Wednesday, November 28, 2018

New Poetry by Linda Stevenson

Subtle Gardening

Whipper snipper and spread soil;
there’s a clumsy green thing
needs putting away, falls
down at the slightest.
We need to be delicate
and gradual
in our enterprise. Only a girl
can work with me on this block,
caring more for feelings
than results.

You could dig out a few more
dandelions, plant
native violets. It’s not really
a rockery, not
fully indigenous,
not planning for a lawn.
I like the dead leaves,
mulch and covering.

It will be hot and tomorrow
also. I’ll be watering early.
It’s the understandings,
the understatement,
the tiny, hardly visible,
we’ll achieve;
not even sure if they will
for any time at all.

- Linda Stevenson 2018

Linda is 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. Her chapbook, "The Tipping Point", was published in 2015.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

New Poetry by James Walton

an absence of Giotto

in the damper sand
a streamer of sea weed
like an arrow at the bullseye


curled as it is
by a one-way wind
its mystery of being


the odds beyond reckoning
a circle for employment
its circumference deep enough


until the tide reclaims
places beyond the living
of each day and night again

- James Walton 2018

James Walton lives in South Gippsland. He was a librarian, a farm labourer, a cattle breeder, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many newspapers, journals, and anthologies, and has been shortlisted for the ACU Prize, the MPU International Prize, the James Tate Prize, and Jupiter Artland. His books include The Leviathan's Apprentice  2015, Walking Through Fences 2018, and Unstill Mosaics (forthcoming). 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New Poetry by Ben Hession


First, there’s the liminal, bluish hued depth
unwittingly inviting disputations concerning
your very existence, such is your colour:
scientists can never quite fix the frequencies.

Is there, rather, another knowing,
an intuitive wheel spinning within
an inner spectrum? Or, with light shining
on a blank CD, the yield of a delicate song,

its muted voice singing in one’s hand, resisting  
erasure, a meditation that’s played again and again?
See now, how this dye does not bleed, but it is
the bleeding, the flow of distinctiveness, always

re-asserting itself, always reborn, the riband river out;
the present fastens its own measurement, ‘pauses’ here.

- Ben Hession  2018

Ben Hession is a Wollongong based writer. His poetry has been published in Eureka Street, International Chinese Language Forum, Cordite Poetry Review, Verity La, Mascara Literary Review, Bluepepper, Marrickville Pause and the Live Poets anthology Can I Tell You A Secret? His poem ‘A Song of Numbers’ was shortlisted for the 2013 Australian Poetry Science Poetry Prize. He has reviewed poetry for Verity La and the Mascara Literary Review. He also writes music articles and is involved with community broadcasting.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, MC (18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918)

While the rest of the world begins a week of solemn ceremonies and interminable platitudes to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the German Armistice in the West, Bluepepper feels it appropriate to mark the 100th anniversary today of the death of one of history's great soldier poets and one of the great prophetic voices of the Twentieth Century. Lieutenant Wilfred Owen MC was killed while attempting to cross the Sambre-Oise Canal in North-Eastern France and was promoted to Lieutenant posthumously. In one of those cruel ironies with which the war was replete, Owen's mother received the telegram informing her of her son's death while the bells tolled the signing of the Armistice across London. He was one of 20 million soldiers and civilians killed during the war across vast swathes of Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Persia. Those four years between 1914 and 1918 are perhaps the most tragic and costly example in human history of the cost that can be borne by people when their leaders fail to meet the demands of their office, scrambling for justifications for the damage when the damage has already been done. It should also be borne in mind while we are laying our wreathes next week that a further 70 million people perished in the ensuing two years from disease, famine, civil war and unrest, all as a direct result of the war and the poor decisions made in the northern summer of 1914. Lest we Forget.

 The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

 So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
and builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

(Wilfred Owen, 1893 - 1918)

Thursday, November 01, 2018

New Poetry by Robert Verdon

Home-grown Utopia

Morning glory
as our windows
slant to take the sun.

So I reflect,
coming home
from Kate’s at five,

a cat sees a mouse
as many people
see a ham sandwich.

We cannot ‘address’
Horror and Holocaust, the best art
is to prevent its occurrence.

The kangaroos of dry Mt Ainslie
have left their homeless neighbours
and are once more on the lawn,

so I, again, awaking, say hello
and turn to home-grown utopia
— the real destination,

adding more life
than Coke (even Peruvian)
ever could.

- Robert Verdon 2018

Robert Verdon lives in Canberra and divides his attention between writing, academic work, and gardening. He is about to submit his PhD in poetry composition to the University of Canberra. Once he was a member of the scurrilous and numinous Aberrant Genotype Press. As well as many publications and the odd prize over the years, he has a large horde of unpublished poetry.