Friday, May 31, 2019

New Poetry by Brian Rihlmann

Owen's Water Chimes

The rain spatters against the window
and I am taken back to his dingy room
in that old flophouse on the north coast,

where we sat 20 years ago 
chatting about books and drinking whiskey
during a winter rainstorm,

and he occasionally held up a finger,
interrupting me,
and saying, "Listen!"

He called them his "water chimes,"
the beer cans and bottles
he tossed out the window into the alley,

and heard melodies
in the plinking and plopping sounds
of raindrops on their hollow shells.

I was 25 then, he was 50 years older,
and I thought he was drunk,
or just a crazy old bastard.

Now I sit, listening to the rain,
windblown against the glass
drumming like tiny insistent fingers,

like someone waiting for me
when I'm running late,
but I'm not sure just what for.

- Brian Rihlmann 2019

Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. Folk poetry...for folks. He has been published in Constellate Magazine, Poppy Road Review, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review and has an upcoming piece in The American Journal Of Poetry.

Monday, May 27, 2019

New Poetry by Margaret Holley


Have I written enough poems for one lifetime?
Do I really need to search for words for this

breath they breathe out and I breathe in,
pulling the sprig in close to my face, this scent 

I have loved since childhood when it taught me 
what spring is?  Richard Wilbur called it

“the pure power of this perfume,” and no one 
has lent it a finer bouquet. So now I can simply 

be silent, close my eyes, and breathe it in. I can 
sit in my room in the oncoming dusk reading 

“When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” 
slowly all the way through, weeping shamelessly

for the heart-shaped leaves, the hermit thrush,
and Whitman’s love for Lincoln — and for us, 

crowds of us all across America who gathered 
as the funeral train with the coffin traveled west,

town by town, toward Springfield for burial, 
just as our nation itself very nearly died.

Instead of going to bed, I’d rather go back out
into the dark to lie down in the ivy and myrtle 

under the lilac bush and let my thoughts 
rise up wordlessly around its sturdy twigs, 

its clouds of tiny, opening, four-pointed stars.
I’d rather be a painter, a dancer, a singer,

a dreamer wondering if I’m asleep or if I’m 
waking, oh please, waking at last.

- Margaret Holley 2019

Margaret Holley’s fifth book of poems is Walking Through the Horizon(University of Arkansas Press,  Newer poems have appeared in online at Algebra of Owls, Bluepepper, Eclectica, Gnarled Oak, The Tower Journal, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.  She currently she lives with her husband in Wilmington, DE, and serves as a docent at Winterthur Museum and Gardens.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

New Poetry by Jonathan Beale

The first blue spring days 

The Magnolia dawns!
Misting over the sultry fields… 
That Chagallian mood bleeds
Through to the idyllic
Blissful, dreamy and then mellow.

Until another god divines:
Wisteria, majestic! Regal!
As the chimes of St Marks Basilica.
They hang observing 
As the gods and angels. 

The Ceanothus sitting on the corner. 
Standing bereft of purpose,
Other than its own beauty,
Its own meaning - 
There is nothing bluer.  

Lavender: bridging springs finale.  
Springs new birth rite, Lavenders meaning.  
Killing springs winter -
Brushing away the charm
Into another day, another season.

- Jonathan Beale 2019

Jonathan Beale has had his work published in over sixty journals including Danse Macabre, Mad Swirl, Ygdrasil, Red Wolf Editions, Sheepshead Review, Poetry 24 et al.  He is also published in two anthologies ‘Drowning’ and ‘The Poet as Sociopath’ (Scar publications). And one to be published ‘Do not be afraid’ a small anthology dedicated to Seamus Heaney. His first book of poetry The Destinations of Raxiera (Hammer and Anvil) in November 2015. He lives Surrey U.K.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

New Poetry by Abigail George

The genius of the fish

(for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

My mother was a woman who cut a striking figure in 
blue jeans even well into her sixties. She was a 

woman half-formed by the green sea. You would find 
me after watching my favourite soap in the afternoon

weeping amongst the glaciers, catching the oyster-cloth
of my breath considering every forward lurch of my 

sin into hell. I will still remember and go on remembering.
A mother who was also a sister, a daughter who was now

an orphan. Touch me. I am flesh and bone like you,
chiseled into an aching, living, breathing thing. Into this

human body engineered for love and the psychology of 
it all, of most of all disability and I think of the genius 

of fish. How they move in water, gulping in air through
their gills. Supreme triumph after triumph. How perfect

they seem to be on the surface of things. They’ll never 
know what it is to dance in their bare feet or sadness or

electroshock therapy. I think of you with a kind of longing.
Sometimes in the same way I think of John Nash. I over-

think of this empty mirror. No reflection, no muse, no
nation there, no habitat, no cave dweller. I’m more or less

drone than bat. Seed is found there in the elements and 
dimensions of nature. People are found there in swimming 

pools in the same way they’re found numb after taking pain 
medication. Girls remind me of Updike. Faces that I have no 

longing to kiss. Boys remind me of Sartre and Beauvoir’s 
relationship. Their union erratic, unpredictable. With their 

faces that I have no longing to kiss. I long for you. How
I long for you. Your company, to sit next to, to understand

that there is only this love in the world and that nothing
divides us absolutely. You’re reflection projected, muse

interrupted, chaos and disorder exploding like bombs 
in my brain. I write to reach you. All I ask in return is that

you accept me high and low, crushing and numb, deaf  
to the burn wound of my soul, to the voiceless bone sticking-out.

You’re my girl, you’re my girl, you’re my girl. Reminding
me of Updike, Rilke, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Bambi.

