Guidelines



Submission Guidelines: Send previously unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at]gmail.com. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Friday, June 14, 2013

ON FLAG DAY I THINK BACK TO MY YOUNG STUDENTS SPEAKING

by Jane Herschlag


Photo: Jane Herschlag

                  
               Two planes, each crashed into one tower.
               People got hit by flying pieces of glass and concrete.
               All people care about the dead people and their families.
               We need to make flags.  The blue part stands for liberty.
               They draped a big one on the collapsed building.
               In France they were praying and many countries sang,
               God Bless America.

Despite the terrorists’ actions they see love in the world.
They see the pure, mythical America
as I saw it in childhood, the country that
saved my family from Hitler when others refused.

Our big red-white-and-blue blowing in the breeze—
a dwarfed pride still swells in me despite our lost democracy,
our taint of WMD’s, of Corporations Are People,
of Monsanto’s GMOs, for the first time in the history of the world,
changing the DNA of humans, animals, vegetation,
contaminating organic farms.

As wealth rules, America declines,
ethics fall to the toxic curb, along with the poor.
Betsy Ross what do you think of us now?
Each of your stitches were sewn with hope
and wishes for America’s wisdom.

I can’t even find my thread; it’s hidden
under years of fallen bodies,
corrupt bankers’ viscous lies.
Big Pharma and giant chemical companies
have smeared our red and blue into
our white stripes of virtue.  Our field of blue is dotted,
not by stars, but by lobbyists demands.

I want our flag to mean what it used to mean,
when city colleges were free, after
the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements.
I want my flag to wave for immigrants,
lesbians and gays.  I want again
to be proud of being American.



Jane Herschlag, a former apparel designer, textile designer, teacher, and model home decorator,  has a degree in Apparel Design, a B.A. in Creative Writing, and Women’s Studies from Hunter College.  Her Masters in Creative Writing is from CCNY.  Jane has won numerous writing awards and placed 1st with her  photography/poetry at Richter Assoc. for the Arts in Danbury.  She is an avid poet, photographer, and loves to Stage Homes for selling, refinancing, and simply enjoying.  She has shown at the Danbury Fair Mall, Midtown Café in Danbury, at the historic building—30 Bridge Street in New Milford, at American Pie Restaurant in Sherman.  She combines her passion for the visual and the written by writing ekphrastic poetry, poems inspired by the visual.  She curated readings at the West Side YMCA in NYC for seven years and has run a peer workshop since 1997.  Her Docu-Poetry collection Bully In The Spotlight is published by Pudding House Publications.