Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Friday, October 24, 2008


by Mike McCulley

I dread a different face as naturally as a sandpiper
dreads a falcon, and the alert sandpipers
survive to hatch chicks with the same falcon dread.
I'm an old white guy, my picture

is on the money, there's a lot of us on the TV.
When I see another guy rambling
down the street I look in their face for clues.
I can tell if they are in the old-white-guy tribe

as easily as a ruddy duck can look
across the pond and tell a canvasback
from a ring-neck. A prettied-up politician
struts under banners in a campaign tent,

they battle to be leader of the old-white-guy
parade, the one migrating into the dim glow
coming from the kitchen window. The prettied-up
face has a different fit and finish,

but I don't see a ring-neck and I don't see a falcon,
prettied-up must be a part of my tribe
from the other side of the tent.

Mike McCulley: Retired from educating / rewired for recreating / pastime birding, / part time wording. He posts his tweedledum / at wordanger dot blogspot dot com.