Sunday 5 May 2024

Poetry Pacific (Vol.13): Cover Art


                    POETRY PACIFIC

[Vol. 13, 2024 edition]

Cover art by Helena Qi Hong

PP: Editors' Notes


dear All PP Patrons, 


towards the end of last year, several authors published on our website asked us whether we were going to make any nominiations for pubshcart prize and/or 'best of the net'. we told  them that as a rule we had never done so regularly, nor would we in the future. the reason is simple: our site is, as indicated explicitly under the name of our e.zine, 'a publication for true lovers of words and wisdom'. indeed, while most, if not all, authors, magazines and presses, may turn out to be pursurers of fame and wealth to varying degrees, our platform cares about neither. it's purely a labor of love. 

one thing interesting to note is, though, that since we reduced PP from a biannual into an annual publication in 2020, we have had more pageviewers than before, averaging about 7,500 at least per month. most noticeably, in march 2024, our monthly pageviewers hit a record high, which reached 27,124, a sudden huge jump still unexplanable. on april 5 alone, our pageviewers reached as many as 2,042. compared to other literary/poetic sites (including some  university/college-run ones), this achievement is certainly satisfactory. after all, PP is basically a solo performance by an old village boy whose time, energy, health and computer skills are all extremely limited. (we had a statistic report about our site in 2016, and will do so again in 2026, just to see the changes.) 

in this annual edition, we are honored to present 70 poetry authors and 4 visual/graphic artists.

enjoy reading/viewing,


with all best wishes for a more rational, peaceful and prosperous time to come... 

- eds. at PP

Call for Submissions - Guidelines




By submitting to PP, the submitter warrants that 
s/he alone has created the work s/he is submitting and that 
s/he owns all rights to it. The submitter will indemnify and 
hold PP and its staff harmless from and against any and all loss,
 damage, costs and other expenses arising out of claims, 
whatever their nature, resulting directly or indirectly 
from breach of this warranty. At the same time, 
the submitter/contributor agrees that PP can use 
part or all of his/her accepted material, including responses 
to PP's interview questions, on its Facebook and/or 
other similar social networking vehicles for promotional purposes.

* All poetic and visual artworks are carefully read/viewed 
year round on a rolling basis 
for an anuunal e.edition, due out on or around 5 May;

* Multiple and simultaneous submissions, as well as previously published work, 
are all equally welcome insofar as you still hold the copy/publishing rights;

sorry, this is not a paying market,  
but a literary project as a labor of love
presented to true lovers of words and wisdom;

Please send up to 5 of your best shortish poems each time 
by pasting them all together with a brief 3rd person bio note
within the body of your email 
(Textual subs with attachments will automatically be deleted unread)
But send up to 10 visual artworks each in a separate attachment

*  Please feel welcome to send us a query if, for instance, 
your accepted work does not appear as scheduled;

Our response-time is three months though usually much shorter than that, &
only those accepted will get a reply;

* we do not require you to mention us as the first publisher of your work,
but your mentioning would be much appreciated;

Once accepted by PP, please allow at least two years/issues
before submitting new work to us

- Many thanks for your kind support of PP & Gooooodluuuuck!


for book or poetry collection/chapbook manuscript submissions 
send us a brief description together 
with a literary tv or professional bio

Basic Guidelines for Preparing a Manuscript

1.     Proofread everything carefully to make sure there are no typos, misspellings or improper uses of capitalization & punctuation marks.
2.     Single-space all the textual content;
3.     Stick to the same font, preferably ‘times new roman’ (12) for sake of conformity;
4.     Use font sizes (for titles or sub-titles), italics, boldface, underlines in a consistent and conventional fashion;
5.     Provide a cover image/photo in a separate file, if any;
6.     Include no more than 5 high-resolution illustrations (images/photos) for a chapbook, 10 for a full-length book, whose sizes should be less than 3/5 of a standard doc page (11x8.5 inches);
7.     Provide a ‘devotion page’  (optional);
8.     Provide a ‘acknowledgements’ or ‘attribution list’ page (work title, followed by publication name, & date/issue number if any);
9.     Provide a ‘table of contents’;
10.   Paginate the text of the (chap)book beginning from the first poem or first page of the prosework;
11.    Provide an ‘author page’;
12.     Provide 3 to 5 blurbs (optional)

Note: failure to comply with the above or provide a camera/print-ready ms would result in eventual termination of the publication process.


