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.