Sunday, January 31, 2021

New Poetry by DAH

fragmented no. 34

when winter is a string of rain
between bone and skin  
between emptiness

in cold rivulets
this wet inventory stops
the sun from breathing   

there’s a young man sitting
on a porch
huddled up to a cigarette

, his expression : all of his
dreams defeated
, heavy eyes , as if sinking

the rain , a damaged lung asking
for breath : if only to sleep
when it rains

my hands are like cold fruit
covered in ice , the shivering
puddles at my feet

walking with heads lowered
a man and woman , as fragile
as pawns . the heart is like this

: every life is a riddle , riddled
with emotions
, the young man doesn’t know
what to think

, the man and woman tremble
, and the water , a mirror reflecting
their unbearable sorrow  

I avert my eyes , as if forbidden
to look at them
, or to assume their secrets

- © DAH 2021

DAH is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee, and the author of nine books of poetry. DAH lives in Berkeley, California, where he is working on his tenth poetry collection, while simultaneously working on his first collection of short fiction.

New Poetry by John Grey

Between the Covers

To all who resent his comic books,
his only response is “Shazam.”

His parents look in on him from time to time,
shake their heads,
return to the business
of raising the rest of their children.

Meanwhile, his head is buried in Spiderman,
treating every frame with such reverence.
Or making eyes at Wonder Woman,
the glorious Amazon he is saving himself for.

He’s twenty-five but won’t look for a job.
As long as he gets his allowance,
he doesn’t need the money.
And, he figures, why be a Clark Kent
who’s just Clark Kent and nothing more.

He longs to fly
and have the strength of a hundred men.
Instead, he’s overweight
and still wets the bed.
He won’t be coming to your rescue
any time soon.

- © John Grey 2021

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Poetry by Robert Pegel

Sacred Space

My son’s room remains a shrine.
He died in his bed
and we don’t know why.
But I refuse to let his bed become the enemy.
I kneel and pray there nightly.
As if the words thought might bring him back
to lie in that bed and all will be right in the world again.
As I depart from the room after my nightly ritual,
I touch three pieces of clothing,
one at a time, that remain on his bed after four years.
One black t shirt he wore on our last vacation shortly before he died.
An oxford blue shirt he loved and wore in his last class picture.
And a little light brown teddy bear mini blanket
we searched for and found from when he was a toddler.
He used to rub the silk from the edge of the blanket
against his lips as he watched cartoons.
My mind relives the days of Calvin
from all three of those times.
Then I hit my heart twice
and give a peace sign to heaven salute.
It won’t bring him back.
But it brings back stages of his life
to my mind for an instant.
And for now, my mind is the only place left
where I can capture a moment in time.

- © Robert Pegel 2021

Robert Pegel is a father and husband whose only child, his son Calvin, died in his sleep four years ago.  Calvin was 16 and died of unknown causes.  Robert writes poetry to help process the unimaginable.  He hopes others will find inspiration in his writing which may help them cope with suffering they are experiencing.  Robert graduated from Columbia University where he majored in English.  He has only begun submitting his work recently.  He has been published in Down in the Dirt and The Unique Poetry Journal. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

New Poetry by Edward Raso

Fire Escape

The city, on fire, lies still to listen to the song of her sirens
and to the balcony serenades sung down,
remembering the war-cries she had once heard from atop the ash heap
by those breathing-in the dooming bones of the unknown,
just another layer in the anthropocene of a first responder.

How I've missed her warm glow, as I've faded here in the luxury of being
an outsider at times of tragedy
who will be heard from. Who will go? Who will come back and begin again?

I miss the quieting of her commotion as I fade to the tree frogs' haunted dollops
that pulsate through the suburban insect static.

The fire, uncitied, still lies to the happily red and ravished
through the fingerstuffed ears of those who give invitation 
to warm their frostbitten hearts, leaving only hospital waste and a little more
Another striped shroud is stripped and bleached and put back into circulation.