5 Poems by Gemma Mathewson

Cliff Dweller

5 poems by Ryan Brennan

At The Cemetery

Her headstone


with a voice

made of 


Dried Flowers

After hours spent

with our girls

in the sun

their shoulders,

cheeks, and


all now painted 

a summers


I take the 


that this day has 


and fold it 


between the 


where we wrote

it’s story

Well After Dusk

For Delia

Six bushels sit


Beneath an apple 


Empty now 

But for the stars 


She slides open the 


of her dainty summer


to the rain soaked 


her body passes


like a storm 

of summer bloomed



We should raise

our smiles in spite

of what we were

like droughted 

ravines growing


in the absence of 



Ryan Brennan lives in the Catskill Mountains with both a witch and a cat. He has recent or forthcoming work in Cider Press ReviewBrazos River Review, Pif Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Mantle, One Sentence Poems, amongst others.

5 Digital Paintings by Edward Lee


a gentle sorrowing

no freedom from this

moon of the day

the moon did not rise

the universe in you


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 poetry collections are Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge, The Madness Of Qwerty, A Foetal Heart and Bones Speaking With Hard Tongues. 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

5 Paintings by David Boyle

Artist's Statement

I began painting desert scenes and jungles as I was fascinated by these when my mother took me to visit friends in the sixties and there would be foreign pictures and sculptures of more exotic locales than my home in New Zealand. These(now retro) black woman and African landscapes fascinated me and I found myself returning to these art forms when I started with the oils in the mid nineties as I felt they still retained that mystical draw. Having owned ten motorbikes and scooters I soon drew on this passion and had my woman riding large bikes and sidecars through these landscapes. Over the years I made a whole other world in my art with skeletons on motorcycles, old fashioned British policemen, witches, a giant black cat, nuns, and The Elephant Queen an elephant that accompanied many of these characters. It’s nearly always women that purchase the Motorcycle women and some people buy the art for their children who grow up with them and take the canvases when they leave the nest. I hope to put together some children’s books using these images one day. My website is boyleswellington



3 Poems by Carmine Lombardo


5 Poems by Allen Yuan

Every Youthful Moment

Paving his own
Road, never backing

He does what he wants,
How he wants,
When he wants,
Making the light shine.

He has faith
The future
                                      He’s facing towards.

Enjoying the golden age,
Remembering every page,
Of his life,
Written or unwritten,
He gives it his all, hoping he will not
Every youthful moment.

Here in This … Antlike Moment

Here … in this … antlike moment
Arise … my spirits
Illuminating… my own shadow

They’re up… against the dark cloud
Ready to join… in a heavy storm
Shooting… like… a thunder

Now I see… the unlimited sky
Besides …the cracking light
Now …I know…… my ………fate

Pardon My French: “America Is the Earth Fucker”

As soon as the Indian summer is over
A newly old Turk
Who always talks in plain English
(About anything as American as apple pie)
Will put an end to this Mexican standoff
(By way of a deep French kiss?)
Before taking French leave
And then going Dutch
(With Dutch courage, of course)
For some real black Russian
Despite all those Chinese whispers
Which are totally Greek to him
Even if he has to take a slow boat to China
Where there’re simply too many chefs
And not enough Indians

Diphthongs Deconstructed

Wakie wacky, you dum dum
Stop dillying dallying, &
Don’t wishy washy
Or shilly shally
But chop chop
Let’s leave the hurly burly
All the wishy washy, or
Whim whams of this market

And join each other inside out
Becoming lovey dovey
Even palsy walsy
To complete our souls with hocus pocus

Freegments: 10 Random Reflections

The biggest success for me
Is to live an enjoyable life  
The meaning of life, if any at all
Is yet to create one for yourself
Poetry is truth, good or beauty
Perceived beyond immediacy
The most fascinating fact of my life : All I have
Gone through are published as poetry or fiction
A smile on your face can drop on the ground anytime
Only an inner joy will keep your soul uplifted forever
Skin pleasure is strong, bone pleasure enduring
While spiritual pleasure is as strong as enduring
It’s not the wind but the lost souls rising from under-
Ground that are storming through the cement forests
Go dream a bluish dream, where
I will join you in body as in soul
So many black tears are contained in the red-hearted
Melon as if we’re all imprisoned in a sweet universe
The highest ability is to live a simple life
After one has undergone all complications


Allen Yuan, author of Traffic Light, is a 2-time Pushcart and 2-time Best of the Net nominee. A co-editor of Poetry Pacific, Allen currently works as a financial analyst in Vancouver. Since grade 10, Allen has had poetry appear in more than 70 literary publications across 16 countries, which include Cordite Poetry Review, Literary Review of Canada, Poetry Scotland, Shampoo and Spillway.

