Thursday, July 28, 2022

New Poetry by Clara Burghelea

Elegy for that time we used to be innocent

and buried our hamster in a large matchbox
after feeding him crumbs of sponge cake
mom had made for Easter day, and we sneaked
in and cut the heel off and hid under the stairs
and you took the hamster out of your pocket
and his little pink snout started feeling things
and we watched him frantically move up and
down our sleeves and run into a piece of cacao
cake and chew on it, smart fellow, you said,
and picked all the little crumbs in your palm,
he stored them all in his cheeks and stayed
still as if savoring the moment, or catching
its breath, then one pouch deflated and his
body stirred with pleasure, later we knew
it was a spasm, a little organ inside must
have snapped, a few seconds later he resumed
his stretching and yawning, little pearly teeth
glistening, you found one final crumb, he sat
up, ears forward, the smell must have lured
him, he grabbed it and the cheek was full again,
and mom called us, so we hurried back to
the kitchen and you slipped him into your
pants pocket and when you sat at the table,
we heard a little snap, mom looked over her
glasses, hands over the green beans and we
swallowed hard and all of a sudden, we were
no longer eight, and the world shuddered with joy.

- © Clara Burghelea 2022

Clara Burghelea is a Romanian-born poet with an MFA in Poetry from Adelphi University. Recipient of the Robert Muroff Poetry Award, her poems and translations appeared in Ambit, Waxwing, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Her second poetry collection Praise the Unburied was published with Chaffinch Press in 2021. She is Review Editor of Ezra, An Online Journal of Translation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

New Poetry by Jason Beale


The slow accelerating grind  
of a distant hoon, the singular drip  
of a bathroom tap in the dark;  

the atmosphere of a Sunday night,  
after the children are asleep, 
is not much to write home about. 

The domestic gods of our domicile 
have decreed that nothing may happen 
louder than a sniffle or a shy cough— 

no flamenco dancing, no midnight lust, 
and no heart-to-heart sharing of souls 
with my partner, out like a log in bed. 

Suburbanites like us wonder at the sound  
of a dog not barking, or at the drone  
of an airplane overhead, ready to stall.  

- © Jason Beale 2022

Jason Beale is a writer from Melbourne. His poetry has appeared in Echidna Tracks and Meniscus Literary Journal.

Monday, July 25, 2022

New Poetry by Kenneth Pobo

Her Email Says "How Are You?”

In my thirties I kept getting
things done, fixing the undone,
more than a little done in.  I had
a drive to succeed, to please
others who shared that drive. 
By forty I drove myself over
a mental cliff. 

Now, in my late sixties, I don’t
recognize who I was then.  I sit
ön the porch with my husband.
If we see a bluebird,
that’s quite a successful day. 
I’m disturbed not by papers
that ache for attention but
by a truck’s thud breaking the calm. 
That passes and a pink hollyhock
starts to puff open.  The sky
is usually blue until clouds rush
above leafy trees.  

- © Kenneth Pobo 2022

Kenneth Pobo (he/him) is the author of twenty-one chapbooks and nine full-length collections.  Recent books include Bend of Quiet (Blue Light Press), Loplop in a Red City (Circling Rivers), and Lilac And Sawdust (Meadowlark Press). His work has appeared in  Asheville Literary Review, Cordite, Brittle Star, Washington Square Review, Mudfish, Hawaii Review, and elsewhere.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

New Poetry by Edward Lee

Your Future Argued As Your Present Ends 

Seeing you everyday
I never noticed
the deep, dark caves
forming beneath your eyes.

It was only
as the nurse
gave us privacy
in the room, her head
nodding as her eyes met our own
before lowering to the ground,
that I saw the end
that was coming for you,
saw those caves
like collapsed structures
beneath your eyes,

the end that finally arrived
in your sleep an impossible
amount of days later,
your long-broken family,
hastily reassembled by your impending end,
outside, once again arguing
over your future,
each voice whispering
but still demanding to be heard.

