Sunday, May 16, 2021

New Poetry by John Grey

The Next Generation

He died
and his library passed away
soon after.
All of those books were
sold off to a second hand dealer.
The man never did have issue
that could read worth a damn.

Same with music.
Bach, Beethoven
and that rare Mozart recording
barely made it past the funeral.

His heirs at least
appreciated his art work,
appreciated how much they had
appreciated in value that is
since he bought them as a young man.

The house never stood a chance.
Too old, too ugly, was the consensus.
A nineteenth century gem
it said in the real estate listing.

He was a man of great taste.
His children are
the latest word in Philistines.
He left them such a legacy.
But they mistook it for a corpse.

- © John Grey 2021

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Orbis, Dalhousie Review and the Round Table. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon.

Friday, May 14, 2021

New Poetry by Peter Roads

When he grows up he's gonna be a big man 
Big like important 
President of wide open space 
Fill every room he is in 
A waist too expansive for pants 
Words too amazing for grace 
Features too big for a face 
Ego to wide for scale 
Measurement is for other people  
he will be a gateway to the future 
Through which many will travel 
Just to see him will be inspiring 
People will hang him on their wall 
Like they hung him from that tree 
Bound hand and feet 
They will love him  
just you wait and see 
He will be so big 
                                    so tall 
                                    so awesome 
                                    so heavy  
that all this guilt will fall  
we will be set free  
when he grows up he will be a big man 
Better kill him young  
so we won't feel so  

- © Peter Roads 2021

Since starting his performance career in a Sydney backyard Peter has performed for the Unlikely Project, Unspoken Words, Newtown Festival Mainstage and Shelter NSW. Since winning 'most promising poet' at the 2015 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup he's published a series of independent chapbooks exploring issues of anxiety, politics, identity and religion. His last short film 'Flashback to the Pool' won laurels in 2020 and the next project 'Summon the Unbelievers' is a broadside against the hubris of blind faith.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

New Poetry by Todd Matson

The Gerrymanderer

he drew lines
to his right
to his left

battle lines
before him
behind him

jagged lines
above him
below him

crooked lines
to divide
to conquer

curved lines
twisted into

bloody lines
red and blue

rich and poor
black and white
citizen and immigrant

gay and straight
binary and nonbinary
young and old

men and women
fathers and sons
mothers and daughters

brothers and sisters
best of friends
us and them

a web of lines
tangling hearts
with fear and hate

he drew lines
of division
in the sand

until he etch-a-sketched
himself into a corner
boxed himself in

couldn’t get out
wielded his pen
like a stiletto

cut himself
into a thousand
little pieces

- © Todd Matson 2021

Todd Matson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  He has written poetry for The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling, has been published in Ariel Chart International Literary Journal and The Chamber Magazine, and has also written lyrics for songs recorded by a number of contemporary Christian music artists.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

New Poetry by Sergio Antonio

Infinite Plain

frosty mountain range, 
tumultuous river,
navigation on the sea of dull 
—no spellbinding colors 
to dream about,

golden pink desert night,
shoreline that stretches the horizon
until it looks like the horizon.

You end up touching me
though I'm faceless.

- © Sergio Antonio 2021

Sergio Antonio is a retired, Educator, Bilingual-Queer PRican Poet, and Human Rights Activist. Pushcart nominee, Best of the Web, Best of the Net, nominee. He took 2nd place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. He workshops his poetry in RatsAssReview workshop. Recent credits include Spanish audio poems in GATO MALO Editing, Maleta Ilegal, Frances House, South Florida Poetry Journal, RatsAssReview, The Maynard, and Spillwords. He is the Founder of Undertow Tanka Poetry Review now La Resaca. Founder of the Online LGBTTQI+ Elderly Virtual Caribbean Artist Public Housing Collective and Publishing Press.

Monday, May 10, 2021

New Poetry by Vern Fein

The Right to Complain

I won’t compare and contrast
the pain in my life to others
like a dutiful rhetoric student
composing an obligatory essay
assigned by an older teacher
nursing his retirement years.