2 Poems by Maria Berardi

In the Detritus and Duff

(after alcohol poisoning)

3 Poems by Gary Kissick

Dawn at Halape Oasis

The night has worn out.  It was my blanket
and consolation.  Whenever I opened my eyes,
the dark was thick with night sky stars.
Whenever I turned my body, makai or mauka,
it buoyed my body with darkness
and constellations.  Of a multitude,
one star remains.  The calm pulse of its light
beats in the tidal pool.

Rain Quietude

In sleep made of sleep and remembrance, a few raindrops
sound in the dark.  Like a chieftain, the wind moves through leaves,
then the raindrops fall.  But I am deceived by other
nights and desires; these are only small hands
shaken from the sky.  No rainfall follows
the path through the woods, the night is clear of its sound,
and I can hear the ocean open
like a palm among small rocks.

I think of days when some ghost undulation
moved through stillborn
rain on the ocean.

I have seen that same blown curtain in the changing tones of sea
seen from a great height on clear days; and in clouds paled
by wind on the pali; and in a woman’s distraction
when buoyed by love past dusk to darkness,
she finds an unfamiliar light illuminates
a world still moving, but moving less,
as she lies wet and hesitates
to wonder what love will remain
when she has handed it down to herself through the years
and her hands have changed it,
when even now it is strangely unapproachable,
an arrangement in perfect balance,
and, offhandedly, she says,
“I think it’s going to rain.”

A Pact With Spirits

It is a pact I have made with spirits.
They will not reveal themselves.

When I turn to examine an echo,
I’ll see no old Chinaman
forlorn in an overcoat
worn thin by moonlight.

When I sleep in the woods,
I’ll hear no ancient songs, no women crying
where there are none. The desolate
babies in the graveyard
will be cats. The clack of bamboo
only that.

Coat hangers
will not rattle in the closet,
the lock will not come undone,
nor will the rocking chair
rock of its own accord.

I, in return, will believe in them.


Gary Kissick, a past editor of Hawaii Review, is the winner of the Pacific Poetry Prize for Outer Islands (U. of Hawaii Press, 1984), The Honolulu Poetry Prize, and a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship.  In addition to Outer Islands, he has also published Another Kissing Couple Has Exploded (Gatehouse Press, 2007) as well as the novel Winter in Volcano (Random House UK, 1999).  His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Appalachian Review, Best of Bamboo Ridge, Esquire, Manoa, The Nation, Poetry Now, Prairie Schooner, Rolling Stone, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, White Noise  and elsewhere.  He is a graduate of  both the University of  Iowa Writers Workshop and the University of  East Anglia (UK).  He is a Professor Emeritus of  English with the University of  Maryland Global Campus.

3 poems by Margaret Pearce


From the far lonely reaches of my fears,
Incubating from the blackness below
Depression stirs, that carrion crow
An obscene shape across unshed tears.
Sensing the failing confidence crying,
Circling to the summons of silent screams,
Tearing at the entrails of broken dreams
Spilling unborn hopes from corpse still dying.
Gorging on the malice of transient friends
Unsated the feral weed of paranoia thrives
Choking fragile reason from despairing lives
Breaks through at last, and into reality blends.
And that dense black shadow across my years,
Feeds monstrous life into those carrion fears.


Hoo hoo hoo, and he haw hay
Laughed the Kooka on his way.
Afer him the Magpies chased
Winging past in reckless haste.
What was it that the Kooka heard
To cause the Magpies get so stirred?
An ornithologist rushed to meet
A Magpie walking on two sore feet.
‘I’m scared to fly,’the Magpie wailed
They laughed at me because I failed.’
He then limped on, a bird unique
An unhappy agoraphobic freak.

