Sunday, May 29, 2022

New Poetry by Zebulon Huset

On the Cusp of Summer, Minnesota
            for my mother

During the couple weeks
when the neighborhood
bloomed a pale blue-hue
then burst full of purple
we’d round up armfuls
of the lilac buds. We’d
bust out every stadium
collector cup and every
dollar store and garage
or yard sale vase and on
every flat surface precariously
perched some water and
a rubber-band-bound bunch
of dying blossoms. As kids
we never suffered through
the disposal of their dried
husks with the slimy bit
of mold clinging to the stems.
We merely knew that our lilacs
brought spring into the house
just before school loosed us
for another raucous summer.

- © Zebulon Huset 2022

Zebulon Huset is a teacher, writer and photographer. He won the Gulf Stream 2020 Summer Poetry Contest and his writing has appeared in Best New Poets, Meridian, Rattle, The Southern Review, Fence, and blueppeper among others. He publishes Notebooking Daily, and edits the literary journals Coastal Shelf and Sparked.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

New Poetry by Nicholas Barnes

naomi is

a wind piano melodica
seesawing up and down
with jeff mangum's
breathless baritone.
        some hand-rolled
        sandalwood incense
        from mumbai.
a cult leader
with droves of followers
dressed in pink and sneakers.
        a trout that brushed up
        against your little piggies
        while you were swimming
        in a high mountain lake.
a taxidermy mount
with marble eyes
and wooden bones.
        a bottle cap pounded
        into a rolltop desk
        with silver nail and hammer.
a bag of soft chew licorice
from ingleburn australia,
new south wales.
        an old man
        who saved a young man
        from bungee jumping
a leather booth
in an old roadside diner
with a splintered cobweb face.
        a postcard the mailman
        reads between houses
        on his repetitive route.
a mango pit
planted in the backyard
by someone hoping
that she'll visit again.

- © Nicholas Barnes 2022

Nicholas Barnes earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at Southern Oregon University. He is currently working as an editor in Portland, and enjoys music, museums, movie theaters, and rain. His least favorite season is summer. His favorite soda is RC Cola.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

New Poetry by Jean Bohuslav

cause and effect

all woolly flanks turn in one direction
like slow motion tennis spectators
as a red ute draws dust idling
the long drive

then spooked by commanding trepidation
they hoof it down to the flats
pounding crackling debris
while grasshoppers click amongst
copper stalks
and cockatoos choreograph afternoon’s
echoing flights

affronted by kelpies controlling the run to
the yards and race
this orchestra is abruptly unplugged
the corriedales’ eyes resembling
large tombollers roll backwards
like mum’s when the old man gets stupid

nature’s tango
weaving natural laws of order through disorder
tapestries with connecting golden threads
spun effortlessly as falling leaves

- © Jean Bohuslav 2022

Jean Bohuslav’s love for mindfulness philosophy often creeps into her poems.  She resides in Torquay Victoria where she enjoys the company of other poets and reading online poetry.


Monday, May 23, 2022

New Poetry by Michael Keshigian

Persistent Daylight
He was caught in an endless day,
persistent sunshine, no darkness,
a day that curdled
green leaves falling,
rotting upon dried lawn
spotted with insects desiccated,
fragile carcasses littered
beneath the lessening shade of trees.
He walked between sagging sycamores,
crossing the street,
asphalt which singed his soles,
his face aglow,
burnt to a crimson hue,
on his way to the river
where others must be waiting.
Soon he will swim under the soundless sun,
water easing his burns,
submerged in the cascading current
in order to survive this day without end,
dressed in a white shirt and shorts,
a luminosity that mimicked the sun
as he approached the shoreline
where the crowd swam,
he whispering how the sun
became a threat,
that all will suffer then dry,
so we must sing
before our remnant ashes disperse,
that an earnest song
will bear us wings to embark
on our journey from earth,
for due to our negligence,
the rules have changed
and our bodies can only go so far. 

- © Michael Keshigian 2022

Michael Keshigian is the author of 14 poetry collections, his latest, What To Do With Intangibles, published by . His most recent poems have appeared in Muddy River Review, Smoky Quartz, San Pedro River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal. He has been published in numerous national and international journals and has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. 

Thursday, May 19, 2022

New Poetry by Caleb Delos-Santos

Saying Goodbye To My First Apartment

Farewell, my pocks-like triangle-sized sky.
Goodbye, my rib-like frost and navy walls.
So long, my soggy sunken carpet-sty.
Adieu, my poo-room pruned by shower falls. 

Peace out, my flick-bound reeling ceiling light.
Please, take it easy, numbing-drummed AC.
I’m off, glass-blind, who can’t conceal one night. 
I’ve got to go, my home, who good-groomed me.

I would say “later,” but Mod-time has died.
I’ll see you in my phone and mind’s time-drive
I hope we keep in touch, my grown-up pride.
Until next time, I’ll keep school-vibes alive.

Godspeed. Stay barely-not-condemned and true. 
I love you so much, M6. I’ll miss you.