- Abigail George 2019

Pushcart Prize-nominated Abigail George is a South African blogger, essayist, poet and short story writer. She briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. Her latest book is The Scholarship Girl published by Zimbabwean Publishing company Mwanaka Media and Publishing and edited by Tendai Rinos Mwanaka. She is the recipient of two grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, one from the Centre of the Book in Cape Town and ECPACC in East London.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

New Poetry by Terry Wheeler

hyde park

bugger all degrees
of separation for
cattle ticks and
the bush bred

wondering if don walker
ever ran across
great auntie evie
up at the cross

when hyde park winos
on the picnic tables
were the best
chess players

awol for a week while
on tour they found
thelonious monk there
asleep on a park bench

evie the black sheep
would’ve connected
with thelonious or don
outside the square

- Terry Wheeler 2019

Terry worked in the public service for decades and was inspired to write after seeing Michael Dransfield poems in The Australian newspaper when a teenager. Terry has been published in Australia and abroad since retiring. He lives in Brisbane when not travelling.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

New Poetry by John Rock

Moon Full

just each other’s night to sing
just each other’s warmth and elegance as if formed from moonlight
your nipples dark upon the raft of silver breath of silver earth
as coyotes sing wilder in the moon-stenciled forest you move
as Icarus through his love of life transformed his wings and dove into the sea
  over and over as the story is told I travel into you and look down to see
    the moonlight walking into the sea

- John Rock 2019

John Rock grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in the United States and spent many years on the shores of Lake Superior writing poems among all the shimmering mosquitoes and frogs.  He presently lives in Northern New Mexico.  More poems and novels at

Monday, May 13, 2019

New Poetry by Mark Roberts

Darkness. Orange. Circa 1966

this darkness so thick
    you can raise an arm
        and reach into it

night clouds cover moon and stars
    there is nothing outside
        no street lights no car headlights
i lie in a bed under a mountain of blankets
    the wind moving trees beyond the window
        unknown sounds
dogs bark cows bellow
        scratching sounds
            there is no difference
between opening your eyes
        or keeping them

- Mark Roberts 2019

Mark Roberts is a writer, critic and publisher who is based in the Blue Mountains, NSW. He is the founding editor of the Rochford Street Review and runs Rochford Press with Linda Adair. His collection, Concrete Flamingos, was published by Island Press in 2016.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

New Poetry by Diarmuid ó Maolalaí

My bleeding fingers

I don't know. I must
have caught them somewhere. I was 
distracted, unpacking the car
in the countryside - out here 
anything can be an edge. but I like it, 
even with my bleeding fingers - 

the way water 
breaks in the river 
like gin 
pouring over ice
and the way you can walk out at night
and see more stars 
than anywhere. together
we bring bags
and bottles
to the cabin,
stretch, and take our turns
to piss. I rinse my hand 
with a tap,
fed by wells
and freezing.
westward, the sun
is approaching the mountains
as we try to get a fire on,
and the cats
crawl down walls
to lick honey from my cuts. you told me you knew
of an antiseptic
remedy - I can't believe
you meant honey
and wild cats. 

Diarmuid ó Maolalaí 2019

DS Maolalai has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016) and "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019)

Monday, May 06, 2019

New Poetry by Rosanna Licari

Field of Vision

The sash window divides the view equally.

Above the meeting rail, pure sky –
pale blue, cloudless, divine.
And below, the garden rooted in earth –       
green, fecund, foliaged. 

And what are we to do but consider the limits?

Layers build the atmosphere.              
The attributes of changing weather
order the troposphere, our home. 

Among bee-smothered flora
fallen fruit rests in the garden. 
At the minutest levels 
all is a play of chemical equations.

Yellow and white flashes –
cockatoos weave through the leaves.    
Their hoarse screeches urge us further.

We press on,
breaking through the celestial dome
portrayed on ceilings of cathedrals
and beyond the exosphere 
into unknown spaces. 

- Rosanna Licari 2019

Rosanna Licari is the poetry editor of online literary journal StylusLitHer work has appeared in various journals and anthologies, and she recently completed a Varuna Residential Fellowship to work on her collection, "Earlier”.

New Poetry by Rob Schackne

Gentle Winds
(i.m. Les A. Murray)

Stretched out
reclining in a chair
pensive poet, vale
yes, might as well
make what you will
a cup of coffee
a book of poems
the struck hand
relaxed in trance
the hat's outside
the search terms
the available grants
pull the other one
please, gentle winds
grace and presence
now translated
a bit of forever
into other tongues

- Rob Schackne 2019

Born in New York. Migrated to Australia in the early 70s. I have recently returned to Oz from China, where I was teaching for 15 years. Now living in country Victoria. The fresh air and blue skies are astounding. When I'm not writing, I like taking photographs very much.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

New Poetry by James Walton

The Transmission of Leaves

This is the transmission of leaves
the eatings worth of physillids
a dusting of nigella seed
within the guilty fingerprint

by the unravelling meander after rain

all cochineal as maple floats
those burnt ceramics of summer
now cracked and soothed under shade

turned to a gentle tajine of promise

an exclamation of hover flies pretending honey
a flutter of thoughts to native bees
out of the thirst for white ironbarks

waves of Jackie Winters hustle refraction
through a band of coppiced saplings
a glisten in outrageous hemlines 
of pleated scarlet firmament

where steppe nomads prance
their cupid dance of migration

while the butcher bird is unwrapping
all the glossy paper

toting up how many shades of bark
in reams of paisley decadence
it will take to dress this naked garden
amongst the lust of leucoxylons.

- James Walton 2019

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).