Friday, April 13, 2018

New Poetry by Mohammad Ali Maleki

We Sing the Song of Terror

Hey, Freedom Law.
Don't talk about the springtime. 
We are in prison right now! 
Come and break our locks. 
Set us free from this prison —
We face no justice from you. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
How can you claim justice exists? 
No one here shows us mercy.
Come visit us in these conditions —
Like poisonous serpents
we sting ourselves all the time. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
In this murderous world
only cruel people govern. 
They trundle us through our own blood —
We are victims of their thoughts
and that makes racists happy.

Hey, Freedom Law.
Don’t break our locks after all! 
There is no one to put us right —
We sing the song of terror;
we no longer want to be freed. 
We are not afraid of these prison bars anymore. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
I no longer sorrow for freedom. 
I’m used to this dry and infertile land.
My days and nights, friend, 
have become a frightening nightmare. 
Look how these bad dreams are now a habit for me. 

Hey, Freedom Law. 
These prison bars
are a cancerous tumour; 
they stick to my body like meat on a bone. 
I know I will die here soon. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
If we meet someday
I’ll tie you onto the back of a wolf
and send you to the wolves’ city. 
Then there’ll be no sign of you on the ground
and the flowers won’t wither in your shade. 

Hey, Freedom Law.
I’m not afraid of death. 
But I'm afraid of freedom:
I'm scared of this two footed beast. 
Because I can't live 
outside these bars

- Mohammad Ali Maleki 2018

(Translated by Mansour Shoshtari. Edited by Rose Turtle Ertler & Michele Seminara)

Mohammad Ali Maleki is currently detained on Manus Island. He spends a lot of his time thinking about and writing poetry — a new craft he has been working on for the last two years. All his poetry is written in Farsi and translated into English by his dear friend Mansour Shoshtari, also detained on Manus Island. Mohammad has been writing to Australian musician/artist Rose Turtle Ertler for the last two years. Rose and Mohammad collaborated on a tiny zine called The Pond last year and Mohammad has just released The Strong Sunflower, an illustrated poem which Rose and Janet Galbraith produced and published through Writing Through Fences. Mohammad also has a chapbook of poetry, Truth in the Cage, forthcoming from Rochford Street Press. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

New Poetry by Indunil Madhusankha

The Nest of Love

The giant mango tree on the rear lawn
towers above the window in my room upstairs
Beneath its canopy, laid on a limb, there is the bird nest
A small family – the mother, father and the son
In the evenings, when the sky turns primrose
with the golden moon peering above the distant hills
I hear some tweeting sounds coming from the nest
Then I rush towards the window
I see the tiny bill – wide open, rising above the nest wall
saying a thousand little things to its mother
who pats the baby head with her soft slender neck
In a while, the father’s shadow emerges from the distance
with some wild berries clipped between the mandibles
fluttering his wings more hastily seeing home
As he lands on the nest, the mother welcomes him
tenderly kissing his sturdy neck
Then both start cuddling their son
They chop the berries with their beaks
and feed the baby with the bits
who gulps them down
while relishing the very warmth.
Oh, I am so happy that I have been
lucky enough to witness this nest of love!

Indunil Madhusankha 2018

(Previously published in the Leaves of Ink Magazine on 15th March 2016)

Indunil Madhusankha  is currently an Instructor in the Department of Mathematics of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Even though he is academically involved with the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics, he also pursues a successful career in the field of English language and literature as a budding young researcher, reviewer, poet, editor, content writer and proofreader. His creative works have been featured in several international anthologies, magazines and journals. Moreover, Indunil was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2016 by the Scarlet Leaf Publishing House based in Toronto, Canada. 