What is it you fear when you lie still and as lonely as a smoldering city 
silencing what (boozesexmoneylovefamily)
you've drawn up around yourself to muffle
the voice at the base of your skull that whispers the one thing
you never wanted to know, at every moment of your drawn up life.

Who else is there to pay what you owe?

- © Edward Raso 2021

Edward Raso's poetry has been published in The Mystic Blue Review and is forthcoming in RAW Journal of Arts. His fiction has been published in Causeway Lit as the winner of the 2016 award, eFiction Magazine, and Soft Cartel, among others. In music, he has written, performed on, mixed, produced and recorded over 15 platinum and gold albums. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his family.

New Poetry by Jean Bohuslav


1          lips sneering
curling back on themselves
mean and ludicrous his steely smile
eeking soft bird sounds
cajoling a mother’s senses
     to her death

through the cat door
early morn
perfectly placed amongst christmas presents
beneath the spruce
not a feather disturbed
nor drop of blood

2          feeding five greedy mouths
every day
nested on a shed beam
just inside the door  

it wouldn’t be long before they’d
circle with the flock
over sheep paddocks
    to join the morning cooing

he was seen before    
     in hindsight
checking on their growth
and when just right
took them all
at morning light
that bloody hawk
3          a golden labrador in the top paddock
biting every sheep possible
    while the rifle was retrieved
they fled to the bottom flat
the shot rang through the valley
local farmers rang for news
they knew we’d been losing ewes

the young lad had been walking his lab
picked up his dog
tears rolling down his face
not realising he was standing on two legs
of our pet sheep raised by hand
and in lamb

she used to disappear and then turn up again
he said

- © Jean Bohuslav 2021

Jean Bohuslav lives  on the Surf Coast of Victoria, Australia.  She is interested in mindfulness and philosophy which some times influences her poems.  Her work can be found in Kissing Dynamite, Mad Swirl, Poetry On The Move, Tango Australis as well as Bluepepper.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

New Poetry by Lewis Braham

Elegy for Walter Benjamin
For forty years we bore the words on our backs.
Carved into calfskin and carried them
through the desert.
Yet you lasted forty hours in the Pyrenees with a broken heart.
Timing everything—ten minutes walking, one rest—on your pocket watch.
Spent on an escarpment like an immolant to your briefcase.
“The manuscript is more important than I am.”
Nothing but the planet will be anymore
because now we copy and paste.
Click Send.
If only we could you then or
Backspacebackspacebackspace over the whole debacle
Arendt: “One day earlier Benjamin would have got through without any trouble. Only on that particular day was the catastrophe possible.”
How absurd.
Benjamin, benoni, son of my pain.
The last zion out of Yakov and Rachel—or tried try to—too late.
Binyamin, spirit man, twenty-first century spook,
ectoplasmic love machine, alive in the multiplication of your texts.
These pulpy pilpul, digital doppelgangers reduced?
to zeroes and ones.

- © Lewis Braham 2021

Lewis Braham is a graduate of Brooklyn College's MFA program in creative writing. His work has appeared in the Ekphrastic Review, Tuck Magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Reuters and Bloomberg.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

New Poetry by Lisa Bledsoe

Below the Ancient Border Trees

In a low crease of mountain lies a seeping
palace of alchemy and decay. Here

there is severance, bloom and outrageous gift,
where Mystery sings her invitation:

Walk here with me, unhurried.
Wear boots you don’t mind getting soaked or foul

and carry a stout branch for balance in the mire.
Here your private hopes and furies are unjudged.

You are known, a confusion of roots, stinging vines, 
spoilage and color: orange and olive, deep stone

and umberleaf—all with the sweet breath of sky
above. Will you name your ruin and collapse

haunts of potential? What would it call for
but your own inpouring of immoderate love?