I want the pain to be mine.
I want to own the hurt.
I want to feel my daughter's divorce,
my son's vandalized car,
my dog's surgery.
I won’t compare my life events
to the ravages of a hurricane
blowing an island paradise into the sea
or the latest mass shooting
composing a cemetery from a concert
or the death of my best friend's daughter
cancer slicing her life in half.  
But why can't I complain
when people ask me how I am?
Why can't I bray my petty pipings
in the grieving face of real tragedy?

 My maiden aunt often said:
"You are only in your own skin."

Does that comfort me?

- © Vern Fein 2021

A retired special education teacher, Vern Fein has published over one hundred fifty poems on over sixty sites, a few being: *82 Review, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Courtship of Winds, Young Raven's Review, Nine Muses, Monterey Poetry Review, and Corvus Review.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

New Poetry by Gerald Friedman

Woods Outside Cleveland,Ohio

I hop the creek and see in ten steps
that it was half the creek and I’m on an island
made of the same shale and soil as the land around,
with the same hemlock trees and geraniums, 
near its barely highest point
one beech shading an ironwood,
but the light here is denser, 
maybe because more dragonflies
hover and cruise among the trunks.
The birdcalls’ intervals are calmer,
maybe because nothing’s in them but water.
Maybe because no one ever fought on this ground.
Maybe no one ever was born or died here.
Maybe everyone ever here was alone,
or two alone together.
Maybe a child of the Assistaeronon, the Fire Nation,
said good-bye to these hemlocks’ parents
not knowing where the people were going or why,
as no one knows now.

- © Gerald Friedman 2021

Gerald Friedman grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and now teaches physics at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico.  His poetry has appeared in various magazines, recently Panoply, Entropy, Bombfire, Rat's Ass Review, and The Daily Drunk.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

New Poetry by Terri Drake

Rain God

When a raindrop evaporates
before it hits the ground
it’s called sublime

the way I dream
of you and me
in freefall ecstatic in tandem

and you vanish
before disaster happens

When the rain clouds let go
we understood relief

When god created rain
rain was all she wanted

and we finally knew
what thirst was for.

- © Terri Drake 2021

Terri Drake is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.  Her poetry collection, "At the Seams" was published by Bear Star Press.  Her poems have appeared in Quarry West, Perihelion; Heartwood Literary Magazine; Crab Creek Review, and Open: Journal of Art and Letters, among others.  She is a practicing psychoanalyst living in Santa Cruz, California.


Monday, May 03, 2021

New Poetry by Robert Verdon


as the chilly wheel buckles …

from the rock, banded by iron drought
from the dry rot of winter
from the hard enclosing garden walls
of stunted ranges
each peak a balletic point of morning dream
of distant mandolins of mist, fleeting as a bird in a mirror,
pirouetting on the surface of a fingerling stream
as you open your eyes, throat tinder dry, and lost

— a mast, the sky sways,
a vein, the sky swells,
the dark park branches
blossom with dawn
over the jagged benches
with the sigh of a brassy blast —

it comes

water is sweet
once more,
and the rain is not vinegar
the sun rolls too quickly
along the ecliptic

- © Robert Verdon 2021

Robert Verdon is an Australian / British writer of poetry and prose with a PhD from the University of Canberra. He came 2nd in the 2012 W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize for Australia. His books include The Well-Scrubbed Desert (Canberra: Polonius, 1994), Her Brilliant Career (Canberra: Aberrant Genotype Press, 1998), My Cat Eats Spaghetti (Canberra: Ginninderra Press, 1999), Before we Knew this Century (Liverpool, UK: Erbacce Press, 2010), and a spiral life (Canberra: Resurgam, 2020).

Sunday, May 02, 2021

New Poetry by Linda King

An Evening Poem

we all edit our lives
some make it over
into vintage movie posters
where words circle their meanings
like notes carved into pine tables
years ago

now    you want someone
to show you a new trick
to remove the conditions
dissolve the heavy air
of late afternoons    whiskey
and leftover words
from unfinished poems

you try to reach their essence
but all day you have been holding
the ocean    all day
you  have been writing
an evening poem

- © Linda King 2021

Linda King is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent -antibodies in the alphabet - BlazeVOX Books (2019). Her work has been published in numerous journals (including Bluepepper) in Canada and internationally.  She has been nominated for Best of the Net and also for the Pushcart Prize.  King lives and writes on The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.