Sunday, April 08, 2018

New Poetry by Chibuihe Obi

resurrection body

when the sun sinks, the world rises on my tongue 
like a conjurer, i let memory find its way to the river
watch her dip her soft toes and her smoky  dress 
watch her fill her pores with lucky bones – the dense & the dizzying 
in this space,  childhood is defined thus:
the lethargic silence  of nuts before the arrival of squirrels 
day old spiderlings on their rocking-cribs before the waves
and the kicking 

if i were a plume, i  will fruit
if a spread of greenery, i will let the children lead their dreams through 
my pasture, run me into a rollercoaster 
i will be their loose earth and sandy beach
i will be their spinning wheels, their ginger bread house
sand man in place of snow

but here the body is a hill of crumbling earth
memory pins it's badge on ash 
on this burnt out wood 

here growing old is like a tooth
sinking all the way back into the gum

into this fleshy earth – my origin

- Chibuihe Obi 2018

Chibuihe Obi,  the co-founder of Kabaka Magazine is a fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency. His writings have been published or forthcoming in Brittle Paper, Expound Magazine, Praxis, Kalahari Review, 14: an Anthology of Queer Art, Mounting the Moon, etc. He is the winner of Brittle Paper Award, The Babishai Niwe Haiku Prize, and has been nominated for the  Pushcart Prize. His is currently on the Gerald Kraak Award shortlist

Thursday, April 05, 2018

New Poetry by Abigail George

As I came home

(for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

    Even when it hurts like the sun. The spark
    of manhood or woman-speak. Even when
    it hurts gulls made of flame on an island.
    Even when it hurts glaring or silence and

    tears. Even when it hurts treacherous smoke
    or clouds. Even when it hurts arrows or a
shoreless continent. Even when it hurts love
    or swept away sea or wound. The tall,

    green-shifting universe is all proof I need
    that once I was loved by you. My hands are
    lonely. Beneath me lies gracious fury. At
    the end of the day, I find a mountain there.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote poems. Rudyard
Kipling. Thomas Hardy. At the end of suffering
    comes joy. At the beach, I watch seawalls
    fall. Man, beast, bird bodiless from where

    I stand except the English poet Rupert Brooke.
    Except Rome. Finding the source of the Nile.
    I turn my eyes to see your liquid eyes. Your
    sun-like face and I wonder who your God is.

    I’m tired with work and suffering. Rain
    waters the scorched earth. Lust can comfort
    us in primitive and savage ways. I think
of the bottom of the world. More beautiful than words can
    ever say. I think of the crying of a wild
    bird. The loneliness found in a city. The
    shining centre of the earth brighter than
    the sun. The devil is a ruthless creature that
mocks the non-humanity in all of us. It is
Christ that possesses me entirely, completely.
    I think of those inheriting control. Those

    fetching angels that have taught me that
    guilt is a lifeless unruly whirlwind. All I
see is thin people wearing enigmatic smiles
    eating air on the covers of magazines
    with self-mastery. Icy people with lofty
    ambitions but I am not one of them. He
    looks older, more handsome with the beard.
    I could start my life over with somebody
    new but my brain tells me we’ll probably
    be strangers for the rest of our lives.
    Reading has taught me that even solitude
    can be miraculous. Futility. Loneliness.

- Abigail George 2018

Pushcart Prize nominated Abigail George is a South-African based blogger, essayist, poet, and short story writer. She is the recipient of 2 writing grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, one from the Centre of the Book in Cape Town, and another from ECPACC in East London. She is the writer of 6 books. She briefly studied film at NFTS (Newtown Film and Television School)  followed by a stint at a production house. Her latest essay ("Paradise") has been published online in Entropy and deals with themes of clinical depression, despair, loneliness, hardship, isolation, peer pressure, and mental illness.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

New Poetry by Michael Keshigian

What to do with Intangibles

Early morning, a little snow
teases the outstretched branches
with the help of the wind.
It is cold, but inside the stove’s warmth
cradles the recliner in the lamplight
where he reads poems.
His fingers, thick and calloused,
flip pages enthusiastically
as he notices the shape of his nails,
much like his father’s,
no moons rising.
And like his father had done,
it’s time to contemplate departure.
One day, the stove unlit, will dispense
the damp aroma of creosote,
the book will lie closed
upon the arm of the recliner.
One day, a relative will enter 
and acknowledge 
that the house is empty,
no warmth, no breath, no poetry,
an indentation upon the seat
next to the book.
The change will go unnoticed
by the snow, wind, ice, and 
those few crows meandering
for morsels upon the buried landscape.
He returns to reading,
the words delight him.
What would become of these joys,
he wonders. 
Someone should take them.

