Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, November 09, 2011


by John Palen

World population reached 7 billion
on or about Oct. 31, 2011
-- News item

Chased from maples
by a stiff wind,
they rattle on the roof,
drift down on what was once
tall-grass prairie.
The lawn I raked yesterday
is half covered again.
Fifteen kraft bags
lean against the garage,
and the giant lindens
haven't even started.
How could there be
so many, when all we did
was plant some trees?

John Palen's Open Communion: New and Selected Poems was published by Mayapple Press in 2005. He has work forthcoming in Gulf Stream, Jelly Bucket, Honey Land Review and elsewhere. He lives in Central Illinois.