Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Saturday, August 22, 2009


by John Grey

You weren’t expecting us
to be against the stars were you,
or protesting sunsets,
too gaudy, too bloody.
The days of tongue-lashing tree trunks,
berating love, vilifying childhood,
are behind us.
Likewise the smear campaign
against any and all beauty,
be it rose or water-fall or woman
glimpsed briefly in train window.
No more blackening hearts,
dragging souls through the gutter.
From now on, it’s strictly weapons
and the ones who wield them.
It’s dumb cluck politicians
and their smart bombs.
Good times, great days,
are safe from our vindictiveness.
No more ganging up on butterflies
and carousels and well buckets.
We’re working for the wounded now.
We take our orders from the dead.

John Grey’s work had been published recently in the Georgetown Review, Connecticut Review, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal and is upcoming in Poetry East and The Pinch.