- Michael Keshigian 2018

Michael Keshigian is the author of twelve poetry collections including: Into The Light, released in April, 2017 by Flutter Press. Published in numerous national and international journals, he is a 6- time Pushcart Prize and 2-time Best Of The Net nominee. His poetry cycle, Lunar Images, set for Clarinet, Piano, Narrator, was premiered at Del Mar College in Texas. Subsequent performances occurred in Boston (Berklee College) and Moleto, Italy. Winter Moon, a poem set for Soprano and Piano, premiered in Boston. (


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New Poetry by John Rock

Morning Fire On The Beach

looking at myself these mornings
through a sunrise and morning tea
close to being able to say the word autumnal and see it
among the villages of gulls
like a raven who dropped a thought he picked up on the road
that became this fire

gulls facing each other in a ring
and dousing their bodies
so easy to be together
and apart
but ultimately someone who multiplies
like snowflakes
and is found by the surface of mirrors

one raven among the gulls
could be a crow
but I’m gonna say it’s a raven
cause it’s morning
here it comes
another neighbor

- John Rock 2018

In love with water-spiders, ravens, and sunsets, and ecstatic dance, John Rock lives in New Mexico.  More poems, audio poems, novels and plays for free at

Sunday, March 25, 2018

New Poetry by John Bartlett

The Blue

The blue of the ocean snatched up by sky
Fog smudges this perfect landscape
I wait to be called by name
The violinist on the street oblivious

Fog smudges this perfect landscape
Apple-trees glow like stop lights
The violinist on the street oblivious
As children sleep, buried in dreams

Apple-trees glow like stop lights
Crowds surge like advancing tides
As children sleep, buried in dreams
The sea drifts on with no guilt

Crowds surge like advancing tides
Somewhere a single gull complains
The sea drifts on with no guilt
A small boat on a vast canvas

Somewhere a single gull complains
I wait to be called by name
A small boat on a vast canvas
The blue of the ocean snatched up by sky

- John Bartlett 2018

John Bartlett‘s non-fiction and essays have been widely published and were collated into an e-book, ‘A Tiny and Brilliant Light’. He is the author of two novels, ‘Towards a Distant Sea’ and ‘Estuary’, a collection of short stories, ‘All Mortal Flesh’ and e-book,  ‘Jack Ferryman – reluctant Private Investigator’, sequel to ‘Towards a Distant Sea’, has just been published. He blogs regularly at: beyondtheestuary

Bluepepper would like to apologise to anyone out there who has been unable to submit to us over the past week. The problem has only just been brought to our attention and has been rectified. We can only offer this as a cautionary tale to anyone out there predisposed to believe the hype of a certain gargantuan software company barking at you that their product is safer and faster than the tried and trusted.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

New Words and Images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

Night Sketching

I had my sketchpad out. There had been no plan to work but I enjoyed the lines of her body. She was large but seemed indifferent to any possible judgement to be made by the other party goers.

Before stripping out of her clothes, she put some lipstick on. Somewhere she had found a candy apple red swimming cap which she also donned. 

Occasionally as someone drifted through the room, they would stop and watch for a few moments as she struck a new pose. When the voyeur was about to leave, she batted her eyelashes and puffed out her cheeks in a kewpie doll kiss.

 One of my favorites was when she made a fist, pulling her elbow back past her hip while making her other arm extend out past her head like an Olympian shot-putter whose task had just been completed. There was also a series of flamenco steps, my pencil her partner.

"Against the glass 2" watercolor & paper 7x10

The flesh of her cheeks and areolas became flushed, echoing the color of her rubber cap. Going into a semi-squat, palms resting on her thighs, she let a stream trickle out with a soft giggle.

