Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


by James Penha

South Pacific ripples used to tickle
with cool fingers
the toes of island children
who’d giggle with paradise
and smile in satisfaction when grown
they harvested their crops and fished the reefs
until tides rose like a slow tsunami,
never receding,
to salt their wells,
blanch canals,
fields and throats,
and tear the white sand beaches
from the atoll’s heart.
Now the hot sea stands panting and licking
at the last refugees
who tread water
as their world sinks
beneath them.

James Penha edits The New Verse News.

James Penha's "Sons of Kong" is a New Verse News contribution to Blog Action Day, 15 October 2009.