- © Lisa Bledsoe 2021

Watched by crows and friend to salamanders, Lisa Creech Bledsoe is a hiker, beekeeper, and writer living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two full-length books of poetry, Appalachian Ground (2019), and Wolf Laundry (2020). She has new poems out or forthcoming in The Blue Mountain Review, American Writers Review, Sky Island Journal, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Red Fez, and River Heron Review, among others.

Monday, January 18, 2021

New Poetry by Marilyn Humbert

the day you died
no rustle or ripple fills the space

traps me
between strikes of the struck bell

in silence after the coda fades
stranded like a drip of dew in morning heat

a dust mote in pale-beam’s flicker
before stars turn on their blinking lights

a place darkness grinds me down

- Marilyn Humbert 2021

Marilyn Humbert is a Sydney poet.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

New Poetry by Charlie Brice


Billy Collins’ poem, “Anniversary,”
tells of a baby being born on the day
someone dies such that the baby’s birthday
is always a commemoration of the dead
person’s life. Who died on my birthday,
June 7, 1950? I’m gonna crank up the
Google machine right now and check that out.

The only famous person I can find who died
on my birthday is Charles S. Howard, the millionaire
owner of the famous racehorse, Seabiscuit.

Oh for god’s sake! How humiliating.
Who has heard of Charles S. Howard?
He’s not famous, his horse is. Couldn’t have
some internationally known novelist or poet
have died on my birthday? A Nobel Laureate,
or even a famous acrobat or lion tamer, or possibly
an all-around world champion bronco rider?

What about a guy who, single handedly, pulled
twenty fellow marines out of quicksand in Korea
after one of his hands had been blown off
by a grenade so that he had, quite literally,
saved them single handedly? But no, the guy
with whom I celebrate every birthday never
did anything but own a horse.

Who the hell was Charles S. Howard anyway? I bet
he’d never ridden a horse. I bet he spent his time
drinking mint julips, smoking stinky cigars, and
reading the newspaper at his exclusive men’s club
while he sat in a red leather chair that made fart
noises every time he changed position.

Then again, who am I to whine that no one famous
died on my birthday? What will the person born
on my death day think about me?

Oh great, on the day I was born some obscure,
unknown, minor poet, not even a footnote
on Duotrope, some verbigerator obsessed with
nuns and death who, as an atheist, claimed
he had no soul and whose soul, therefore,
had nowhere to go, died on the day I was born.

Not only didn’t he own a famous racehorse,
he didn’t even possess a famous moose,
or turtle, or anteater.
I want to apologize now, before my demise,
to the poor bloke or lass who draws my death                                              
to commemorate on his or her birthday.
I’m sorry. Make a wish. Blow out the candles.
Live a good and decent life. 

- © Charlie Brice 2021

Charlie Brice is the winner of the 2020 Field Guide Magazine Poetry Contest and is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), An Accident of Blood (2019), and The Broad Grin of Eternity (forthcoming), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net Anthology and three times for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, Chiron Review, Pangolin Review, The Sunlight Press, Sparks of Calliope, and elsewhere.



Wednesday, January 06, 2021

New Poetry by Stu Hatton

friday night sutra
Once the first-drink glow
subsides, you feel a slight pain
in your career.

                           If you seek not ‘small-talk’
but its opposite (whatever that may be),
where, & with whom, might you begin?
Do you find speaking becomes somewhat

                 And then to seek what: closure?
opening? or the petalled eye
of oblivion?

                     Are you yet another who sings
a love of borders, who’d suffer
any old flustered tale?

                                         Or if pressed
to name names, will you point the finger
at all the other pointing fingers, each aimed
at a different mugshot of the moon?

                                                                   As you stumble again
on the dim set of Night of the Introvert,
beware the low-hanging wisdom:
‘it is only a thought
that will trouble’.

- © Stu Hatton 2021

Stu Hatton lives and writes on unceded Dja Dja Wurrung country in Campbells Creek, Victoria. Recently his work has appeared in Burrow, Otoliths and Verity La. He is currently preparing his third poetry collection, entitled In the Not-too-distant Present.