- © Edward Lee 2022

Edward Lee's poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen, The Blue Nib and Poetry Wales.  His play ‘Wall’ received a rehearsed reading as part of Druid Theatre’s Druid Debuts 2020. He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Orson Carroll, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy. His blog/website can be found at


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

New Poetry by Mike James

The Dead

“The dead endure.” - Nancy Morejon

They are always going away
They cross the street, go out of sight
Step in a doorway’s shadow
In an oak tree’s shadow
They step towards the sunlight blazing on a rose bush
And carry some sunlight down to a hidden river
The river is darker than the deep grass beside it
And the dead sing to themselves there,
With remembered voices,
As they strum the long river grass

© Mike James 2022

Mike James makes his home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He has published in hundreds of magazines, large and small, and has performed his poetry at universities and other venues throughout the country. He has been nominated for multiple Pushcarts, as well as for the Paterson Poetry Prize. In April, Redhawk published his 20th collection Portable Light: Poems 1991-2021.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

New Poetry by Robert L. Penick

The Last Ones

They seemed easier to spot thirty years ago,
or perhaps my eye was keener.
The freaks, the misfits, true artists
who wagered their entire lives on
finding the perfect ending to a poem,
or a melody that would break hearts
for a hundred years.

These people stood out like chancres
on the flesh of blind, blinking society.
Their dress and manners signal fires:
We are different: We breath different air,
exchange foreign coin. We are sedition.
They strayed from the herd and
set their course from novel stars.

Now the world is redivided between
the angry and the scared, no room
at the margins for painters adding gilt
to a picture so tightly framed.
Still, at bus stops and in supermarkets,
perhaps at the DMV, you’ll see a secret
sculptor or finagler of verse.

- © Robert L.Penick 2022

The poetry and prose of Robert L. Penick have appeared in over 100 different literary journals, including The Hudson Review, North American  Review, Plainsongs, and Oxford Magazine. His latest chapbook is Exit, Stage Left, by Slipstream Press, and more of his work can be found at

Monday, July 18, 2022

New Poetry by Richard LeDue



The trees have leaves again,
and they dance in the summer breeze
better than I can,
even though I have feet.

Those trees probably never thought about
taking dance lessons to impress their wife,
or how my lack of coordination
makes me feel like a crumpled piece of paper
that was promised it could be a paper airplane,
but at least my crash landings
come easier than most.

- © Richard LeDue 2022

Richard LeDue (he/him) currently lives in Norway House, Manitoba. He has been published in various places online and in print. He is the author of six books of poetry. His sixth book, “A Hard Homecoming,” is forthcoming in July 2022 from Alien Buddha Press.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

New Poetry by Michael Keshigian

No Longer a Garden
The following year
he decided not to tend the garden,
for how might he watch
the hummingbird hover to drink
the pristine nectar,
its beak impaled,
whirring and sipping
from sweetness she planted 
so long ago.
Let the weeds rise
wild and thick
where perennials once stalked,
where the annuals
she would have planted
might ingest the sunlight
and flourish,
where she would stand
to admire
the fruit of her efforts,
peonies, roses
and bouncing blue hydrangeas,
tilting with the wind,
ornaments between
the painted patio blocks
she arranged in unique designs,
where the moss now grows
and mildew creeps
to turn the stones green
with a slime
as they will finally
rest in peace.

- © 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, July 14, 2022

New Poetry by Deborah Zenha Adams

Cinders, Feathers

- after Malcolm Glass

Back then we had only pin feathers, but I
believed hard in the fairy tale, that we could fly
beyond the dragon breath, that you and I would soar into
a fiction we’d pull from the air. We called it the
kingdom, our fragile domain a single room
in a thorn-wrapped cottage, but we are the cursed whose
ever after is spent beating bloodied wings against sheetrock walls.

- © Deborah Zenha Adams 2022

Deborah Zenha Adams (she/her) is an award-winning author of novels, short fiction, CNF, and poetry. You're invited to visit her website, where everything's free and the dress code is "whatever."

