Poetry Promotional

Happy National Poetry Day 2021

On Thursday 7th October it was National Poetry Day in the UK. To celebrate, you can hear a poetry reading from Bindweed Magazine’s Editor in Chief, Leilanie Stewart. The YouTube reading is from her recently published collection, The Redundancy of Tautology by Cyberwit Publishing.

Hope you enjoy listening!


Jan Ball – 2 poems

Cherry juice

Cherry juice squirts
on my index fingernail
at breakfast.

It looks
like tiny drops of blood.

How quickly
       a party
               can turn wild:
words spew from
vodka lips; a finger
penetrates a shoulder
like a knife, eyes pierce
into other eyes savagely.

An ancient branch
shatters the veranda
roof during a storm,
and twigs slash
the porch screens
while thunder booms
like a violent disagreement.

He finds someone else
at a conference in LA
and my hands are bloody.

Down the Drain

Hibiclens recommended
for pre-op cleansing
five days before
my hip replacement,
two times already we wet
my skin in the shower,
turn off the shower head
then rub in the red cleanser
all over except for tender face
and privates
and wait for three minutes
like warming bread rolls
in the microwave
to destroy bacteria
that potentially can cause
disease then wet again
to rinse the soap off.

This morning’s peculiar
soap fragrance wafts
off my neck and arms
up to my nares,
a medical synonym used
by the pharmacy for nostrils.
Will the neighborhood dogs
still want to sniff me
with their friendly curiosity
when my usual pheromones
wash down the drain? 

Jan has had 328 poems published in international journals as well as in the U.S. for example: The American Journal of Poetry, Atlanta Review, Calyx,
Nimrod and Phoebe. Her three chapbooks and one full length poetry collection, I Wanted to Dance With My Father, have been published by Finishing Line Press and are available on Amazon. Orbis, England, nominated her for the Pushcart in 2020.

Jan was a nun for seven years then lived in Australia for fourteen years with her Aussie husband and two children. She completed a dissertation at The University of Rochester: Age and Natural Order in Second Language Acquisition then taught ESL at RIT, Loyola and DePaul Universities, back in Chicago.


Mare Leonard – 1 poem

Tuning into a Stranger


On the crowded bus from Reykjavik to our flight,

I squeeze close to a woman, who wipes her eyes,

turns to me, home bad  Katowice


She shows me her ticket, 20th hour, a late night.

I wish I could ask how, why, or look into her eyes

on the bus from Reykjavik to our NY flight.


We sit as close as sisters but I can not make it alright.

She points to her heart. Me  Papa  sick.

“I’m so sorry.”      Me go  Katowice.


She loses her glasses on the dark seat

I search, find them,  Tak. She touches my shirt.

The bus rattles from Reykjavik to our flight.


She snaps opens her purse covered in butterflies

 Green and yellow flutter in the opaque light.

Keep this lava rock for good luck tonight.”

This stranger’s part of me like the Icelandic sky.

On the crowded bus from Reykjavik to our flight,

I need to believe Papa will be alive in Katowice.



Mare Leonard’s work has appeared most recently in A Rat’s Ass,  Perfume RiverThe Courtship of Wind,  Bindweed,  Forage, New Verse News, The Chronogram and Communicator’s League  She lives in an old school house overlooking the Rondout Creek.  Away from her own personal blackboard, she teaches writing workshops for all ages through the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT program at Bard College. 


Book shout: Etching the Ghost by Bindweed contributor, Cathleen Cohen

Congratulations to Bindweed contributor, Cathleen Cohen on her recent poetry and paintings collection, Etching the Ghost, published in February by Atmosphere Press. It’s available now from IndieboundBarnes + Noble, and Amazon.

Cathleen has contributed poetry to Bindweed and was published in February. You can read more of her work in Issue 11.

We wish you all the best with your new book, Cathleen!


Frederick Wilbur – 1 poem

Asylum: Way of Being


It is characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

                                                Thoreau (Walden, “Economy”)


For the dignity of labor, I break

my body just as tin soldiers die

of metal fatigue, as truce flags beg

until their fray is woven among twigs

of goldfinch nests. My hand tools

become mantle shelf antiques, valuable

to collectors in pristine uselessness:

            my making made me.


For honesty of heart, I spray paint

through the stencil of my handicap

as proof of concept; to old friends confess

miscalculated desires, the way

apple trees drop their benevolence

as a catalog of worms. Regret

undermines confidence, so says

            this voice of ink.


For the refuge of mind, I cross

off the been theredone that, the else to do.

I am the out of focus child

in witness snapshots like a humble god,

but I have traveled the Middle Way

like a hemlock falling precisely between

gravestone rows, the way a latch-bolt

             snugs to its keeper.


Frederick Wilbur’s first book of poetry is As Pus Floats the Splinter Out. A second poetry collection, Conjugation of Perhaps is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing. His work has appeared in many print and on-line reviews including Shenandoah, The Atlanta Review, the Comstock Review, The Dalhousie Review, Rise Up Review and New Verse News.