Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Thursday, September 17, 2009


by David Chorlton

A crown of thorns hangs by the door
of our hosts’ spacious home
and a black old Bible rests
on the table next to programs
for an afternoon of Brahms and Chopin.
The pictures on the walls
in living room and hallway are
scenes by Thomas Kinkade in which
village windows glow with tranquility.
A poem framed retells
in rhyme what a sand dollar has to say
about Christ, and from here with a glance
back across the foyer
the eye settles on the weapon displayed
on the cabinet top close
to the wedding portrait. I’m trying
to settle down for the soprano
but the cross on the wall makes me feel
like a vampire
and the hunting magazines
fanned beside the Bible
suggest the Lord’s last words
may have had something to do with reloading.

David Chorlton watches the world from central Phoenix where he lives and writes. His new chapbook, From the Age of Miracles, appears this summer from Slipstream Press as the winner of its latest competition.