Heinrich had come in to see if I needed anything. He pushed his glasses back up his nose with his index finger. 

“Yes, yes, very amusing. Now I later must clean up piss for the sake of art.”

There had only been a few pages left in my pocket pad, now also used, but the night remained young. 


- Wayne H.W Wolfson 2018

Visual Works of Wayne Wolfson

Thursday, March 15, 2018

New Poetry by Jeff Nazzaro

South LA Cul-De-Sac

His backyard abuts the tracks. 
Sitting on the stoop, black-and-white 
mutt at his feet, he smokes and watches
the trains go by, 
Downtown to Long Beach, 
Long Beach back Downtown,
through the heart of the city
and past his fence.

Little old houses of 
turquoise, pink, and white
cling for life to the
life clinging back in the
cul-de-sac next door.

The signs on the market 
are faded. The taco shop
went bust. The pretty girl
in seafoam green
makes her way 
to the edge.

- Jeff Nazzaro 2018

Jeff Nazzaro lives in Southern California, where he writes poetry and short fiction. His poems have appeared in a handful of online and print journals, including Rat's Ass Review, Thirteen Myna Birds, and Cholla Needles Magazine.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

New Poetry by Linda Stevenson


Because of the aching candour
of gesture, black marks
drawn freehand on backgrounds,
because of the impossibility of their perfecting,
because some great intent tries,
hour beyond hour,
across spans that dip dimensionally
every time we consider travelling,
because of hints, gold leaf, apples,
existence in its brave, uncaring armoury...
we live on, forbear, hear out volumes
of orchestral cicada evenings,
succumb to high music,
pass around themes and half sprung chords,
cup ears to catch love memes,
listen for grace notes, and embrace.

- 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.

Friday, February 23, 2018

New Poetry by Rajnish Mishra


How can I ever return to my city now? I’ll need a time back,
and me back from that time. I’ll need them back too, men and 

children and plants, and a cow, yes the cow that would come
to the door for me to rub its back, then leave, every day.

That time and place, this time and place, complete my city of the
Too many deaths in twenty three days have hit me hard,

kept me shaken for minutes at length. Death
is not to be trifled with, and flash: images

of a street, they sell fish and vegetables for some length
on it and then there’s a bend, the end of the street,

and then I return. Early this morning an aunt passed away,
yes, that’s what we called her. We’d been neighbors

my whole life and that of our families for as long
as we have lived in our houses. I am far removed in place,

in grief too. Or else, how do I explain my not rushing
back where I’m needed? I have changed. I have come a long way

from my home, from myself. I think I understand
Tithonus’ wish* a little. It becomes difficult to live

once all have gone, and those around are not your people,
the time and place also not yours. Then a shadow walks,

a ghost in a shell, and waits for

- Rajnish Mishra 2018

* Tithonus, lover of Eos, Goddess of the Dawn, also the subject of a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson in which he despairs of his immortal state and expresses a longing to die.

Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India and now in exile from his city. His work originates at the point of intersection between his psyche and his city. His work has now started appearing in journals and websites.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New Poetry by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Minotaur Snow

Gosh - 
the goring Minotaur snow has it in for me, falling thick and
plastered and sideways into my one good face, I turn away
but it finds me and gores again, I wince with aging matador’s knowing –
what the hell did Ovid know about the snow?  His Minotaur was probably
no more than a passing hangover at the foot of a creaky bed,
I really can’t stand another winter like this; Man Ray’s Minotaur
was just a bisected Elizabeth Short as the Black Dahlia, he even threw in
Les Amoureux for luck, but this winter, my Minotaur, keeps biting the face
with an unrelenting cold; slashing across borrowed keepsakes
I drop in a rush and leave to the dirty snow.

- Ryan Quinn Flanagan 2018

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Antigonish Review, Vallum, Existere, Red Fez, and The Dalhousie Review.

