Earthworms, by Robert James Berry

Earthworms
by Robert James Berry

When the ground steams after rain,
that is when the earthworms come.
They are rope-thick, blind,
crows peck them off.
If you sink a pitchfork in the soil,
it teems with them.
But when the earth cakes up
they’re gone, their inscrutably
subterranean ways begun.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

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Owls, by Robert James Berry

Owls
by Robert James Berry

There is a hide on the peninsula
where you can view owls.
I love to watch them roost
and blink their barmy eyes
and swivel their perfect heads.
That a creature so cuddly
could be a killer
mystifies me. But
the bush is littered
with their murdering.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

Otter, by Robert James Berry

Otter
by Robert James Berry

Sleek, solitary
whiskered like a cat
not maternal
a gourmet for shellfish
grooming her fur
on the strand
inexpressibly lovely
smelling me
gone with a splash.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

Castaway, by Robert James Berry

Castaway
by Robert James Berry

I should like to founder
on a coral atoll
bathe my big toe
in glistening turquoise sea
paddle with dugongs
maybe dolphins
eat salty anemones
admire the rush of tropical sunsets
never get rescued.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

Deep, by Robert James Berry

Deep
by Robert James Berry

Deep ocean creatures
enthrall me.
If you haul them
to the surface,
they implode,
into distorted monsters,
far-fetched freaks
to disquiet your dreams.

Robert James Berry lives and writes in Dunedin, New Zealand. He is the author of nine collections of poetry: Smoke (2000), Stone (2004), Seamark (2005), Sky Writing (2006), Sun Music (2007), Mudfishes (2008), Moontide (2010), Swamp Palace (2012) and Toffee Apples (2014). His latest collection, Gorgeous, is out from Sylph Editions, London http://www.sylpheditions.com (https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Robert-James-Berry/dp/1909631213). His poetry has appeared in literary magazines such as Stand (Leeds, UK), Poetry Salzburg (Salzburg, Austria), Westerly (Perth, AUS), Rattapallax (NY, USA) and Landfall (Dunedin, NZ).

Robert was born in the UK and educated in England, Ireland and Scotland. He holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Stirling, Scotland and MA and BA degrees from the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. He has lectured in English Literature at universities in England, Malaysia and New Zealand. He is married with three sons.

Conflicted Excitement, by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

 

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Download the collection here:

Conflicted Excitement by LindaAnn Loschiavo

LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s debut collection is an Italian memoir about coming to America. It traces the first footsteps to a country that would become home. The sense of belonging proved to be elusive for her immigrant grandparents.

“Fit in!” advised her husband. Neither did,
Unnoticed by America’s embrace.
–Merletto [Lace]

Setting up roots would be reflected in the efforts of her grandfather, affectionately called “il nonno mio”, growing fig trees in Brooklyn. In fact the poems about her grandparents endearingly anchor this collection.

Her poems—peopled by her grandparents, parents, her sister, her relatives, her friends–engage us in an effusive warp of story-telling. Sometimes one gets the feeling of being wrapped in a cocoon of Italian babble but thankfully there’re translations to get us through them. For of course one brings one’s own language along with oneself, and LindaAnn’s poems reflect that. We also learn where she got her gift of narrative from…her father! (See “The Wizard of Words”).

Along with her native language, religion is weaved through her personal rite of passage, enabling her to cope with death and the question of eternity.

Where Jesus, spotless, guiltless, is then beaten
For others’ sins returns me to my oyster
Shell, hard home where I dwell with grains of sand,
Intruders I coat with a glaze to make their
Existence not so scratchy, making it
All easier to slip around till I’m good
And ready for that opening up.
–A Little Choir Girl at Passiontide

For us then, the poems are secret musings of oneself, but it is when she makes leaps towards the sublime that “Like death’s jewels, feathers fell from pelicans.” (“Aboard S.S. Guiseppe Verdi”).

I am here, by Diane Jackman

I am here
by Diane Jackman

Here among the trees, the city smoke fades
to a distant memory, purple wreaths
beyond the hills and out of sight.

Slipping into unaccustomed ways,
embracing the new landscape, people,
fitting in snug as a bespoke jacket.

Home is not always where we first saw light.
We can find it elsewhere, in a place
of sudden welcome, of deep belonging.

Diane Jackman’s poetry has been published widely in magazines and anthologies. Starting as a children’s writer, she now concentrates on poetry and researching lives in the Breckland, England’s desert. Last year she started a poetry café in Brandon, Suffolk.

Sonnet to My Former Dance Partner, by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

Sonnet to My Former Dance Partner
by LindaAnn LoSchiavo

How perfect was your choreography:
Those steps that led away from me, the waltz
Of loss. You shed your youth, which didn’t halt
Your appetite for living. Legs slowly
Refused your body’s gracefulness. Your knees
Rebelled. Bright hoping failed to see assaults,
Damage within. A dance card filled up, no fault
Of nurses. Healers bowed apologies.

Assigning places to emotions, you
Would spin around the numbers: the hours
Remaining for your performance.
A dress rehearsal, a final curtain drew
Closer. Time had me fooled. Love lost power,
Escaped routines. Youth never learns this dance.

Process Notes: When the most graceful individual in your life dies, you give your sorrow to the paper and pray the Petrarchan sonnet becomes a hyphen between the silences.
.
Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo has work forthcoming in Literary Manhattan, Flatbush Review, Indian River Review, and Adversus Press. Her chapbook, Conflicted Excitement, is a forthcoming release by Red Wolf Editions. Blog: https://MaeWest.blogspot.com

Death of a Poet, by Debi Swim

Death of a Poet
by Debi Swim

I have become an empty cistern
A dry river bed, bleached bones
Have forgotten the smell of rain

I am words stuck in the throat
A horse without a whisperer
A pot untended, boiled away

I am parched, athirst, panting
Where is the well that I may sip
Where is my Erato?

Am I singing my swan song?

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet.

And Only Infrequently, by Holly Day

And Only Infrequently
by Holly Day

We exchange pictures through the mail because words
aren’t good enough. The passage of time is explained
through the faces of strangers, in the pictures of children
only known in person as tiny, warm babies
coiled and asleep, newly born. The envelopes

also contain pictures of people I know
but older, grayer, tired. My sister’s gap-toothed smile
has been replaced by the tight grin
of a woman with perfect teeth
standing next to her own family—her goofy college sweetheart
is now a man holding hands with a toddler.
I put pictures of me, my children, their father
in a similar envelope
seal it without looking

without wanting to look
still in denial that time
has passed at this end as well.

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle. Her nonfiction publications include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano and Keyboard All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and Stillwater, Minnesota: A History. Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press), I’m in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.), and Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing) will be out mid-2018, with The Yellow Dot of a Daisy already out on Alien Buddha Press.