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 ThimbleLitMag.com. 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 entrĂ©es, 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 johnrockpoetry.com





Thursday, July 05, 2018

New Poetry by Kenneth Trimble










Notice  

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 
island,
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 
earth, 
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 www.littlefoxpublishing.com, 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



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. https://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Wayne-HW-Wolfson/dp/0692143882/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530032886&sr=8-1&keywords=wayne+wolfson






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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New Poetry by MTC Cronin










My Soul

is a tapestry where the moths
go to eat.

It is a tree
filled with wounded birds.

My soul is not a phrase
but its intonation,

belonging to the voice
and not to the family of words.

When I speak of it
it laughs like a holiday.

My soul is mother-of-pearl.
My mouth a travesty.


Goat-like

Goat-like, I hang around
what binds me.

I can’t get away,
pick everything clean.

I have no idea
what’s around my neck.

Who tied me up here
to my life.


Here is Thunder (The Harvest)

Here is thunder –
Here is barking dogs –
Here is the heaviest salt and the coldest stone.
Here is an actual man and an actual woman
who have lost their north and south.
Their hearts flicker like shadows on a wall.
The star that left the firmament
has entered their loving and their killing.
Unembraceable and unadmittable
they move empty-handed
through the harvest.
The sun does not heed them.
Even gathered they are not together.
The storm passes
and forgets them.


Before It

‘The cormorant is precisely.’
‘Its wings scrape the shore.’

Before it
meaning goes down on one knee
and proposes to the broken and harnessed.


It Wasn't the Stars

It wasn’t the stars
that surrounded them
but they pretended
not to be afraid of the stars.

With eyes full of light
they’re suddenly beached
right here where the universe
washed up beauty.

Vulgar, their herding.


Teaspoon

Today I almost slipped entirely
out of the ego.
Only a slight poignant sucking remained.

That ocean of trolls
lapping at God’s medicinal teaspoon.


See the Path

See the path become dark.

Where the light travels to obscure everything
in the precise appearance of itself
see the path become dark.


- MTC Cronin 2018


MTC Cronin is the author of twenty books of poetry and winner of numerous awards and international plaudits. She currently lives in south-east Queensland where she grows a very hot pepper, one of which may or may not have inspired the bluepepper.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Poetry by Vivienne Mohan










Twenty years or more it'll take

There’s a pen, a book, an apple, a
paperclip, a notepad, on my desk.
There is a tree, a water-pipe,
outside my window.
There is a small cut,
on my right temple on my face.
There is a small temple built
on my palm. Blood,
on a tissue in the bin
by my desk.
There is maths in my bed
under the covers,
taking the physical form
of a curled snake. There
is physics hurting my childhood.
Advanced formulas for motion
leaning on new bricks,
that I have sculpted.
Little x’s and flight
cover the floorboards
like thorns.
There is a larger me
in the doorway, approving
that I have my lamp on,
waiting to guide me back,
in miscellaneous memory,
so that I can work
harder this time.
I don’t want to go
to the classroom again.
Literature is somehow mixed up,
with a plot against forgetting.


- Vivienne Mohan 2018


Minibar

I complain about ridiculous things so
I can be shot down. The hotel room, I say,
is not enough like home. And home,
does not have enough open roads.

They say I’m ungrateful. With this in mind
I close my eyes and picture the breeze.
Ah yes, I say, I can feel it now. Thank-you.


- Vivienne Mohan 2018



Vivienne Mohan is a nineteen-year-old Queensland poet. She began writing in 2016 and in that same year was the runner-up of the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Competition for an unpublished first manuscript. A septet of poems by her mother, MTC Cronin, will appear in Bluepepper shortly.

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Poetry by Rob Walker










not hearing myself on the radio

Ockham’s Razor, ABC, May 10, 2015

after a restless night i halfwake 
hear a man’s voice 

another second or two 
recognize words i once wrote 

realize with the concluding sentence 
the voice is mine

delivering the talk i’d recorded 
a year ago 

and now 
just missed…


- Rob Walker 2018


Rob Walker is a South Australian writer of poetry, memoir and short fiction. He is currently putting the final touches to a mixed-genre collection dedicated to misfits entitled Square Pegs.





Friday, May 18, 2018

New Poetry by Linda Stevenson










Biographical Hands

I visited the great tombs of Switzerland.
No, it was Egypt.
No, it was Rome.
They swirl the same, embarrassing
my intelligence,
memory.
They were catacombs, pale pyramids
of controversial stone;
the Alps.

The snow was pernicious, or was it sand?
obstructionist;
it took no sides, melted to grime,
or ground away to glass.

I am fastidious, I wash my hands
on Easter, and every other death day,
rinsing perpetually. They say Auden
seldom washed, so I’ll not
favour that path...maybe the worst
of Englishness;
I’m happy to dabble with clean, clear
poets I know, in spite of old talent,
despite
lean, old-world archaeologies.

This is the wrong key, it sticks
and doesn’t turn. Damn, I can’t keep
repeating this dream/non-action,
dying disproportionately; my given hours
run out, basalt
blocks my way. Where are the literal keys,
lifting heavy in my hands, yet
smooth and crafted well
for opening?

They have made CERN, the abyss,
constructed it from what they know,
and the rest. That
is my Switzerland...

and my outrageously cool, paralysed boy
looks at me and says
It’s only a body anyway, isn’t it, Mum?
pointedly challenging
all
my powdering snow,
and icicles;
free-heeling it down,
roughcast, offering
a demo of slalom for sarcophaga,

unshod, sounder of mind
than any genius,
conflating history
with pure will, waving,
with no hands,
to travellers.


