Tuesday, April 26, 2022

New Poetry by Earl Livings

Long Haul Flight

Learning to leave things undone
is a training for death

When you set foot on that plane
for a long overseas trip
what doesn’t get done
on that 200-item To-Do List
stays undone

You may ache for who
you leave behind
as you journey
but not what

And in death, as in travelling,
you take your memories with you,
leave others behind with theirs
can do nothing about this
and all things left undone
but stare at clouds
threaded with starlight,
wait for touchdown

- © Earl Livings 2022

Earl Livings has published poetry and fiction in Australia and also Britain, Canada, the USA, and Germany. His work mainly focuses on science, nature, mythology and the sacred. His second poetry collection, Libation (Ginninderra Press) was published in 2018 and his fantasy verse novel, The SIlence Inside the World, is due to be published mid-2022. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and their ever-growing piles of books.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Bluepepper will once again be open for submissions from 9am 26/4/2022 (AEST). 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Bluepepper regrets to announce that we have tested positive for COVID and will not be accepting submissions until our health has improved. Stay safe people.

New Poetry by Darcy Mueller


This room has no windows 
No above no below 
A single bulb dangles lazily 
Casing shadows on your face 
As it meets my eye 
But all I want is a window 
To let in the sky 
This room has only the tick of a clock 
Hung upon the wall 
There are no syllables uttered 
To break its constant dull 
But I want a window 
So I may feel the breeze 
This room has a chair 
In which neither of us sit 
To offer it to the other 
A small but honest gift 
But I just want a window 
To see the passers by 
Your voice, it has a stutter 
As you slowly walk near 
Though you always speak so clearly
These words, I cannot hear 
But I just want a window 
So it may be opened to the sounds 
And with noise of city cars 
May drown this quiet around 
Your hand it has a tremble 
And does not reach for mine 
It looks for something safe to touch 
Then fiddles with the time 
But I only want a window 
So I may breathe the air 
This room now has a silence 
With the clock now in your hands 
And this lonely silence 
To the walls expands 
Oh how I want a window 
So I may hear the sounds 
This room has no chair now 
As you sink into it slow 
My weary feet are aching 
But dont know where to go 
I wish for a window 
So I may sit upon the roll 
In a moment of rest 
Could my feet finally be still 
This room has a door 
That’s been opened but a foot 
But light seeps through it 
So I go and take a look 
I do not need a window 
To see the world outside 
For with this opened door 
The room now comes to light 
This room has a boy 
Who sits upon a chair 
When I look back at him 
He will not return my stare 
He does not want a window 
I did not know before 
That he does not want to see 
The outer world's allure 
This room has an emptiness 
As he does not answer my calls 
My voice floats around the room 
With naught to catch it when it falls 
But I do need a window 
In all the rooms I see 
I do need a window so that I may be free 
That room has a boy 
And he is all alone 
For I am forced to leave him 
I know I must go 
He will have no window 
And therein lies the shock 
For I have known him for many years 
But he is not the boy I thought 
So I shut the door behind me to leave him in the dark 
One lightbulb to guide him 
It nearly breaks my heart
But I must have a window 
For the world I want to see 
And if he will have no window 
Does he not wish to be free? 

- © Darcy Mueller 2022

Darcy Mueller is a second year student at Tufts University studying History and Italian who greatly enjoys writing in her free time. She is originally from Jackson Wyoming where she lives with her parents, two brothers, and sister.

Monday, April 11, 2022

New Poetry by Tony Hughes

That Feeling Like No Other

Under the cover.
Of a thin, worn corrugated sheet 
On a bed. 
In a shack.
By the sea. 

With thunderous southerlies. 
Raining rivers. 
Thick fat 
mud leeches. 
Stuck to us.
Chasing after beer cans. 
Rolling down the hill. .

Relentless nor easters. 
Blowing up sand 
and sand 
and more 
from the seventh sea. 
All the sand from 
from all our summer's.
on your ankles

Jet black, fast on your finger. 
From the carbon mantel lamp.
The kero fridge melts.
Banksia cobs 
turn to coal. 
On a cooking fire 
built for fish 

That feeling only love knows.
That feeling like no other

- © Tony Hughes 2022

Tony Hughes is an Australian actor and singer. As an actor, he starred in The Lost Islands (1976), Chopper Squad (1977–1979) and the film adaptation of Puberty Blues (1981). As a singer he has fronted Bellydance and King Tide. The beach shack referred to in this poem is owned by the family of the poet's late wife, Cassanadra Woodburne, who passed away on 22nd November 2020 after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. 

