 
stretched in a perfect circle around fine bones,
the perfume of bergamot

splashed skin the colour of latte.
At night when I toss in restless dregs
I sometimes feel her touch.

- Barbara De Franceschi 2018

Barbara De Franceschi is an arid zone poet from Broken Hill. Besides three collections of poetry her work has been published widely in Australia, in other countries and on-line. Barbara has served as ‘artist-in-residence’ for the NSW University Department of Rural Health to promote Art in Health for undergraduate health-science students.

Friday, July 06, 2018

New Poetry by John Rock

On The Beach
One boat easing from the harbor

All this grown-up sky and mist-cloud left
  with room to breath
All this washed up night and scrolls of night architects
  rolling from dream to dream
As if the shore is a dream the sea met
  with grand intentions and introductions
    deduced in cast gold and shoals of silver returns
                          by the moon so light and viable
                                           as all of us so ever-poured

So close to the morning
         or is it moonlight?
All I remember is you spooning me off the bed
That was the beginning of the universe
And when I climbed back in and smelled your hair
That’s when the earth began

- John Rock 2018

John Rock is a poet who lives in New Mexico in the United States and is undergoing a lifelong training to see how well the wind can be listened.  More poems and novels for free at

Thursday, July 05, 2018

New Poetry by Kenneth Trimble


I noticed the junkie scratching his arm on the train,                     
I noticed the drunk  singing sweet Jesus,
I noticed the hookers on Grey Street,
I noticed the studs in her nipples,
and I noticed the books on her shelf,
Emma Goldman, Patti Smith,
I noticed people drowning off Christmas 
I noticed the rise of bigotry and hate,
and I heard the sounds of storm troopers
marching through our streets, 
I noticed the last gasp of a dying woman,
and a child crying in her crib,
I noticed  the war being played out,
entertainment for the bored,
I noticed the flood,
I noticed the fire,
I noticed the cyclone,
and I noticed the tangerine sky as 
the forest went up in smoke,
and I noticed the darkness enveloping our 
I noticed the light.

- Kenneth Trimble 2018

Kenneth lives in Euroa in country Victoria. He has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize in America. He has a number books out through, the last one Collected Works, performed at Collected Works Bookshop in Melbourne and elsewhere. His poetry has been published across the world and his work appears in a number of anthologies. Kenneth is heading to India later this year on a Buddhist pilgrimage .

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

New Poetry by Terry Wheeler

moon boot

short blonde in
a moon boot

youthful strides
so confident

no overcoat
beanie or gloves

for her
they’re superfluous

winter westerlies and
bold jacky frost

silvery choir of
a shivering host

a grin says
bring it on

her eyes dance
to spring’s song

- Terry Wheeler 2018

Terry has been writing poetry for many years and recently had a couple of short poems published in the on-line magazine Bonsai Journal.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Calling all Poets


Regular followers of Bluepepper should know the spiel by now, but if you are new to the pepper, just follow the submission guidelines near the top of the task bar to your right.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

New Words and Images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

So Far Away

 It was the whispered harmonies of the Everly Brothers singing “All I have to Do is Dream”, mixed with an unknown sessions player on brushes. 
 No, it was those minor sub nautical chords at the end of a Debussy solo piano piece. The feeling of floating on the surface of water, sinking down while staring up at an unobtainable sky.
 She was sitting cross-legged on the bed using part of my pillow to stabilize a bowl in which was ice water.  I do not know what the criteria was for renewal, but she would re-dip the white cloth only lightly wringing it out before reapplying it shroud like to my forehead.
 I was dripping sweat but cold.

She had something the size of a tennis ball. Without nicking the surface of the bureau upon which she cut it, the fruit was soon halved. 
 My head was propped up. The skin was a chocolate brown, dotted with darker splotches and smelling of dirt. Her bracelets tinkled as she squeezed out its juice over my cracked-lipped, open mouth.
 I lay back down exhausted.
 “It will be the fuhlschtuhl. You will dream of tiny octopi. As long as they are purple, it is OK. Green though, would be bad.”
 In moments in which I was awake, but she had not realized it, my one slitted eye occasionally spied her rubbing the pulpy skin on the nipple of her exposed breast. Music floated in from the street but never the same song.

- Wayne H. W Wolfson 2018

Just click on the link for Wayne's latest collection of short stories.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

New Poetry by Abigail George

If you want to write, then write

(for the Kenyan philosopher Nyambura Kiarie)

   You can see it if you look closely enough. Even
    the comets step out in faith. The meteors. People.
    Volcanoes. Even the patterns on your flesh have
    a complex. Prayer to me is like air. My reading
    hands are greedy for the sunlight. The palace of
    the sun. The sun, well, she’s moving. Revelatory.
    Even the holy is visible here. I can see it. I can see
    it. I’m full of laughter and tears. My heart is open.
    Willing to share the inheritance of futility and loss
    found there in the silence and the empty rooms
    of my childhood house. I think of how I know the
    tastes of childhood trauma, like I know the smell
    of spaghetti. It’s an ancient landscape. Seldom
    glorious unless it is overcome. I think of the
    therapists I’ve been to, how many of them have
    been Indian women, and beautiful. I think of class
    and speaking English proper all my life. I think
    of my sadness, and then I think of you. Now let
    me talk about broken families. Your wit is warm-
    hearted but your heart is condescending and cold.
    You call me up when you’re lonely. You’re digging,
digging, digging into me, and I’m branching out
    into particles. We have to tell our stories. The
    leaves here are holy. Sister has a voice of longing.
    Brother’s clothes are on the bedroom floor. I
    live in mother’s house. She wants me gone like
    yesterday. I think that the gifts of humanity are

    like the ocean. That same ocean also belongs to
    my mother. The sadness that was there before is
    gone now. I am caught up in a dream. I have yet

    to find a being to be with, live a lifetime with,
    settle down, marry, and have those children with
    the angelic shine on their faces. Thank you for

    not calling. Thank you for not texting me. Thank
    you for this long silence. For this pain. I think of
the fact that I am no longer afraid to close my eyes.

    You were something beautiful. An altar. I think of
    the retreat of solitude and futility. Their exposure.
Lava. The anointed. Wherever the soul comes from.

- Abigail George 2018

Abigail George is the author of Africa Where Art Thou, Feeding the Beasts, All About My Mother, Winter in Johannesburg, Brother Wolf and Sister Wren, Sleeping Under the Kitchen Tables in Helenvale, and the novella The Scholarship Girl. She is a South African blogger, essayist, poet, short story writer, and has just completed her first novel.