A version of this published Swag of Verse 2007 one use only
A version of this published Geelong Writers 2016 one use only
A version of this published freexpression magazine, February 2021 one use only


Do I resent the chains around me
Bound by habit
Imbedded so deeply in my soul
That all eternity will show the mark?
Where love and hate each in their turn
Strengthen bondage with their grasp
Twin warders guarding front and back doors
Every loophole and every crevice.
Self chosen prison confining flesh
Torn apart by inward storms
Treacherous currents of indecision
Cowed to stillness by convention.
Cringing back from duty’s lashes
Lost forever is the key
The price for cowards is too high
Leaving lurking in the shadows
The lonely captive snatching
Fleeting glimpses of freedom
Through self barred windows.


I was a sickly child and an omnivorous reader which made for a harmonious and pleasant substitute for most of the schools I was supposed to attend. My love of fantasy started at seven years of age when all magazines with lurid covers kept getting snatched off me. Launched on an unsuspecting commercial world I ended up copywriting in an advertising department. I took to writing instead of drink when raising children. Said children embarrassed at me getting published. You never run out of material when knee deep in children. I completed an Arts Degree at Monash University as a mature age student. I have mainly had published children's and teenage novels print and ebooks as currently listed on Amazon, Book Depository, Kindle and

3 Poems by Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka

Lake Patzcuaro: Before All Saints' Eve on Janitzio Island

The lake where fishermen catch light
in butterfly nets. Shadows sit on the sunny
side. Mountains last for only a splash
of the boat turned around by the whistle
of the guitar player on the pier.

Glimmers skip on green floats,
upright egrets double upside-down,
ridges mingle with clouds
lured to sink with the sun
into the abyss of legends.

After the last boat departs, the water
takes on a tarnished, wrinkled
countenance, sighs to the lingering
cloud and closes up.

On All Saints' Eve the souls emerge,
share pan de los muertos on festive graves,
and then, flickering candle flames—
to air and water they return.
                                --first published in Little Patuxent Review

On Earth

From the imperceptible tap water flows in.

I am sixteen. I gaze at the Big Dipper,
dream of being an astronaut,
garner stars.

I am forty. I visit Orion, bright nebula
in his sword. All monsters conquered,
no injustice allowed. I hold matter and spark.

The pool fills up.

I am ninety. The people who were to die
did. The Red Planet is at its closest
to Earth. I reach.

I am three again. The Sun plays tricks
with colors to defer the night.
I ask to stay awake.

The water stills, merges with forever.
                                --first published in The Comstock Review

The Ocean Is Watching

Today I cannot win with myself,
an “o” against an “x”
call it “tick-tack-toe” or
“kółko i krzyżyk,”
“a circle and a cross”

drawn with a shell
on nine squares, between four lines
on hardened sand
tinted by the six o’clock sun.

The other player, the other I,
does not make a mistake in this game,
nor do I.
                            --first published in Spillway


Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka is the author of two books: Face Half-Illuminated (Apprentice House) and Oblige the Light (CityLit Press), winner of the Clarinda Harriss Poetry Prize. She is also the translator for four books by Lidia Kosk. Her works have appeared in Pirene’s Fountain, Spillway, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere. Poetry Translations Editor at Loch Raven Review, she grew up in Poland and now lives in Maryland, USA. More at:

2 Poems by Michael Carrino

Night Walk Down a Narrow Street

2 Poems by Sheryl Guterl


Desert dwellers learn
to live with dust--on lamps,
floors, countertops, shelves.
Dust breezes under
windows and around doors.
These particles may be
our ancestors visiting.
What if we collected them,
stored them in painted pots,
displayed them on our mantles,
lit candles before them,
uttered incantations
or hummed chants to them?
Instead, these bits are swept
or wiped away, dumped
in a bin to be landfilled,
where dessicated bones
are bulldozed to obscurity.

Listen to the Lake

Waters of an ancient mountain lake
are ruffled by stiff breeze.
Sunlight dances off
each miniature wave.

If this lake were making a sound,
it would be the tinkling
of a thousand silver bells

If it had a voice, it would say,
“Come to me for peace.”

A swimmer slips between
watery silk sheets
and glides toward rocky shore.


