Friday, April 17, 2015

New Poetry by Rob Walker

The Fresh People Food

stuck in a 1980s timewarp
the muzac bland, Mainstream
middle-of-the-road. nothing changes.
there is no War on Terror, no poverty

just row after row after row of groceries
staked in columns and battalions
soldiers erect and in uniform
And when the front line is consumed
the back is moved to the front.

nightfall. depletion. replacement.
nightfill boys are expendable too.
no award rates here.
individual items

the machine grinds on.

an illusion of changelessness.
continuous consumption.

broken packages put out of sight.
spills are wiped up
collateral damage.
profits are up.

clean.    tidy.
and nothing

appears to


- Rob Walker 2015

rob walker is a South Australian writer, composer and poet, with three collections of poems published in Australia and one forthcoming: tropeland (Five Islands Press) this June, and recent poetry published in The Cortland Review, Illya’s Honey and Red River Review (US), 4&20, (UK), 21D, foam:e, cordite,  Australian Poetry Journal, Mascara, Rabbit Journal, Unusual Work, Verity La and Best Australian Poems (AUST.) He has also published short stories and collaborates with other artists to produce audio poems and musical tracks at
Personal website:

New Words and Images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

Hymn to Solitude

“Amour”, she would say that and little else. Then she would rest her head on my shoulder. After, she would disappear for at least a week or more. One of us was lying. The way that she said it, so gently but with such intensity, it kept me waiting around.
Of course I worked but gave very little thought to exploring other options when my brush was not in my hand.
“Amour” she sighed. Her eyes were a dark sky from which stars had drifted low to beauty mark her chin. Once again no definitive plans had been made and as I walked home in frustration, I realized that all this time she had not been talking to me but merely echoing the prayer that someone had once recited to the sky.
I had been working hard but still found myself feeling lonely. I was bitten and scratched by this feeling, especially at night when the heat from making dinner required me to open a window and I could hear people passing by down below. I taped a picture of Stravinsky to the refrigerator as in my head it made sense to do so. 
The corner as viewed from the window by my bed. There is a traffic light, the red one; it is the understanding of desolation. I am grateful for that light. No one walks by and even the trees offer only a limited lattice of shadows akin to clarity of thought.
A hymn to solitude.
Sorry, I have this prayer to share but recite another one instead. In the early hours of a new day the street light is crowned with a halo of mist, sainted for all it has witnessed and for always standing alone as all who are holy must do.

Thanksgiving, the local churches were offering their free turkey dinner complete with all the fixings, donated by those in need of assuaging their guilt. Each had a long line spilling out their doors and down the sidewalk. Regardless of the denomination, the queue for each church was comprised of the same people clapping their own shoulders to stay warm. Some talking to themselves others with dull gray blankets thrown over their shoulders looking like extras from a Goya painting.
Not tied in to this but seeming so by coincidence, a long line of cars moving with the traffic light induced stuttered rhythm. Groups of people of varying abilities try to dance a choreography in sync as they exit the city.
Later jaundiced squares of light from apartments which offer no evidence of humanity despite their illumination, intermittently mark the sidewalk. Counterpoint to this light, the dark silhouettes of bushes, their roughhewn edges making them appear as a series of tiny waves frozen at the moment right before breaking upon the pavement. If I could see a cat, even from a distance down the end of the alley, then this night would be perfect. I am drunk off of sweet desolation.

- Wayne H. W Wolfson 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

New Poetry by David Ades

The Upside to Being Down
The Ferris Wheel circles
through vibrating air,

rising into skylines,
into harbours and cityscapes,
into puzzles of sky and cloud,

caught in a jigsaw of
steel cables and rocking carriages,

moods dissipating
like burnt off fog,
children rising into laughter:

and the day holds so much more

in the palm of its opened hand.

