Monday, March 28, 2022

New Poetry by John Tustin

This Hawk

There is this hawk
That careens along the currents
With the sea foam in his eye
And the mountain peak
Churning in his gut.

There is this hawk
Who snatches prey in midair –
His talons
Are the tomahawk chop
Of a shirtless brave bending
On horseback.

There is this hawk
Whose wings are flawless feathers
Of steel and bones
And you watch his silhouette
Getting smaller
Against the setting sun
As he flies far
Far from you,

His final shriek
Piercing the ears
And the heart
With the battle cry
Of retreat.

- © John Tustin 2022

John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. contains links to his published poetry online.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

New Poetry by George Gad Economou

the swing 

the old, dirty tire hanging from two chains 
seesaws, always 
it continues to sway praying for one 
person to use it, give meaning to 
its existence. 

it’s been there for years—unused, 
unwanted. a lonesome swing, 
the tire never felt the joy of being 
enjoyed and used. 
all it wants is to hear the giggle of someone. 
kids and adults flood the playground, 
day and night—not even soused teens 
sit on the most lonely of swings. 

one fine summer day, three 
robust men arrived with 
sledgehammers and shovels. 
they tore down the swing, tossing into 
a fire the tire and its wooden poles. 
instead of proffering joy and laughter, 
the swing polluted the air; its 
spirit haunted the playground. 

it watched the visitors sitting on the fancy new 
swing, invisible tears watered 
the playground’s dirt; come spring, black roses flourished 
amidst the toys. all were bewildered from the roses that 
swayed back and forth,  
back and forth, on occasion 
shedding a drop of water, like a tear for 
the spirit that no longer lingered on. 

- © George Gad Economou 2022

George Gad Economou holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science and resides in Athens, Greece, doing freelance work whenever he can while searching for a new place to go. His novella, Letters to S., was published in Storylandia Issue 30 and his short stories and poems have appeared in literary magazines, such as Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Chamber Magazine, The Edge of Humanity Magazine, and Modern Drunkard Magazine. His first poetry collection, Bourbon Bottles and Broken Beds, was published by Adelaide Books in 2021. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

New Poetry by Rob Schackne


My friend has made 
an atomic chilli sauce 
and given me a small jar 
and a warning to be careful 

it tastes wonderful 
it has a beautiful colour 
this existential dilemma 
where two roads diverge 

on the one hand 
the contents will last forever 
on the other hand 
a little goes a long way 

I tighten the lid 
and place it in the dark 
where its dreams resolve 
the problems of the world

- © Rob Schackne 2022

Rob Schackne has been living in regional Victoria for several years since returning from teaching for many years in Asia. He write poems. He also likes taking photographs. Autumn is his favourite season. He listens to lots of jazz. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

New Poetry by Fred Pollack

Christiania *

Silly to be reading the guidebook
on a bench in waning light ...
All day the sun had never quite escaped
the clouds. But he was struck
by the image of a town burning,
and the king and everyone
fleeing up here, then descending to contrive
this city. He had been to the island
where the rich lived; would remember
the statue of a little girl
with her bicycle, alone and safe
yet somehow brave, and an allée;
but the houses had seemed merely those
of the rich. He had gone to see
the Viking ship in its museum, but either
it was under maintenance or he had
the wrong day; he wouldn’t recall, later;
that sort of thing happened to him often.
It seemed a tough town. Not like Naples,
Hamburg, other places he had been,
but busy, beery, hard-working,
its pastel houses built of wood for winter.
At the Vigeland park the unvarying, stocky
stylization of the grey
figures overrode maternity, courage,
grief, strength, whatever quality
each meant, which seemed to show
an inadvertent insight. Briefly the sun came out;
lovers strolled and hugged. I’ve always been
a thief of others’ high moments,
he thought. It was a line from a novel.
Then up here at the Fortress
he had stood a long time
in the Museum of the Resistance
before a replicated cell with figures
of an SS-man and a resistant
about to get down to business;
and the wall with gracious thanks,
in English and gold letters, to the Allies.
Closing his book, he may have thought
that sentimentality derives
its energy from a tenderness
applied to oneself, which at some level
one knows should be applied to others.
At that point, the sun slipped
below the cloud-layer. The whole long fjord
between its mountains gleamed. The full
and ancient trees, some growing through
the battlements, turned gold-on-green,
the ivied brick of walls a golden red.
The old-world cannon seemed alive, but not
with threat, only some loyalty. Along
the shadowed paths, couples
and solitary people walked and met.
It’s possible, he may have said aloud.
For me. And rose and walked. He was 35.

- © Fred Pollack 2022

Author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both Story Line Press; the former reissued 2022 by Red Hen Press. Two collections of shorter poems, A POVERTY OF WORDS, (Prolific Press, 2015) and LANDSCAPE WITH MUTANT (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018). Pollack has appeared in Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Magma (UK), Bateau, Fulcrum, Chiron Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, etc.  Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Hamilton Stone Review, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire  Review, Mudlark, Rat’s Ass Review,  Faircloth Review, Triggerfish, etc.

* Christiania, capital of the Kingdom of Norway, changed its name to Oslo in 1925 (editor's note).


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

New Poetry by Aidan Coleman

Dream Careers Awaken

you have to hang out with other footballers,
           their wives and girlfriends.

       Your clue is this:
crime begets paperwork
                           begets crime.

