Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a Pushcart nominee with over
a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His latest book out now, ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ is available on Amazon and through Cawing Crow Press, while in September of this year, another book of poems, ‘Like As If’, will be published by Pskis Porch. His poems on video can be viewed on YouTube’s ‘BruceMcRaePoetry’
As he drives, a tornado warning,
sky like the bruise he got
from being pushed down the stairs
in eighth grade. He sees
a billboard: LEADERSHIP MATTERS.
Steve’s never been a leader,
prefers the end of lines
even if he has to wait.
The one high school class he failed,
Speech. He sweated and stammered,
looked away from his listeners,
sat down, a stubby pencil eraser.
The tornado must be near.
Pelting rain, cars pulling off to the side.
He keeps going, perhaps into
wind’s jaw, Or maybe,
in a few more minutes,
a calm dusk opening its lily bud
across the city skyline.
Kenneth Pobo had a book out from Urban Farmhouse Press in 2015 called Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt. In addition to Message in a Bottle, his work has appeared in: Brittle Star, Mudfish, The Fiddlehead, Orbis, and elsewhere.
Most fights were hardly gladiatorial,
wrestling jousts until the one pinned ceded,
promoted by schoolboy agents provocateurs.
These rituals of strength presaged our future,
the ether through which we were about to plummet.
Keen for peer approval I usually excelled,
good at sport, rash, while he was sound, calm.
We rode the same bus, neither friends nor enemies.
Expecting to win I was soon discomfited,
shielded within the circus from teachers.
The years grind on. I read his name, remember
his precocious ambition to be a cop.
He has shot dead a criminal during a siege.
On the run from sad times I reflect
how simply giving in ended youthful foolishness.
Far afterward, news with his name again,
this time a wheat silo, a rural shift,
his attempts to rescue two boys from suffocation.
Do distant echoes blister his quiet moments,
the price we sometimes pay for our dreams?
Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in , Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, New Contrast, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Stony Thursday Book, & Two-Thirds North. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.
There he is, God,
among the moon-streetlights
(there's the real moon, a mere slither in the wake)
in the back of the van
the road like the great splayed tongue of a cow;
the old boar of a bus roaring with human fungus,
a parasite to the oil and grit of the machine,
of the bruised and dishonest road.
Out there like a crippled dove
Banging on the hoods of cars as they pass,
Hurtling into ravines
somewhere, flowers blossom,
and the hand that bends to pluck them
is the most cherished and beautiful thing
Hailing from the countryside of Gloucestershire, but currently living in Brighton, East Sussex, Tom Stevens is a twenty-one year old who studied English literature at the University of Sussex. Most of his poems are unpublished, and those that are, are in small editorials and student collections.