Monday, February 19, 2018

New Poetry by Chris Hopkins


Runestone’s colour has gone. 
Though the wild flowers are still in it’s mouth.
The dead still boast of themselves off the worked plane.

Translation, typed
on the small white card, tilted at it’s foot.
Corners as sharp as the cutting tool.

A dead thousand years pass for the stone
without its master
while the pinned winged bugs lament their century’s end.
An ex’s photograph in the land fill
my closest claim to being found in history
when all the zeros and ones of my foot prints 
are on the moon.

A silent cabaret of faces in a focus switch
through the viewing glass
to the ancient stone.

Wire songbirds wait for me
in the next cabinet along.

- Chris Hopkins 2018

Christopher Hopkins grew up in Neath, South Wales during the 1970’s surrounded by a landscape of machines and mountains.  Christopher currently resides in the Canterbury area with his wife and baby daughter. His debut chapbook ‘Take Your Journeys Home’ (Clare Songbirds Publishing House) has been nominated for the IPPY book award for poetry. He has also received two Pushcart Prize nominations for his poems ‘Sorrow on the Hill’ and ‘Smoke and Whiskey’. His second chapbook ‘The Last Time We Saw Strangers’ is due out in Spring 2018. His work has been published in multiple publications including The Morning Star,  Backlash Press and The Paragon Journal.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

New Poetry by James Walton

Shirt from a Parachute/ a Paratrooper declines

have you seen jelly fish falling from the sky
in a drumming to send the ocean up in the banging
of children turned to flour bags crashing
by a mess spilled off the back of an atlas
where families are scattered like blown out candles
of a roaring to broken ears as blindness seethes
tossed by fire left gas for oxygen
liberated now given the freedom to gasp

coming in behind all the suites of arguments
the remains of what used to be loudly persist
like stomped puff balls the houses below
spidery handwriting that became running people
in unnatural twilight this mushroom fantasy
blew where it could sometimes reddened
as the sunset of diving boots ricocheted
around the twirling batons of stationary lives

silk from a grandfather’s parachute
buttons made from the unforgetfulness of ivory
stains for the concerto’s keys opened in ribbing ornaments
gardener’s hands struggle on the release
of looped holes where eyelets string years to moments
blurs stepping stones flaps horizon wings
flattens the contours in the navigator’s handbook
laid out the terrain of death has no foreign descents

- James Walton 2018

James Walton is a Gippsland poet.

Friday, February 16, 2018

New Poetry by Abigail George

Genna Gardini * (an experimental poem in twelve haiku)

You’re brave mountain grass –
You have a future filled with instinct.
Your purpose sacred.

Rereading the-astonishing –
Sleep tight under London skies (words are supposed to be touching).
I peel your poems back.

Falling sun-flying-high. Thunder –
in my hands I hold the cold (and in yours)
there’s tapestry.

The aroma of rest (in your arms) –
The-life. Created holiness (of you found there)
in the self-defined skies.

When the night is ready-for-you –
in moonlight wails sacred bird (in another life)
perhaps you’re that bird.

You’re created in buzz-and-motion –
(Flicker) flying high in those self-defined skies.
I bow at your half-words.

My bleak truth for yours –
in this bold world you’re gold (forehead pale)
feet. Hands made from clay.

By the grace of God –
Instead-of-waiting for the end of the world (you’re)
song at summer’s end.

(You) conceive words in truth –
You’ve-left-behind-politics. Vicious days. Spiteful heat (now you’re)
one peaceful valley (in London).

Divided shadows –
This strange gladness. Tender. Wise (I forget the voices inside my head)
the apparition.

On the verge of cracking-up –
I don’t see you in the morning (I don’t get to cherish you).
I am not the one.

Your tongue is a flame –
Face-a-mask-of concentration. Focus. (accept this tribute)
I wrote this heartfelt.

- Abigail George 2018

* Genna Gardini is a Cape Town poet and writer.

