Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, October 24, 2007


by David Feela

In the hills the homes
grow on trees.
Real estate is a dominant species
with conifers and oak
crowded out so that swimming pools
stay warmed by the sunshine.
When the fires started
picture windows broadcast the flames
as if they were high definition television.
When the winds gusted
the crowds would not be contained,
half a million fanned like smoke
into church basements, sports stadiums,
motels, and relatives’ homes.
The newscasters cleared their throats
and folded their hands:
Everything humanly possible
had been done, is being done,
still needs to be done.
The governor spoke calmly
with a smile on his face,
an expert in the business
of acting.

David Feela is a poet, free-lance writer, writing instructor, book collector, and thrift store pirate. His work has appeared in regional and national publications, including High Country News’s "Writers’s on the Range," Mountain Gazette, and in the newspaper as a "Colorado Voice" for The Denver Post. He is a contributing editor and columnist for Inside/Outside Southwest and for The Four Corners Free Press. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments (Maverick Press), won the Southwest Poet Series. A new poetry book, The Home Atlas, will be released in 2009. His web page can be viewed at