- 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, May 13, 2018

New Poetry by Lesley Synge










Captain Garibaldi of the Trader Carmen in 1852

‘Yes men. Here on the Pacific we are becalmed. But our luck
will change, our sails will fill. Sailors – pluck!
we are no hermaphrodites, we’re men
and we’ll see a port and women again.
We’ll soon be drinking in a Chilean bar
while the hold is emptied of silk and items chinois
and then we’ll sail on with copper for Lima. 
A man must have faith, be a dreamer!’

On the infinite ocean there’s scope to curse – 
or wank, or pray. Me? I’d rather write verse.
I’ve a new subject – the stone cottage we saw
that day in Bass Strait when we put ashore.
I remember the notice on the door: Leaving
this island. Such loneliness – nevermore.
For me though, solitude is what a zealot needs between fights.
But somewhere warm. Mar Tirreno by Christ?
Off Sardinia perhaps? Goats instead of police spies?
Unpopulated; not even a church and a priest with his lies.
I swear by the Laterna of Genoa, my beacon
that my religion is humanity! And freedom!
Popes, dukes, kings, republicans – hear me bellow –
call your exile home, I spit on embroglio.

‘Alora lads, don’t despair. Our water’s gone but don’t get shirty.
Rain will fall. We won’t perish. I’m too young – barely thirty.
Rally lads. Viva Italia Una!
Instead of ship rats, we’ll soon eat tuna.’

(Note: Garibaldi called into Three Hummock Island off northwest Tasmania in 1852.)

- Lesley Synge 2018


Lesley Synge is an Australian writer. Her poetry collections are Organic Sister and Mountains Belong to the People Who Love Them. The film, Slow Days on Old Pathways is on YouTube and novel, Cry Ma Ma to the Moon (about poets in a love triangle), is on Amazon Kindle. 





Thursday, May 10, 2018

New Poetry by Abigail George










Your grandfather and winter trees in London

(For the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

    My dearest boy. My sweet child. There’s a
    Long road to spirituality. A quartet, a feast.

A moveable feast, an ex-President Thabo Mbeki, John Nash,
Jerome David Salinger. You’re fed stories
About ghosts and zombie princesses by me.
Nothing but rusk and rooibos tea with milk.
Angel face I don’t want you to end up a broken
Man. I want you to hold a map in your hands
For all your life. Black is the water. Black is
Winter. The suffering. Poverty. I think of the
Depths of the ocean with fifty different kinds
Of vision. You’re the sea. You’re the sea. To me
Though you’re dry grass. You’re dry grass.
It’s lovely to dream. To know that you’re mine.
Part of me. Even my anguish and loneliness.
Even my powers of what I find relevant, and yes,
Even my pain. I am all-powerful. As powerful
As any single and intelligent woman nearing
Her forties can be. It’s a gift. It’s a gift. Born
Knowing. Acknowledging freedom. The heat
Of regret can damage. You looked at me through
Another man’s eyes and said what a waste of
A human life if you do not live, laugh, love,
Socialize, but I could not, will not yield to that.
It will destroy me if I did any of that but you
Don’t understand. I do know joy but only in writing
About life and the last person I have ever truly

Loved. I think of Grahamstown, Swaziland,
Montagu and Sedgefield and what the future holds
For me. Weeping passes through me. Sobs. It’s
Not as if I show regret on my face the morning
After anymore. I still know your name. That you’re
Great at what you do. All I want to do is catch
Up to the winter sun. All I want is to know you again.
But you’re not my man. You’re not my boy. You’re
Not mine but now I must speak in a language
Every mother understands. You’re Truman Capote’s
Music. You’re climate and mockingbird. You’re
Humming my kind of blues. Yes, I’ll remember
You in the same way I’ve loved every man who has
Entered my life. Take a bow. I think of the light
That swimmers’ must have in their eyes at the local
Swimming pool and I begin to write poetry.
Words come. They come and I write. Words come and
I write. I think of when I started to write this
Book. It would be so wrong to write only about
Love, or only about despair, and then I think
Back to what inspired me in the first place.
The tiny well that we dug up in the grass at the
Back of the house where I buried the limp body
Of your kitten and how it was mostly your grandfather
Who wanted to keep it a secret from you.


- Abigail George 2018



Abigail George is a South African blogger, essayist, poet, short story writer and has just completed her first novel. She briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. Her writing has appeared in many anthologies, and she was educated in Port Elizabeth, Swaziland, and Johannesburg.



Friday, May 04, 2018

New Poetry by Peter Venables










Cruzen Rum Shack 

Sunday. Well before Happy Hour.
Palm trees sway like masts where
a blackbird rides against cloudy crests.
A windswept man strums his acoustic,
rasps It’s better than drinking alone

Pop tops percuss across the pool,
wafting memories of the Wit’s End
eons ago, when smoke blunted floodlights. 

They bask, oil simmering on bronze skin. 
1 = 10 . . . behind shades my eyes 
sculpt her supple shape. 

A few distant embers glow, fade.
Sing us a song you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight

Last chorus.


- Peter Venables 2018


Peter Venable has written poems for over 50 years and attends Winston Salem Writers’ poetry critique group.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

New Poetry by Robert Verdon










hummingbird

glib 
sun
hummingbird,
if you vanish into a vortex 
wherein the dibbler dines 
on petals of dissolved earth,
grounded beneath childhood pines
and a navy blue neckerchief of sky …

o nimble membrane,
will not the waiter leave you jostling
with grains of sugar on an 
inland sea of chilly plastic,
sticky on the damp octagonal table,
till he has his own restaurant?


- Robert Verdon 2018


Robert Verdon came 2nd in the 2012 W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize for Australia. His books include The Well-Scrubbed Desert (1994), Her Brilliant Career (1998), & Before we Knew this Century (2010).

He is currently finishing off a PhD at the University of Canberra.