The accompanying picture of the legendary shack at Era Beach is by the renowned Sydney artist Lucy O'Doherty, daughter of Mambo artist Reg Mombassa.

New Poetry by Paul Mitchell

Three on the Tree

Gold HG Holden Premier nineteen seventy-one
sedan with single dint on side door panel
installed a decent hi-fi in it played
Red Hot Chili Peppers on it took
fifteen minutes to warm up
each morning backed into a ditch
on the school run workmen
hauled it out with a winch.
Drove it drunk to a pub with mates
listening to Bee Gees Tragedy or something
bought it with the help of a mate who said
it’s gold could see that and what he meant.
Cost three-thousand five-hundred
two years later needed money divorcee
dad on the wrong side of what
there’s no right side of.
Sold it to a bloke who said
he’d put a new motor in it
mag wheels on it got three
thousand five-hundred for it.
Tired of being watched
wherever it went wanted to go
in cognito bought a Daewoo
Station Wagon didn’t have to go
that far but did so sorry at least
let me show you the photos.

- © Paul Mitchell 2022

Paul Mitchell is the author of six books, including last year’s essay collection Matters of Life and Faith, a novel, We. Are. Family, a short story collection, Dodging the Bull, and three poetry collections: Minorphysics, Awake Despite the Hour, and Standard Variation. Minorphysics won the IP Picks national prize for an unpublished Australian manuscript, and Standard Variation was short-listed for the Adelaide Writers’ Week poetry prize. He’s judged the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry and his poems, essays and stories have appeared over the past twenty-five years in numerous magazines and journals, most recently The Guardian, Westerly, Antipodes, Meniscus, and Eureka Street. He’s written several works for stage and he’s currently a co-writer with director Chris Nelius on a commissioned feature film for Madman Entertainment. He also co-wrote Actions to Live By, a recent AFL documentary on the Brisbane Lions of 2001 to 2003.

Monday, April 04, 2022

New Poetry by Bradford Middleton

A Little Bit Longer

A miraculous arrival has come along and caused a
Massive shift around in mind and room as at last
This place feels almost like home.  It’s not a woman,
Not even a new friend but a couch, beautiful and
Elegant it straddles the space in front of my window
And, often, since Friday night have I slept on it,
Feeling it sooth my aching body after years of
Sleeping essentially on my floor.  I look at it now
With a fondness usually reserved for a new lover
As it taunts me, it’s only 8:27 you’ve got to wait a
Few more hours yet.  This morning I woke and
Couldn’t bring myself to leave its warm confines
As I rolled over a few more times, whispering to
Myself, just a little bit longer.  Tomorrow will
Almost certainly be the same as at last I find it
Easy to get to sleep without the aid of drinking
Myself to the brink of death on way too many
Nights.  At last, a good nights’ rest.

- © Bradford Middleton 2022

Bradford Middleton lives in Brighton on the UK’s south coast.  He began writing poetry fifteen years ago when he first landed here knowing no one and with no money he holed-up and did it merely for something to do.  He’s since had four, sold-out, chapbooks of his poetry published as well as seeing his work feature in the likes of the Chiron Review, Rusty Truck, New Reader Magazine, Paper & Ink Zine and the Mad Swirl.  Follow him on Twitter @BradfordMiddle5.

Sunday, April 03, 2022

New Poetry by Paul Tanner

jerk’s circle  

there’s the:
bloated one who eats all the free biscuits
the: chain smoker
the: one who keeps draping a veiny chicken fillet thigh
over your leg
when she’s not blowing kisses at the others
the: one with a new puncture mark on his skinny arms
every time you see him,
long grey spotted arms that shake
the: nail biter
with fingers like bled sausages
the: empty chair
where the guy who keeps doing overtime
would’ve sat
and they all praise jesus
and why? well, why not?
so a long-dead socialist baby coos
as the chicken thigh clenches around yours
like a vice that has goose bumps, as
Melissa, she says “me boyfriend just died”
with a smile
and then there’s
the: you.

- © Paul Tanner 2022

Tanner is barely qualified for minimum wage and he's allergic to cheese for crying out loud. His cat knows your sins.