Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, June 19, 2013


by Rick Gray

                                               for Marie

When the elections were finally over
and the call to prayer
went soft

I slept through three whole dawns
not working and dreaming of giggling dolphins
before today's suicide muse

blew me sideways out of bed.
Three dead, six wounded ghosts
are flying across the page

towards a red ice cream cart, slanted,
and singing Happy Birthday
in Chinese.

Rick Gray served in the Peace Corps in Kenya and currently teaches at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. He was a finalist for the Editor's Award at Margie, and has an essay that will be appearing in the forthcoming book, Neither Here Nor There: An Anthology of Reverse Culture Shock. When not in Kabul, he lives with his wife Ghizlane and twin daughters Rania and Maria in Florida.