Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. 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.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


by Jim Abraham

Just before something happens
and right before nothing,
the process of destroying begins.
It’s something that should frighten
white shirts, wing tips, and white men
who pass legislation.
Their process is this:
Tighten the Windsor,
shine-up the wing tips
then stare into the camera
and describe the hate to anyone
who still believe their rhetoric.

Take a look around
the truth speaks,
there is no respect for destruction.
When my life ends
perhaps I’ll be lying on white sand
or in a lush tropical rainforest
near the equator,
avoiding the constriction of a large boa
watching as it digests prey.
Perhaps I’ll visit the Grand Canyon,
Niagara Falls or the Great Lakes.
Maybe I’ll be in the desert
near Iraq
attempting a Chinese finger puzzle
with someone’s wife, son or father.
Perhaps I’ll survive
when bricks crumble
glass shatters
and wood burns.
People die
when bombs explode.

Perhaps I’ll quote Walt Whitman,
Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson
then remind my fellow man
that you cannot simultaneously prevent
and prepare for war.

Jim Abraham, born in 1955, has been writing poetry since tenth grade. Currently enrolled in The University of Pittsburgh's writing program, he worked for two years as editor of The Pendulum, a literary magazine published at Pitt's Greensburg campus.