New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

Every week The Blue Nib brings you a selection of some of the best new poetry from emerging and established poets.



the thirst of a perfect July

Alfred Booth

I have written books on regret
tattered pages of July thunderstorms
making umbrellas of our merriment

the rhyme to scatter crowds
is clouds, big thick dark ominous
those I prefer, like rain soft
often eclipsed as we search for falling stars

I have stopped wishing
and drink rarely from my wells of love
speak before they dry
the only wrong words are silent ones

Alfred Booth is an American professional pianist who lives in France, Alfred Booth folds origami; its patience often inspires poetry. When he is not at the piano learning new arcane repertoire to stretch his horizons, he teaches would-be amateur musicians to put enough bread on the table. 



The Day Mama Slapped Satan

Micheal A Griffith


Let me tell you,

it was August back before The War.

Mama and me sat on the porch

watching the day pass us by

like a wounded dog.


Hot day,

too hot to move much.

Flies buzzing around,

outhouse smelling real ripe.

Complaining did no good,

but we done it anyhow.


Day kept on limping by,

we kept on fanning ourselves,

sweating there, hoping

for a breeze what might never come.


What came was Satan.


Pulled up in a long red car.

A big city car.

Shiny, real shiny in the sun.



He waves, comes up to the porch

carrying a black suitcase bigger’n me.

Smiles so big,

white white teeth

mouth never touched chaw

or a cigarette.

But he was still a bad bad man.


Says he’s got all kinds of stuff for sale

in that big black case.

Jewelry, watches, toys,

perfumes, soaps and notions.

(Not sure what “notions” is,

but the way he looked up at my mama

when he said that word makes me think

they ain’t good things for her

or most any lady.)

Can he come on in and show her?


He comes up, hands me a tin car he has in his pocket.

“Free. Just for you.

Now, sonny, you take it and go play.”

Mama says my name like a angry pastor would

but I wasn’t really going to take it,

’cause I knew Satan when I seen him.

That white suit, black shoes what never touched mud

or never seen no dust on them. Never been in grass.

His hair so oiled, forehead wetter’n my armpits was.

Too slick, too white, too clean in the damn heat.

Man just had to be Satan.


Kept trying to get Mama

to take him inside,

to show her his stuff,

telling me to take the tin car –

red and shiny, just like his city car –

to go and play, he wants to talk with my mama



He leaned in close to her

and she never stopped fanning her face,

rocking in her chair.

He smiled real real big

whispered so quiet I could never hear.

Mama, she stopped her fanning, stopped her rocking,

looked Satan in his eyes

and slapped him so hard he went spinning.

Slap loud as a whip crack.


Satan’s cheek red as his city car.

Him so angry he shouted every bad word on Earth,

calling my Mama names no lady ever ought to hear.

He go storming back to his big car

thumping that black case of his,

threw that toy car off in the yard,

fast as lightning.

He drives away real loud

and there’s a big breeze.

Starts to cool off a minute later

and a nice soft rain comes,

makes Mama and me both smile and feel real good.

Day later I buried Satan’s toy car up at the church

where it ain’t done no harm

or no good ever since.



Micheal A Griffith


I do my praying

in a flat-pillowed bed (no nails, some coals),

in a speeding, careening, slick-road car,

or my porcelain throne

in my own ivory tower.

Why should our Father, who art in Heaven

Father Abba Ali Baba “OPEN!”, sez me

listen to sleepy, screechy, stinky me?

(Because I listened to my sleepy, screechy, stinky daughter when she was a baby, I suppose.)


Michael Griffith began writing poetry as a way to heal his mind and spirit as his body recovered from a life-changing injury. His writing has appeared in online and print outlets such as Teaching For Success, Lehigh Valley Woman’s Journal, Twilight Times, Dual Coast Poetry, Haiku Journal, Three Line Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Indiana Voice Journal, and Ripen the Page. He teaches and resides in central NJ….

Broken Calm

Chris Tabaca


Pitch black

foreboding night

distant rumbles

a sharp crash of thunder

the sky is split in two

by a white hot bolt of lighting

mighty trees bow to the wind

awakening sleeping beasts

the hearts of men race

pounding in their ears

bones rattle

teeth gnash


as all await the next imminent strike


Ann Christine Tabaka was born and lives in Delaware. She is a published poet, an artist, a chemist, and a personal trainer. She loves gardening, cooking, and the ocean. Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her poems have been published in numerous national and international poetry journals, reviews, and anthologies….



London attack?

David Susswein



a heated pressure front of air


the doppler sounds of an emergency siren


the vestibulum registers a vertical orientation change


I have been diagnosed with Cotard’s Syndrome,

I believe my bones are broken inside

me, I feel like paper mache

I walk only on tissues of air


I know my body’s internal organs

have died, atrophied and

cankers rotting suppurating

flesh. flesh-less I only stand


because I have forgotten how to



tell my wife I had loved her


tell the earth I am sorry for our race;

always treading on you, so badly.


