Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


by Barbara Daniels

To the young, everything’s history, even
this morning, ripe-peach sun at the horizon
pounding an empty ballfield with heat,
August firm in its aims and mission.

In 415 BCE Athenians sent a doomed
expedition to Sicily, expecting a welcome.
When all was lost, they doubled their numbers
to many thousands. Fleeing men broke

at a river and fought each other for mouthfuls
of water already crimson with gore. The young
stir in their bedclothes, tousled, dreaming.
In their sleep, their beds move like boats

on rising water. I half turn away when a TV
general tells of a splendid strategy, lightning
tactics, the glorious dead. Swallowtail butterflies
drift in a surge of sunlight. At a purple coneflower,

a hummingbird stops, sipping the sweetness.
It’s an immature with splotched iridescence,
returning from sleep to hot orange light. And
Athens? It lost everything, ships, land, lives.

Barbara Daniels' book, Rose Fever, will be published by WordTech Press in 2008. The Woman Who Tries to Believe, her chapbook, won the Quentin R. Howard Prize and was published by Wind Publications. Her poems have appeared in The Louisville Review, Natural Bridge, Tattoo Highway, and many other journals. Barbara Daniels received two Individual Artist Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.