- David Ades 2015

David Ades is a poet and short story writer. His poems have appeared in many Australian and American literary publications. Since April 2011 David has been living in Pittsburgh where he was one of the editors of the inaugural Australian Poetry Members Anthology metabolism.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

New Poetry by Richard Hillman

I Got Drunk Last Night
            (and couldn’t find my way home)

after Lightnin’ Hopkins
Swimming face down in the irrigation ditch
With the cane toads and the snakes beneath
This spiralling black and blue night where
Stars on some strange map cannot help
The stranger slapping at the ignoble sides
Some mud-streaked water dragon wriggling
Its drunken way towards the Tumbulgum pub
Where another beer awaits another drowning
Of even stranger spirits to come

- Richard Hillman 2015

Richard's last collection was Raw Nerve (Puncher & Wattman, 2009).

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

New Poetry by Julie Maclean

Pacific traits

You know the sea is
over the hollow tops

of worn volcanoes
darkening the distance

and you know it's hours
before you'll be under

a cocktail umbrella dipping
a tongue into a gin sling

And while we're in the land
of cane prosperity

palms and white slats
give a colonial clue

to a slave trade past
& on a foreign archipelago

pretty girls are groomed
to practise dark arts

Out there somewhere
a giant turtle bumps

a cruise ship heading for
Happy Hour

- Julie Maclean 2015

Julie’s third collection, ‘Kiss of the Viking’ was published by Poetry Salzburg in 2014. Poetry appears in international journals including Poetry (Chicago) and The Best Australian Poetry (UQP). Blog:

Sunday, April 05, 2015

New Poetry by Janet I. Buck

The Robber with the Biggest Guns

He never announced his real name,
Grim Reaper of the innocent,
until he raided liver cells, your lymph nodes,
and your fragile ribs, then stole your treasured sanity.
Cancer is taking a gun to your head,
cracking bats on window panes,
shattering the firmest glass
in every room of every home
where people adore the shape of your soul.

Remember when we thought a simple thundershower
could wreck our hair, soak our freshly ironed shirts─
now it seems petty as a broken nail
and I'm ashamed I ever saw the world like that─
with dirty glasses on my face.
Now I know that blossoms of a daffodil
last less than two short weeks at most.
Won't you take my coffee mug,
pour in tears you're holding back.

You tell me we can "beat this thing,"
but doctors' children learn too much,
so doubt and fear crawl up the stairs
I'm falling down.
You are standing tall and straight,
when I am leaning awkwardly,
arms upon a countertop,
afraid my elbow knots will slip,
and I'll be landing on the floor.
I guess it doesn't matter where you pray,
on kitchen tile or carpets scraping at bare knees─
or beg a distant deity to fix a theme you cannot change
from plays like this we never wanted tickets to.

- Janet I. Buck 2015

Janet Buck is a seven-time Pushcart Nominee. Her work has appeared in hundreds of journals worldwide. Janet's second print collection of poetry, Tickets to a Closing Play, was the winner of the 2002 Gival Press Poetry Award and her third collection, Beckoned By The Reckoning, was released by PoetWorks Press in the spring of 2004. Her most recent work has appeared in The Pedestal Magazine and Offcourse. In 2011, Buck was honored as a Featured Poet of the Editor's Circle in  In the spring of 2015, Janet was "Poet of the Week" for More of her work is scheduled for publication in various journals this coming summer.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

New Poetry by Jim Walton

Iscariot’s Leap of Faith

My name is Judas, I took the money.
Not that it was much; I’d have preferred American dollars,
like any decent terrorist.
It was just that I’d had enough.
Lazarus, did he really want to go on,
the loaves and fishes, what about the next meal?
Bad enough that he had his own doubts,
crying in the garden, drawing a crowd, then releasing them.
A multitude wants action, the next step revealed:
faith needs the temper of a furnace, the honed edge
swinging cleanly through to the next cleave,
not some blinding revelation without strings.
Jesus, you stuffed up big time!
When you tossed the money lenders out, the wasted stash
would have been worth the keeping,
we could have done some real charity with that.
When the sky went black, I saw the Romans falter –
the masses ready for action, but it passed.
As for the pomposity of Ascension,
we needed and prayed for Deliverance.
Where was the Father, Gabriel’s trumpet, the wrath of Angels?
I hang here, low fruit,
this wasted olive, the last pear gone soggy and black,
the stone moved to release me  -
with a final glimpse of the power lines of crucifixes.