When the Child Asked Me the Question.

David Susswein



what holds

up the sky, why do

grey clouds rain sometimes,

why do we walk upright, why do

girls not have things and what do girls

things look like, the earth is it like a ball

are we standing on it or in it, why must i stay

away from strangers, who will hurt me, do they know

when I’ve been bad and will they punish me, if there are

sat.. satellites spinning around us how come they know how to

make a circle why don’t they just crash, and why do i wear shorter

trousers and lizzie wears dresses, why is it daddy I feel alone and all

lonely and when I’m with mummy, lizzie or you daddy i don’t feel lonely why,



well the

sky is light and floats like bubbles, clouds are grey because they are full of rain,

we walk upright because that’s how God made us, girls and boys are made to

fit eachother, that’s what being grown up is all about, we are standing

on top of it, strangers don’t know when you’re bad and you’re good

almost always, some strangers though are bad and that’s why

they might hurt you, satellites spin around the earth

because they are sought of held up by gravity,

and because they have rockets that keep

them spinning properly, you wear

shorts because you’re my boy

and lizzie wears dresses,

because that’s what

girls do, and,



…we feel lonely and we all do need,

and i feel trapped and i don’t love your mummy anymore

and i have never understood why people hurt eachother

and i was watching the news and i can’t make sense of it

and your mummy never touches me anymore and i feel so

alone and i don’t know what I’m going to do with you and

i never should have been a father and I’m so frightened of

letting you down and lizzie doesn’t hug me anymore i think

mummy doesn’t love me and she tells her not to and what

do you do when you’re forty and nothing is as it was going

to be and how do you start again with two children and a

broken marriage and I’m so frightened all the time all the

time and i don’t want to talk anymore not anymore, Talk.

I’m so tired i don’t want to talk.



and i said nothing and i stroked his hair

and his hair smelt like my life beneath my fingers

and we sat down and watched the news.


another Algerian massacre, an increase in the rape figures,

tundra drying to deserts, and oceans clogged with human waste


and at the end the inevitable cat saving a burning building

without need of any superhero’s mask or cape.


So. It was alright after all.

Except nothing really mattered

and there’s no point and there’s nothing to do

and there’s nothing to say and there’s no one

to answer all the questions I can’t even ask

and look:- at all the starving black children

with their swollen bellies and their mothers

with tits drained of all nourishment as they wait

for their time to die — before their child? —after?

A nature so harsh it even mocks hunger with gluttony.


And I know everything to tell my son,

and I know everything to tell my son:

everything is alright, every new day remakes

everything new, because every tear you’ve ever

cried has always dried and has never left a stain.


as everyone is raped in little ways

as everyone has their dreams broken

as everyone shuts their fucking eyes

so we can carry on and survive


But don’t worry, don’t worry I’ll protect you

with all my possessions,

with my hands, my body

with my fists my fists my fists  [my fists]


so you can carry on and survive.



They exterminate dreamers don’t they?

Andrew Lawson


They took all the free spirits away
in steel modern boxcars
with a diamond window
with a view of the passing hills

they were that breed of mankind
artists and dreamers
filled with childlike optimism
that gave the working drones
a nagging emptiness
like a failed marriage

they would be unloaded
and put in two groups
the willing to adapt
or the hopeless dreamers

one group would survive
and be indoctrinated
taught to just accept
the gruel of conformity

the dreamers

Andrew Lawson hails from Connecticut USA
he pens song lyrics, poetry, children stories and ghost stories
and an eclectic mishmash



Continuous fall of deep in

Charles Carr

If I could
put it to words
it would be
the heavy breath
of light
that touches through
new leaves
on a row of trees
between where we sit
and the sun finally peaks
over a mountain
and speaks us
into a single shadow
of all the places
neither of us could reach
without the other



for the one whose final words left litter in my veins



i take the Midwest   its storms upstaging every corner of the sky
too involved with open roads    lazy lands i touch
with just a whisper   and you’re there     my undoing
practically grinning at the locusts     not a single crop

it seems a worm has worked its way into love again
consuming every sweet intention      i make Iowa  by half a day
sooner than i expected     what lives there i don’t know
i ease through dead crowds of corn     one wheel is faint

the other three still screech your name    so loud it leaves a mark
and i am stranded  with green stop signs in my eyes    hair yelling
at the wind    what a wink couldn’t fix     how gone i feel
from your flattery      how flat i am  when you don’t pursue



You might also like

3 poems by Emma Lee

Emma Lee’s most recent collection is “Ghosts in the Desert” (IDP, UK 2015), she co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge,” (Five

Read More »

And The Winners Are-

Spring Summer Chapbook Contest Winners. Our guest judge, Southlight editor, Vivien Jones announces her winners in CBC III as well as talking about the quality

Read More »

Share this post with your friends

You may also enjoy
Still Life With Fish Mike Essig   The people on…