Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


by B.Z. Niditch

Mixed Decision for Shell in Nigeria Oil Spill Suits --NY Times, January 30, 2013;
Image source: Aljazeera January 31, 2013

In gutted morning
of the Ogoni villagers
the poor wake up
as we earth friends
of the Niger delta
hold faithful pencils
and write
of your struggle,
knowing each bruise
on the assembled
gathering to hear
the radio
with battered lilies
from years of pollution
in the injustice
of acid rain
dulled by hunger
without fishing grounds
under the rope
of tar skies
oil once filled
the delta
as Aaron's beard,
in the name and life
of Ken Saro-Wiwa
you are not abandoned
to the huge profits
of yet another
international corporation.

B.Z. Niditch is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others.  He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.