        This is what it’s like to be
                    in a band
     carps the singer, shackled
                     to a microphone stand.

            Take Thirty-seven.
                    Stare long enough
         and the blank page
better ways of wasting time.

- © Aidan Coleman 2022

Aidan Coleman has published three collections of poetry, most recently Mount Sumptuous (Wakefield Press, 2020).


Monday, March 14, 2022

New Poetry by Robin Cantwell

Open Mic Night feat. Ernest Hemingway

Six bucks for a cup of coffee —
glad I didn’t live to see the day.

Robot wizards, gizmo galaxies —
for love of god, will someone
wipe that smirk off Dali’s face.

Pay me pal, stick a dollar in my wallet —
I’m having stag for breakfast
before I hitch a ride
on that information superhighway. 

What’s a guy gotta do to get a smoke round here —
excuse me, waiter
there’s seaweed floating in my shake.

Think I’ll head back now,
sow a lineage in my name —
that Super Mario gives me the creeps,
and will someone please tell me
just what the hell is going on
with Toad and Princess Peach?

- © Robin Cantwell 2022

Robin is a London-based playwright, poet and fiction writer. With themes ranging from toxic masculinity to the technological singularity, his work has appeared, or is forthcoming in, Pure Slush, The London Reader, Fauxmoir, A Thin Slice Of Anxiety, Bright Flash Literary Review, Silver Birch Press, Molecule Literary Magazine, Poetica Review, Visual Verse and Nine Muses Poetry. Robin is a graduate of the Faber Academy.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

New Poetry by Heather Sager

We danced

You and I danced
in the living room
near the ottoman chair
and azure blanket

as the guitarist from Mali
played through his soul
on the stereo

Enthralled, we didn’t notice
the thick cobwebs
hanging over our heads

and we forgot the particular 
dread and fear
that made us drink 
so much red wine:

how could this life and love
ever dovetail to an end?

- © Heather Sager 2022

Heather Sager lives in Illinois, USA. She writes poetry and fiction. Her most recent work appears in The Orchards, Magma, Fahmidan Journal, Red Eft, Version (9), The Bosphorus Review of Books, Shabd Aaweg Review, The Fabulist, Willows Wept, and more, and her poetry has appeared in Bluepepper in the past (in 2020). 

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

New Poetry by Jedediah Smith

Shall We Gather: Beginning with a Line by Kenneth Patchen

See how those stars tramp over heaven,
how vagrant trains below wrestle with dark earth and time. 
And we with vacant eyes sleepwalk 
through the pitiless splendor of the crowds. 

See how jetliners roll drops of blood across the night, 
how cars carry knives from one house to another. 
And we blame rats for the squeaking 
of our bones as we press tighter together. 

You, know nothing; I, know nothing; and they, 
only know that they are not us and never will be.

What if behind the walls of every apartment great black machines are running?
What if the lives we left unlived really dried up long ago and blew away with the ashes 
and dust of wildfires?
What if the glitter of broken bottles on asphalt is all we will ever know of heaven?
What if murder is all we hold to be self-evident, that all murder is equal, that murder 
alone is inalienable from us? And we are not us and never will be?

- © Jedediah Smith 2022

Jedediah Smith works as a freelance writer in the Bay Area of California. His poems and stories have been published in Chiron Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Every Day Fiction. His chapbook of poems, The Gunslinger in Technicolor, came out in 2020. He can be followed on his website:

Monday, March 07, 2022

New Poetry by Jason Beale

A Marriage

My wife is sleeping by my side,
I hear her breathing in and out
in the chilly, early morning air.

Now, after nine years together,
we coexist with question marks,
pinning down fears and doubts
as most of us do in our hearts.

That's life is her favourite phrase
and There's nothing you can do -
anodynes for the troubled mind
she takes as ontological proofs.

But day by day we thrive as one,
surviving trials that always come,
holding closer, each to the other.

My wife turns over in her sleep
and reaching out my hand, I touch
her warm arm with my fingertips,
thinking of something called love.

- © Jason Beale 2022

Jason Beale is a writer from Melbourne. His poetry has been selected to appear later this year in Quadrant and The Canberra Times.

Sunday, March 06, 2022

New Poetry by Peter Mladinic


A doughy doll bundled in black sat in
a corner, white hair piled in a Gibson bun. 
Pecking her doughy cheek I got a whiff
of withering.
An early night in May.  Her husband
lay in the casket, white hair parted
to one side, black rosary beads
in waxen hands.  My uncle’s hand
on her shoulder.  “He’s with God.”
I wasn’t old enough to believe
or disbelieve.  To say yes, there is
or no.  Outside, under a canopy
I waited to get into a parked car.

- © Peter Mladinic 2022


The Viking Bar had sawdust on the floor.
Martino’s had waiters
With towels on their arms and the Mohawk
Tavern waiters’ white jackets were cut
at the waist. Henry was at our table in
Martino’s in Juarez, his Spanish passable.
Round, pale, he was with me
under a tarp in a grove of trees one
afternoon.  The rain stopped.
We rode down dirt roads in Pinyon Draw,
which was green.  It was tranquility
seeing, hearing the rain with Henry.

- © Peter Mladinic 2022

Peter Mladinic’s fourth book of poems, Knives on a Table is available from Better Than Starbucks Publications.  An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, USA.