Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, July 24, 2009


by Scot Siegel

When I reach for a basket of oranges,
why does my shadow conjure a face
bloodied by bees?

Sitting up in the dark, why do I see
a fleet of submarines burning,
bladeless helicopters falling from the sky?

What signal from the moon turns
the blue back of the damselfly
purple in the fire?

When human-kind
is pushed to the precipice,
will the crows keep going about their business?

If our mother cries out,
how long can our callused hands steady
the siren-flames that pour from her mouth?

Why do these bits of cantaloupe
burn like wasps deep in my throat?

Scot Siegel's recent books include Some Weather (Plain View Press 2008) and the chapbook, Untitled Country (Pudding House Publications 2009). He serves on the board for the Friends of William Stafford.