Sunday, February 20, 2022

New Poetry by Linda Adair

Steeped in history

The afternoon slumps ---
habit calls for a cuppa.
The mind craves something staunch
to reboot as the coffee-fuelled resolve dissipates
a bold breakfast brew would do the trick.

As the jug boils, I consider
my comfortable options versus
those offered by history ---
the green tin or the red
the Irish and English blend respectively.
The choice would have been clear once.

Dusty leavings swept off a factory floor
became the green, after first pickings
were boxed in red, and
chopped leaf takings of the cheaper Assam
fortified the displaced natives of Erin
whilst the best Indian  leaves that money could buy
steeped in the teatime parlours of an Empire
built by war, plunder, and brutality.
Why else would the troopers wear redcoats
but to hide the bloodletting of battle?

Gold letter status 'By Appointment to Her Majesty' on the tin
that emblematic red coat my great-great grandfather once wore.
At Lambing Flat the Crown’s men
read the Riot Act to stop the slaughter of Chinese miners.
But that was on a good day.
Usually the ‘traps’ defended ‘squatters’ rights
as they took over Wiradjuri lands.

- © Linda Adair 2020

Linda Adair is a poet and editor of Rochford Press/ Rochford Street Review who lives in Leura on the unceded lands of the Dharug and Gundungarra peoples. During Covid, Melbourne Poets Union published and zoom launched her debut book The Unintended Consequences of the Shattering. She has been published in 25 Miles from Here Pure Slush Vol 21, Messages from the Embers (Black Quill Press, 2020), To End All Wars (Puncher & Wattmann, 2018) and various journals. Her work will appear in  the forthcoming Work Lifespan Vol 5 Pure Slush.


Monday, February 14, 2022

New Poetry by Jeremy Nathan Marks

Pidgin (speak white*) 

Today I heard a young man
speaking in tongues 
from a televised platform 
in the heart of downtown 

Cameras rolled banners waved
and the passion of his audience
warmed the deliverance seeking  

If what the man said made sense 
to those in attendance 
it bewildered everyone else 
but as a form of recompense 
we’ve been promised an encore performance 

Meanwhile a man with an eagle feather 
sits on a train track in the middle of nowhere
he is accompanied by several others 
beating drums singing songs in a display 
the powers that be say is a threat to commerce

In this country we have two official languages 
two solitudes of which “tongues” is not (yet) one 
but there is a lingua franca a dialect that unites  

It is called Speaking White.

- © Jeremy Nathan Marks 2022

Jeremy Nathan Marks lives in Canada. New and recent work appears/will appear in places like Flash Fiction Magazine, Garfield Lake, Expanded Field, Unlikely Stories, Ginosko Literary Journal, Wondrous Real, Microfiction Mondays, and Eastern Iowa Review. His full length poetry collection, Of Fat Dogs & Amorous Insects is published by Alien Buddha Press (2021). 

* [The phrase “speak white” is apparently a racist insult used by English-speaking Canadians to shame French-speaking Canadians for speaking their language in public.- Editor]

Monday, February 07, 2022

New Poetry by Erina Booker


ancient tors
follow the coast,
dark and gnomic,
granite plugs
peaks and mounds

the hunched bulk of Tibrogargin
Beerwah’s spike
the Glasshouse Mountains
of a homesick Cook
charting the east coast of
Terra Australis

South -
a distinctive profile,
a Mountain of Warning
signals a reef
in that latitude of sea

smaller plugs jut up
from Gondwanan rainforest
following the reefed shores
like an erratic ECG
that pulsed in spurts
of lava    hot red rush
coating peaks
in an icing
of molten minerals
erupted fingers crawling
down crevasses
poking fissures in
the flanks

exposed    cooling
wearing down
to be blown away
then flowed away
in later tropic wet,
your sweet-soft exteriors
destroyed over time
time and time again

the rain and wind of it all.

- © Erina Booker 2022

Erina Booker is a Sydney-based poet. She has published eight collections of her work, and contributes to journals and anthologies, internationally, in Australia, and online. She enjoys giving recitals, seminars, and judging competitions. Erina has a Major in Literature within her Bachelor of Arts degree, and a Postgraduate Degree in Counselling. She knows the value of words and the pauses between them.

Sunday, February 06, 2022

New Poetry by J.T. Whitehead

Nocturne No. 23

“My dreams should come to me like a lover comes to me,”
she said to him. “They shouldn’t enter my room like an intruder,”
she said to him.  “You confound me,” she said, “being both.”

Nocturne No. 27

Well after bed-time, in the book shop, our son read the title on display:
“The Art of Happiness.”  He said, 6 wise years behind him, 
“That’s a blind man seeing.”   Closing time: the lights went off.

- © J.T. Whitehead 2020

J.T. Whitehead has published 300 poems in over 100 literary journals, including The Lilliput Review, Slipstream, Left Curve, The Broadkill Review, The Blue Collar Review, Home Planet News, The Iconoclast, Poetry Hotel, Book XI, and Gargoyle.  His book The Table of the Elementswas nominated for the National Book Awardin 2015.  Whitehead lives in Indianapolis with his two sons, Daniel and Joseph.