Sheryl Guterl claims these titles:  mother, grandmother, former English teacher, former elementary school counselor, Albuquerque Museum Docent, alto, bookworm.  In the summer, she writes poetry from a New Hampshire cabin, surrounded by water, birds, tall pines, and campfire smoke.   In the winter months, in New Mexico, lizards, sandhill cranes, and a rich cultural landscape inspire her.  Sheryl’s recent poems are in Capsule Stories, The Bluebird Word, Clerestory, SLAB, Zephyr Review, Parks & Points, Public Sector Poetry, and several local anthologies.

2 Poems by D. R. James

Kingdom of Gauze

2 Poems by Anthony David Vernon


lease be aware
That the earth doesn't care
About your despair
Nor your petty wares
Or whatever it is you have to share

Water Wells

You could see within our wishing well
Countless stars and endless waterfalls
But one drop taints the well
And now we only see ourselves in free falls


Anthony David Vernon is a Cuban-American literary writer who earned his master's degree in philosophy at the University of New Mexico. He is a regularly published author of poetry along with short stories and philosophical articles in various outlets. His premiere book is The Assumption of Death (Alien Buddha Press) a hybrid work of poetry, short stories, and philosophical musings. His second book is entitled Flings on Flings (gnOme Books).

3 Pictures by Michael Moreth





Artist's Statement

Here are a couple of egg tempera pictures I made. I hope you like them.


Michael Moreth is a recovering Chicagoan living in the rural, micropolitan City of Sterling, the Paris of Northwest Illinois, USA

2 Poems by Jessamyn Rains


Birds fluff their feathers,
bugs crawl beneath curved leaves;

small woodland creatures peer
out of the holes in their hollowed

out trees and watch the water
slash the green, stir up the mud,

fill up the creek till it sloshes
against its banks and flows

ever downward in rivulets
and streams. Somewhere in a stone

house in the middle of a town
a middle-aged woman

puts a kettle on, grinds
her coffee beans, sits

by the rain-splattered window
turns the pages and reads,

slowly, reverently–some old and dusty thing–
Eliot or Trollope, Chesterton or Hardy.

When You’ve Reached Middle Age

Your poetry turns to prose,
your marginalia to shopping lists.
You beat your clever barbs
into safety pins
and save your sarcasm
for restaurant reviews.
You are too tired to join the cult
When they come knocking
on your door,
though you search for some utopia
more desperately than ever.
Time to the young is something to kill–
to overfill, or to manage, to divide–
but moments to you are gold
sifted from endless mud,
lifted from the clear stream of life

ever flowing in this world.


Jessamyn Rains is a mother of small children who writes and makes music. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in various publications, including Foreshadow, Dappled Things, InScribe, Amethyst Review, and Trampoline. She lives with her family in Tennessee.

2 Poems by Ave Jeanne Ventresca

SELF-PORTRAIT / Native American poet in the mirror

still naming the ingredients in his face,
so predominant are the flavors of wind
and juniper berries. see how his
hair begins to gray as it forgets those
days when young was the pattern.  he

seems to recall his gardens, where
aromas were sculpted throw hoe
and rake. many family members called
upon their hands and fingers to forecast
evening’s meal. today he is thinking

of these scars upon his skin. each one
like some long ago story where coyotes
upon the desert ran free, and offerings
from ancestors were retold. this weathered
hat upon his head evokes a season when
bird feathers upon it were clean and bright.

PORTRAIT IN PASTELS / Native American Woman

somewhere in a field of green she straightly
sits, with hair as dark as midnight, that finds
her shining, beneath its straightness and soft.
upon her neck, beads of many seasons, sizes
and hues, reflect their images upon the still
water. she thinks of grandfather’s stories.

pictures him at the river’s edge. in a pasture,
bending for corn, squash, firm beans. today,
this land no longer holds their home. sorrow
consumes her day, each hour longs to see
grandfather’s shadow once again. her eyes,

ebony and alone, call to the waters to
comfort her limbs and heart. these four
feathers behind her ear are at a fade, and she
is pulled into this hungry river’s mouth.


Ave Jeanne Ventresca (aka: ave jeanne) is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry reflecting social and environmental concerns. Poetry from her most recent collection, Noticing The Colors of Ordinary, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, 2019. Her award winning poetry has been widely published internationally within commercial and literary magazines, in print and online.  She edited the acclaimed literary / artwork magazine Black Bear Review, and served as publisher of Black Bear Publications for twenty years.