Pushcart Prize nominee Abigail George is a South African-based blogger, essayist, poet and short story writer. She briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television School n Johannesburg followed by a stint at a production company. She has received two writing grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, one from the Centre for the Book in Cape Town, and another from ECPACC in East London.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

New Poetry by John Sweet

willingly into oblivion

was young and saw the
world as it was

laughed against the pale flesh of
yr stomach
and you asked me what was funny

asked if i’d
remember this moment in ten years
                                  or in twenty

asked like there were lives
depending on it and so i
said yes

traced the curve of yr breasts with
my free hand and
said yes

started waiting for
that day to arrive

- John Sweet 2018

John Sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living.  A believer in writing as catharsis.  an optimistic pessimist.  Opposed to all organized religion and political parties.  Avoids zealots and social media whenever possible.  His latest collections include  APPROXIMATE WILDERNESS (2016 Flutter Press) and BASTARD FAITH (2017 Scars Publications).  All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

New Poetry by Rob Walker

free in philadelphia

poignancy visiting a nation’s birthplace
while on cnn cops are shooting unarmed teens
as trump rises

the country’s first stockmarket, the bourse,
now symbolically a shopping mall
with philly cheese steaks

a rushed visit downstairs to the restroom,
a full-length mirror mistaken for a doorway
and my skull splits at the eyebrow

a crack in the liberty bell

- Rob Walker 2018

Rob Walker has produced six poetry collections, the most recent being tropeland (Five Islands Press, 2015), Original Clich├ęs (Ginninderra Press, 2016) and Policies & Procedures (Garron Publishing, 2016). His short fiction, memoir and essays have appeared in journals in the US and Australia and on ABC Radio National. He is one of a group of SA poets who will be reading their work at Adelaide Writers Week on March 6, 2018.

New Poetry by Jonathan Beale

The child at fifty three

The drooling dog runs behind
This abstract bicycle reciting
Kant whist understanding none
Of the Categorical Imperative

“And Why…!”you may ask
Or so no dogs speak in
Nietzschian  aphorisms to
Passing cats and diplomats

Here am I at a place destined
By the number that Pascal
Designed as the shape of air
The child never grows too far from the tree

Standing down as the child
Where once poetic muses
Flittered and danced: as Rimbaud
Remains, in this beautiful stench

They Look up: They look along
Thinking that this carcass is too
Far devoid of youth as it
Crumbles in a sewer of mediocrity

Look back down the path
Blood falls from the bracken
Of not having: chanced an arm
As a bark is heard in the dark.
                              It goes on….

- Jonathan Beale 2018

Jonathan Beale is from Surrey England, his work is seen in over fifty journals, as Danse Macabre, Penwood Review, Sheepshead review et al  and has a volume called Destinations of Raxiera (2015) and currently working on another volume.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

New Poetry by Tug Dumbly

Holding Pattern

Certain days sanity is a smile
traced with a finger
in the condensed breath
on a window pane.
Resolution is WASH ME
fingered in dust
on the back of a car.

Love is fighting hard
and winning the battle
not to slam the cutlery draw.

Certain days Hell is in a sneeze
a wrong turn
a mis-shot word.

We are built upon faith
in limbs and eyes
in work, liquor, a lover
a yielding sky.

But conditions always apply.

Certain days that tiny asterisk*
will expand
like a sphincter
to swallow you whole.

The rich man
ignorant of his sudden poverty
is not unhappy
nor the woman laughing with friends
who is yet to hear
of her drowned child.

- Tug Dumbly 2018

Tug Dumbly has performed his poems, songs and monologues on radio (as a regular on both Triple J and ABC 702), in schools, venues and festivals, both in Australia and abroad. He has released two spoken word CDs through the ABC, 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.    

Monday, February 05, 2018

New Poetry by Devika Mathur

A Death Star

I feel a sudden twitch
between the penumbra
of sunsets and sunrise.
Equinoctial stardust
choking my cerebrum,
I hear a wave of denouement
clasping, plummeting.
I hear horrors, I see horrors.

I sink into the pool of deaths and lives
counting my fingers, I thrash my hair locks
spin, spin, spin.

