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.