- Jim Walton 2015

Jim Walton's collection, "The Leviathan's Apprentice" has just been released through Strzelecki's Lover Press.


Monday, March 30, 2015

New Poetry by Michael Lee Johnson

Fall is Golden (V3)

The last golden yellow apple
hangs like a healing miracle
bow down old apple tree
winter is coming.
Life is a single thread this time.

- Michael Lee Johnson 2015

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 875 small press magazines in 27 countries, he edits 9 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  "From Exile to Freedom", several chapbooks of poetry, including "From Which Place the Morning Rises" and "Challenge of Night and Day", and "Chicago Poems".  He also has over 71 poetry videos on YouTube.

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Poetry by Ron Riekki

Walking the Streets of Croix After Our Argument

There are a thousand bars.
I could get drunk,
so drunk
that I’d become a fossil.
I’d be a dinosaur.
I’d drink myself
to the Big Bang,
before we ever met,
before anyone ever met,
before anything ever happened,
and I’d be drunk there,
and young
in an alley,
to remember you.

- Ron Riekki 2015

Ron Riekki's books include U.P.: a novel, The Way North (Wayne State University Press, chosen by the Library of Michigan as a 2014 Michigan Notable Book), and Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Michigan State University Press, May 2015,

New Poetry by Jonathan Hadwen


when you lower yourself
into the ocean, look outwards
as if there’s no shore,
no heartbeat to return to,

just that distant point
where no part of you, not even your eye, 
can ever reach.

- Jonathan Hadwen 2015

(Jonathan Hadwen is a Brisbane writer who has been haunting the various halls of SpeedPoets since 2008. In 2013 he was named runner-up in the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an unpublished manuscript, and in 2014 he placed second in the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize.)

New Poetry by Donal Mahoney

An Easter Rising
Poetry by priests?
Who gives it more than mock attention?
We read their poems, yes,
author first, then the title,
finally the verse itself.
Not much, except for Hopkins.
We wait for Rome, you see,
to give us in addition to its saints
one more decent poet.
A sot once said
“When things get bad enough,
you will see a Celt,
armed with a quiver of poems,
ride flaming out of the hills, 
soaring over the lakes,
wearing a rainbow for a Roman collar.”
Things are bad enough right now by half.
We need to hear his gallop soon.
 - Donal Mahoney 2015

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He writes poetry and fiction. Some of his earliest work can be found at

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Poetry by Michele Seminara


Let's leave everything be.
Let's just stop fixing.
Perhaps if we let everyone settle
clarity will be revealed.

Today I entered the cathedral of the bush—
sought permission to walk the land; felt it granted.
Was buoyed by a chorus of cicadas ululating
their adulation to the Gaia of this world.
(On Facebook a slowed down recording of cicadas—
Oh my, what exaltation! Beyond the range of men.)

As I traipse through the bush
in my rag of a dress,
great slobbery dog lopping
at my side, a disheveled woman
with hands clasped behind her back
like some unhinged Confucian scholar

a brown snake crosses my path.
It's an intimate moment, as if
he has been waiting for me.
What does one do in such a moment?
Acknowledge, pass...

Let's leave everything be.
Let's just stop fixing.
I want to open like that naked flannel-flower to the sun.

- Michele Seminara 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Poetry by Robbie Coburn

Autumn Proverb

walking the paddocks I saw a dog attack a bird, 
take its fragile body in its jaws and shake it of all life.
it lay motionless on the earth, the shrill cry that shattered the grasses fleeting.
I wondered what it must have thought of when its throat was torn, 
who must now wait for its return, the coming of only a longer silence-

death, as absence, has a permanence the skin cannot repair,
captured in any moment that passes beneath a perfumed rain,
I recalled your ghost, transparent in the open paddock,
a thin veil of fog beginning to leak from the frame.

- Robbie Coburn 2015