Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, January 29, 2011


by Jacob Oet

First the settlers’ dream
to build a home.

Later the immigrants dreamed
of two-bedroom apartments
and fantasized
about the availability of showers.

Some came naked.
Some came with clothing but sold their clothing
for a bag of seeds
from trees back home.

And they planted their children in the new way,
showering them with allowances
and enlisting them in public education.

Some joined the army.
They planted
only their own gravestones.
In spring they bore a name etched into rock.

My name is Jacob.
I am the grandchild of second-hand dreams.

Jacob Oet lives in Solon, Ohio and is currently a junior at University School. He has loved writing stories and poems since he was little. His favorite poets include e.e cummings, Mary Oliver, and Pablo Neruda. Jacob was a finalist in Playhouse Square's 2010 SlamU! program and looks forward to participating again this year. His poem, "Metamorphosis," was recently named a winner of the Poetry in the Garden competition, co-sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Jacob is also a champion chess player, taking first place three years running at the Ohio Grade Level Chess Championships.