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

New Poetry by Fotoula Reynolds

Ancient tenderness

She keeps her purest words
Framed between the utterance
In poetry and the tension of
Silence within language

She hums a forgotten tune
Travels to the edge of scriptures
In search of her kin and stands
In homes vacant of the living

Ancient tenderness disappears
In the void of night
A memory in her true voice
Scars in deaf remembrance

She sees herself in the glass
On the face of time’s watch
A round of beats per minute
Strapping life to her wrist

Living in a naked absence
Her love tries to weigh loss
She vanishes on the other side
Of daylight and is now a freedom writer

- © Fotoula Reynolds 2022

Fotoula Reynolds is a writer of poetry, born in Australia of Greek heritage. She lives in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, Australia. She convenes a poetry group in her local community and regularly attends and participates in spoken word events in and around the city of Melbourne. She is the author of three poetry collections and is published widely in anthologies, journals, reviews and magazines. Fotoula is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee.



Tuesday, July 12, 2022

New Prose Poetry by Jen Schneider

on reasons to strike :: all fibers on fire

a girl in denim bell-bottoms & tie-dye knits clicks size seven needles while her beau throws fifteen-pound balls down an oil-slicked lane. her hair weighted of gels & blue ink. his of grease. limbs in corduroy culottes test luck to the right. spandex stretches winning streaks to the left. pins drop. souls sip lukewarm beer from plastic cups while destiny is gutted. a lad at the bar wrangles a knotted slinky. a pregnant pigeon watches from an overhead rafter. both boy & pigeon consume popcorn. kernels drop. pins fall. all fibers on fire.

- © Jen Schneider 2022

Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, writes, and works in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania. Recent works include A Collection of Recollections, Invisible Ink, On Habits & Habitats, and Blindfolds, Bruises, and Breakups. 

Monday, July 11, 2022

New Prose Poetry by Ace Boggess

Having Company

is what it’s called when a family our family used to know pays a visit from out of town & stays the night. Food must be prepared. Not funereal casseroles. Barbecue, festive, slopping the plates. Cookies, too, & tea or lemonade. Yet the other family stopped for a meal along the way or else no one is hungry though it’s late. Words take the place of sandwiches, & the evening thrums as if with an early choir outside in the brush. That’s called catching up. Do we even know these people, or they us, saying hello at five-year intervals like pulsars blasting in distant space from which our radio telescopes pick up signals that are never the messages from aliens that we hope whenever we hear the initial buzz that assures us of them coming around again.

- © Ace Boggess 2022

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021), I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, and The Prisoners. His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

New Poetry by William Ross


Our long shadows slid over the snow,
legs dancing. The sun hit all the high notes.
When I finally looked up,

years had past. I was old and
you were vapour, 
a flame-breathing chimera. 

I remember the snow melting.
I cooked meat over a fire
and swam in the cold water.

I threw a stone at the horizon
and saw no dip in the line of flight.
Now, there is gravity and counting days

- © William Ross 2022

William Ross is a typography enthusiast who wrote the Introduction to Epistles to the Torontonians (Oak Knoll Press). He lives in Toronto, Canada on land that was the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississauga of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaune and Wendat peoples.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

New Poetry by Ed Southorn

Hard Currency

An escaped prisoner on a beach of jewels
Suspects perfection in abundance is worthless
So I look for the damaged and the miscast
Among these cast away houses of the dead
Smoothed in rocky baths of foam and salt

A bride weighed in mermaid brooches
Malabar cowrie and wampum strings
The Bornu King’s revenue paid by every man
Flicked into money by the calligraphy brush
Sewn into Solomons cloth exchanged for kina

All this wealth minted in waves
Measured on the tide
An economy underfoot
Whorled pure under clear eyed sky
Enabled agency circumscribed
By attention to place
Until outstripped by white desire
Outlawed by silver and gold

A flint eyed miner made twitchy
By the fossil exchange
Might say the floating hoard
Is given up freely
If shells were money
After fire and flood
Beachcombers could be wolves
So I tell no one

- © Ed Southorn 2022

Ed Southorn lives at Bermagui, a small coastal town in New South Wales. His recent poetry, essay and memoir are in Cordite Poetry Review, Meniscus, Blackbox Manifold, Ekphrastic Review, The Blue Nib, Axon: Creative Explorations and The Journal of Wild Culture. His PhD in sociology and narrative journalism explores contested space.   