- © Caleb Delos-Santos 2022

Caleb Delos-Santos is a Junior double majoring in Acting for the Stage and Screen and English at Azusa Pacific University. He has four published poems and one non-fiction with West Wind Magazine, Outrageous Fortune, and GoldScriptCo. He was also awarded the APU Esselstrom Prize for creative writing. Writing helps him to improve his mental health. He dreams of successful careers in writing and acting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Poetry by Erina Booker


Shafts of sound: insistent and clamorous
descending from alto to bass,
siren through the glass wall
and drop into the tiles beneath

it’s early morning, the sky
is indigo, not black, and feels
about 5 a.m. … we walk the few steps
to the balcony, and freeze before the two heralds
who woke us, sitting next to each other
claws over the glass panes

a pigeon pair of large black birds, currawongs
summoning us to their presence
I know there’s white on the undersides
of their tails, but can’t see it
neither can I see the egg-yolk yellow
of their eyes, just an onyx gleam

they shrill loudly in unison
immobile, parallel
both eye-ing us
doppelgängers by sight and size and sound
they have my full attention:
a perfect Tarot card
of divination
thrust before my face!

one currawong, a former visitor
responded to a whistled call, pecked at
the dog’s kibble, paraded his magnificence
of strut and strafe, his fearlessness
his desire for company

now he has brought his new mate to introduce:
he has reached through the barrier of biological
class to something greater, deeper, and privileged
he has grasped our commonality of living spirit
and in so doing has made us familial

now there is an icon in my mind –
a sacred painting of this pair of birds
jet black against a gold-flecked sky of
lapis lazuli, who sang loudly enough
to rouse us and tell us their news

thank you for that, you two,
I approve
I approve with all my heart!

- © Erina Booker 2022

Erina Booker is a Sydney-based poet. Her life revolves around poetry, from publishing books and contributing to journals, to recitals at public events and presentation of seminars. She contributes ekphrastic poems to various galleries. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Literature & Composition), & a Post-grad degree in Counselling. Words, & the pauses between, are her interests. Her work may be found on Amazon and Lulu Press.










Tuesday, May 17, 2022

New Poetry by Elizabeth Shack

Wild Cherry

wood sleeps through winter
frozen nights of wondrous dreams
waking with spring rain

limber green-leafed limbs
drink deep of summer sunlight
building sweet sugars

rubies and garnets
feed cardinals and sparrows
bright things for bright wings

oblong yellow leaves
shimmer in cloudless blue skies
as the year withers

leaves litter the ground below
yellow ink on fertile page

- © Elizabeth Shack 2022

Elizabeth Shack lives in central Illinois with her spouse, cat, and an expanding collection of art supplies and fitness equipment. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in The MacGuffin, Writers Resist, Daily Science Fiction, and other magazines and anthologies.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

New Poetry by Mohammad Ali Maleki

In a blocked atmosphere
away from people — at Donnybrook,
all the gates are closed on us.
Everybody is hopeless with broken hearts.

On a cold spiritless day
in a small gloomy room,
l sit on my bed
as my mind travels back to the past...

When l become aware of my surroundings again
l find nine years has passed uselessly in detention.
My body is feeble and tired.
When l try to focus,
to witness all of these tragedies,
it feels as if I’ve grown into a flower, mute from fear.

It seems that they have separated the world's pains.
What do they know about the things
that happened throughout these years?
They blamed us for all the bad things of the world!
I am tired of this bunch of stone-cold people
who rejoice at seeing us suffer.

My God, l am abandoned all alone here.
l have no parent or sibling to console me.
It makes no difference if I write about my agony —
no one has suffered as much as me in estrangement.
My heat is infested with sorrow.

l feel that I need to cry.
l feel that l need my mother’s hug.
I’d love to lay my head on her knees
as she touches my face tenderly.
l'd love to hug my mum again one day
and tell here about the tragedy of these years.
Mum, what should l do with my pains and sorrows?

But my mother has already passed away
from grief after hearing about them —
What reason have l got to go on now?
Who should I live for now?
The dearest person in the world to me
was my mother who passed away.
Mum, I wish l could die instead of you.
That way, l would not have to face
the sorrow of our estrangement.

- © Mohammad Ali Maleki 2022

Mohammad Ali Maleki is an Iranian poet who has been indefinitely detained as a refugee in Australian immigration detention for the last nine years. His poetry chapbook, Truth in the Cage, is available for purchase at Verity La’s online bookshop. All profits go directly to the author. 

Sunday, May 08, 2022

New Poetry by Daya Bhat


Little feet join the line
of those leaving
their sky and earth.
As roofs roll into debris
one after another
that we do nothing
is what they will remember.
The rocks we hide under
will be their homes.
They will still smile
the miniature rivers
will hold on to their hues.
We will see them everywhere
and they will remember
who put them on the rock.
They will line the sidewalks
of our health treks.
In their thallus
will be escape stories.
They will pair up
shoulder to shoulder.
There will be mosaics
boulder to boulder.
Remember they lived
they lived a war
those who made it.
They will live
with memories
who didn’t.
Lichens . . .
rootless children of war.
They will grow
on you and me.

- © Daya Bhat 2022

Daya Bhat has published two books of poetry. Her free verse, short poetry and short fiction appear in a number of journals. She lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

New Poetry by Doug Holder

Tragic Cardigan

Now it’s time
To let your paunch
Lay low
In your
Grandfather’s sweater.

Take off the tight
Italian leather shoes
Surrender to
The ratty
vagrant slippers.

You are febrile
In your frumpiness.

You try to muffle
The invective
In your head,
“ Old Man—shake a leg!”
And you would
If it wasn’t so

Now put enough pens—
Perhaps a pipe or two
The overdue phone bill
Gnarled pencils in its
Deep , sagging pockets

Perhaps sip a well-timed
And disappear
On a wave
Miles Davis.

Don’t worry
No one will

- © Doug Holder 2022

Doug Holder teaches Creative Writing at Endicott College outside of Boston. His poetry and prose have appeared widely in the small press.