My life is a death star
hanging loose in the sky
mocking my decorations, painted.

how many segments form on my elbow?
Detonating like a lizards tail, regeneration.
We often explode in the same process,
My mouth becomes a temple now,
Pollen grains, ashes, memories.

- Devika Mathur 2018

Devika Mathur, a published author and a poet from India is a big-time logophile and a lover of Oxymorons. Her work has been previously published and is upcoming in Visual Verse, Subterranean blue poetry,, Indian Periodicals, Sick Lit mag among various others.

Friday, February 02, 2018

New Poetry by Sharon Phillips

Winter solstice

On a low ridge of hills
wind turbines pause.

Both children have pelted
up the lane to splinter
ice between its ruts.

We follow the children 
and talk. Black soil is stippled
with pale straw. Sunlight
slants our shadows 
across the field:

two pairs of legs, thin 
as dividers in a geometry set,
measure its length; rooks
prod the soil beside our heads.

Beneath a hedge
green buds nudge
through rusty leaves.

Where the lane reaches
its vanishing point
our children wait.

- Sharon Phillips 2018

Sharon’s poems have most recently appeared on Amaryllis, The Poetry Shed and Ink Sweat and Tears, and in Picaroon and Sentinel Literary Quarterly. In 2017 she won the Borderlines Poetry Competition with her poem ‘Tales of Doggerland’ and was also shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Monday, January 29, 2018

New Poetry by Ashley Capes


we’re supposed to mark each other
you know
exactly how it goes, you know
it’s one of those rules
that govern Life,
the ones that offer a tarnished
kind of comfort
in their supposed iron-cladding
like the ones
that only get fulfilled
in the cosy narratives of midday movies
and Disney
or any given summer’s
and you know
all of this
the way you knew it before we met
but you’re still like me
and you know
it’s not like that on the other side of the screen
or at least it doesn’t
have to be
and so instead of marks
we have always tried to leave behind
the kind of thoughts
if we care to look up and see them
burn their
afterimage across
the entire sky.

- Ashley Capes 2018

Ashley is a poet, novelist and teacher from Australia. He loves haiku, Ghibli films and volleyball.

Friday, January 26, 2018

New Poetry by JD DeHart


Our stories are told through
dust, and the sound of wheels
traveling over coarse earth.

Our stories are told through
struggle, long treks up the river,
unknown forests.

Sometimes our stories are even
told in grand mysteries of the sky,
resurrection touching winter.

Marginal figures who went on
to become the hero of the narrative.

- JD DeHart 2018

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  He blogs about books and authors at and publishes poems at

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New Poetry by Heather Browne


There was a break in the ocean
a split 
taking it down to the sand
exposing rock and shell 
hardening in the air 
dying if touched

The ocean wanted to feel the sun 
burning below
the pain sharp and pointed
instead of languid inebriation 
the incessant drunkenness of waves 
even a crash is softened
It wanted to be stripped 
down bare to the spine
where every rock tossed stays implanted
hearing the beat striking
the bottom 
taking hold and digging in 
leaving its mark

- Heather Browne 2018

Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist, recently nominated for the Pushcart Award, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, Apeiron, The Lake, Knot, mad swirl.  Red Dashboard  released her first collection, Directions of Folding.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New Poetry by James Croal Jackson

Homesick (Dissociation)

Tulip tree in Alaska. Cold
and wild. Rembrandt blue

Christmas lights, shepherd
pie a warmth of familiar metal

stovetop. Doorstep. Gold
beneath nothing but rusted shovel

mnemonic arms repping
dumbbells. Must be strong

in clumps of conviction. The south
says the creator God’s a yes.

Freeform jazz. Bubbled
champagne. Festivals devoted

to home. Houston before me,
Texas a pink tie knotted.

- James Croal Jackson 2018

James Croal Jackson is the author of The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017). His poetry has appeared in Hobart, FLAPPERHOUSE, Yes Poetry, and elsewhere. He edits The Mantle, a poetry journal. Find him in Columbus, Ohio or at