Submission call for Midsummer Madness 2023

Calling all writers and poets! We are currently reading submissions for Midsummer Madness 2023. There is no theme, so if you have any quality poems, short stories or anything in between, send your work along to us at

You can read our full submission guidelines at

We respond to all submissions within 4 weeks with a current rate of 57% acceptances and 43% rejections, for those curious folks.


Midsummer Madness is now closed for submissions

Thank you for all your poetry and fiction sent for consideration in the Midsummer Madness 2022 anthology. We are now closed for submissions as we read through the final submissions and begin to format the anthology for publication. We won’t reopen for new work until after the anthology is published on 21st June 2022 – please check back after 1st July 2022 for updates on our reading period for the Winter Wonderland anthology 2022. Any work submitted after 29th April 2022 will not be read.

For writers and poets who are still awaiting a decision about work, you’ll hear back from us within the next week.

Cover reveal, details for pre-order and any other updates for the anthology will appear on the Bindweed homepage shortly. Stay tuned!

Leilanie and Joseph

CTD Robinson – 3 poems



What they don’t understand,

those tourists and gossips of lore—

if I were to persist—

I’d do it better than that


and despite what they say

I wouldn’t bother

my time with you,

Jonathan Buck, hero.


Also, if I haunted you,

wouldn’t I haunt the souls

that stood and watched too?

It doesn’t seem worth the effort.


But if it were me,

if I had made some sorry

etch of my leg appear

on your unfaltering grave,


would your bones wheeze

and winnow? Would some 

ancient flesh collect

tears from your eyes?


Or would your hollowed-out

lungs leach air in century-long

gasps as I laugh from the day

of my final sentence?




An invisible rope

casts a net

over the sparrow,


who, recently maimed,

learns to fly again.

The net—memory—


lands, tangles, then

frees the bird,

who, in and out


of the struggle,

attempts habitual

motions, never


knowing what

kind of moment

will follow—




joy or sorrow.




Stay there a moment, 

eyes closed, warm

under soft layers.


Maybe turn to the left, 

curl up like a C, hot breath 

through cold, dry sniffles.


The humidifier can 

only do so much. As

you lie there softly,


breaths deepen. You

roll to the right, hunger

rumbles. You dream 


of oatmeal with honey,

blueberries, coconut milk

too. Maybe a coffee and


some orange juice. But 

you’re warm and soft.

You stay there longer.


Your face finds shelter

amidst a nest of pillows:

cheek meets sheets in a cuddle.


Nowhere needed but this

warm puddle of blankets,

you stay—you need it too.


Eventually, you walk

to the window, roll

open the snow and sky.


They’re waiting there too:

stretched out, lying still—

waking in their time too.


CTD Robinson writes poetry, fiction, nonfiction and picture books. She obtained her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University in June, 2018, and anticipates earning her MA at the Bread Loaf School of English (Middlebury College) in August, 2023. Recent and forthcoming publications include poetry at Spillwords Press, Soul-Lit, Braided Way and Blue Lake Review, as well as nonfiction at Solstice Literary Magazine and


Tom Barlow – 3 poems

The Beat

WBZ reached out with the beat from Boston
in ’64 and struck my libido like a tuning fork.
I hid the transistor radio under my pillow
and wondered what the lucky kids back east

had done to deserve the beat while nothing
moved in my part of America for days on end
except copies of the Bible and corn weevils.
We had no beat unless WBZ bounced off a

chance cloud, leaving me to imagine kids in Boston
necking to the music from subversive bands
while we in the heartland were trapped in
the amber of crooning Elvis. On those dreadful

nights when the reception failed, my fingers
frantically coaxed the radio dial. All I wanted
was to swing and thrust and howl to the songs
I knew were out there exploding the night like

a train wreck and the shackles on me rattled
as I danced to the static all by myself
there in the Ohio dark.


Gardening Lessons

The wheelbarrow tire is still flat, a
long-standing excuse I lean upon, for
I was not born with dirt under my nails.

I am therefore not inclined to bury pinches
of carrot seeds just to spend hours on
my knees trying to distinguish between

weed and vegetable. Still, when fending off
the chaos of a morning, I envy those who find
peace in the garden. My father claimed

this blessing, planting and tending his crops,
with our reluctant help, after a long day
making steel. I know he was aware of the

farmer’s markets groaning under the
burden of fresh produce only a few miles
from Monica Avenue. I do not doubt his

passion for gardening was true, but I have
long suspected there was also a lesson
for us in our labors, passed down one

generation to the next in case the end of
the world should fall on our days and we
would starve if we didn’t know how to

hill potatoes in the blistering summer sun.
If this was the case, the lesson didn’t take
and I will surely starve.


The Stoic

Grandpa Lester was stoic as Mount Rushmore /
only after his death when I was ten did I learn
that as a teen he ran away from the family and
joined the circus / this would have been back

on the Ohio farm around 1916 / plows / outhouses /
handsewns / prayer meetings on Wednesday /
dumb nights and coal smoke / buggy wheel tracks
in frozen mud / I never asked him about his youth

for I assumed he had been born seventy years old
and all those signs of a lifetime’s labor back on the
farm / a hundred acres and a milking herd / had been
done by elves / and now I long to know how a

taciturn farmer transformed himself into a circus boy /
did he bathe elephants / hawk circus peanuts /
was his ponderous nose covered in face paint / did he
hang with the human cannonball and the trapeze lady /

so rude of him to take such stories to the grave / although
I share some of the fault / I’ve never been curious enough
about anyone but myself / and I’ve lacked the courage
to run away from any expectations / so as I age my face

too is showing less and less emotion / for fear, I suppose,
that people will understand just how Grandpa shames me now.


Tom Barlow is an Ohio author of poetry, short stories and novels. His work has appeared in  journals including  PlainSongs, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, Aji,  The New York Quarterly, The Remington Review, Aurora Review, and many more. See more at

Tom Barlow



John Grey – 2 poems



Pain never goes away.

It settles down

on the darkest places

where it can fester

and get uglier.


In a year’s time,

it wriggles back

into the flesh and bones,

refreshed, empowered.


Your lungs have

barely recovered

and now, once again,

soft sleep currents

must give way to harsh

rapids of waking

at dark hours.


People say,

don’t be discouraged. 

After a while,

they get discouraged

saying it.





As darkness oozes into swamp,

their similarities busy with mosquitoes.

I’ve misjudged the time.

Solid earth is farther than the stars.

With every insect bite,

my arms feel like human sacrifice.


Hands sweated to oar,

I row through reed

and mangrove,

floating islands,

from isolated backwater

toward the distant light.


The sludge below

assures the feel

of suspended animation.

I’m moving

but not enough to shake

the drip of heat,

snakes cozying up to boat,

the grunt of frog and alligator.


Home is my destination.

These waters define home differently.



John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Penumbra, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and International Poetry Review.