Monday, July 04, 2022

New Poetry by Jeffrey Dreiblatt

January 1, 2019
- after Jericho Brown

Life awkwardly packed in a wheeled suitcase.
Unwritten letters wait for a new year.

Written, yet unread letters for the new year.
Waking from fever turns water to a gift.

Bickering angels bring water as their gift.
Lovers’ kisses trapped beneath foreign stamps.

Devotion arrives sealed beneath a stamp.
Fortune interrupts when tradition dances.

Fortune and I dance outside of tradition.
To reach India takes days and 58 years.

A voice so soft, I wear him all of my years.
New year begins by the river Kaveri.

Ananth, returned, to the river Kaveri.
A life awkwardly packed in a wheeled suitcase.

- © Jeffrey Dreiblatt 2022

Jeffrey Dreiblatt is a poety, visual artist and volunteer firefighter. His work has appeared in The Dillydoun Review, Bindweed and forthcoming in Cathexis Northwest Press. He lives in Copake and Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Saturday, July 02, 2022

New Poetry by Joan Leotta

Appetite for Mulberries 

Our guide, Hassan, hurried us off the
Bus into the factory
to initiate our tour
“Turkish Silk Carpets
from Start to Finish.”
Hung on hallway walls,
photographs showed
tightly wound, doll-sized
tennis balls, resting on
mulberry leaves. Hassan
explained, “Those are  
silkworm larvae cocoons.
They are happy to
stay and spin on their
favorite food,
mulberry leaves.”
In the next room
large photos
displayed their fate:
cocoons being dipped
into boiling water,
hands discarding those
boiled larvae once alive within,
slim fingers unraveling cocoons
into skeins of silk thread.
In the next room
behind glass windows
we observed real women
spinning, dying silk,
weaving threads into intricate designs.

At our last stop
towers of silk rugs
rose up from polished wood floors.
Salespeople circled like moths.
“Once only for the Pasha, now for you,”
Hassan whispered into his mic.
But all I could see was worms, larvae
whose last days were spent
feasting on their favored food
in ignorance of what was to come,
blinded to their fate by
their great appetite for mulberries.

- © Joan Leotta 2022

Joan Leotta, of Calabash, NC, plays with words on page and stage. In addition to her ten published books, her varied writings have appeared or are forthcoming, in Ekphrastic Review, Pinesong,, Brass Bell, Verse Visual, anti-heroin chic, Silver Birch, Ovunquesiamo, Verse Virtual, Poetry in Plain Sight, and others. She is a 2021 Pushcart nominee and  received Best of Micro Fiction in 2021. In early  2022, she was named a runner up in the Frost Foundation Poetry Competition. Her chapbook, Feathers to Stone , which includes the poem, Sycamore Roots, is scheduled for publication at the end of 2022 from Main Street Rag. She performs tales featuring food, family, nature, and strong women. 

New Poetry by Chris Wood

For Better or Worse

I fight for the covers all night.
He tosses and turns, twists 
the electric blanket around his body,
unplugs it and freezes me out.

His moans, cries to the Lord 
break my heart. I lay my hands
on him, plead with God, asking
for relief. The dogs circle
and pace the bed, keep vigil
as he writhes in pain, whimpers.

Sleep eludes him, wakes me 
at midnight. At one. At two. At three, 
I follow the pups to the back door, 
let them escape the misery he suffers.

Morning light bathes his body, naked.
I lay mine against his, willing 
my good health into him. I want
to take his pain, carry it for him
and release it into yesterday. 

- © Chris Wood 2022

Chris Wood resides in Tennessee with her husband and several fur babies. She works as a lease maintenance manager for a real estate management company, and is a member of the Chattanooga Writers' Guild, where she currently serves as their treasurer. Her work has appeared in several journals and publications, including Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, and Quill and Parchment.