Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, February 02, 2013


by Tricia Knoll

In the third week of January a hunter in the Boise National Forest (Idaho) shot Oregon 16, a collared Oregon wolf.  Oregon Fish and Wildlife reported Oregon 16's death on January 24, but the shooting occurred the week before. Image source: Defenders of Wildlife

This January lamp of ice and silver
is stage light for wolf packs howling 
hungry at the treeline
below clouds scuttled in thawing winds,

under this full wolf moon
collared yearling Oregon 16, a gray,
left the Blue Mountains, crossed the wrong
north border, swam the Snake,
ran his wild miles
to Boise National Forest
where a hunter shot him --
second Oregon wolf
to die in Idaho

(media darling Oregon 7
made it to California -- 
without a shot fired)

with all the sadness trapped
in my breastbone for refugee
mothers inside fences of mud
holding babies dying
from typhus, for children
gunned down in elementary school 
and the hurts

of people shooting their brains out
in this gun-market world,
how is there room to mourn
Oregon 16

or how can 
there not be room
under his namesake moon

Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet who has howled with wolves and been bitten in the neck by a captive coyote. She is working on a poetry chapbook about humans and wildlife in the urban environment.