Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Friday, October 11, 2013


by Peleg Held

Photo: Twitter/@MajdArar

On Thursday Majd Arar, a Syrian Engineer, tweeted this photo taken by a group of activists in the neighborhood of Jobar in Damascus. Jobar, a strategically significant area that leads into the very center of the capital, is a rebel stronghold of sorts and one of the first places hit by chemical weapons on August 21. Heavy shelling and fighting followed. As you can see, Jobar is in the dark while regime-held neighborhoods closer to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's seat of power are lit up. --Michael Kelley, Business Insider, Oct. 10, 2013

An October sea,
curled lip and foam,
teeth born and bared
to the watering gaze
of the afternoon.

The tide slurs its words
and sands grow cold
in the valley of so many footprints.

Something feeds
bodied, dark, too far away
to distinguish.
We gather our own
and taste the coming
winter in the back of our throats.

Through dregs of sky
where haze clots
to horizon, arm or eye
afloat upon lashed bulk
glints a mirror
but we look down, enthralled
by shadow's greatness
stretching across the emptying shore.

Tomorrow, we will wake,
East in expectation.
What there will shine?

Peleg Held lives in Portland, Maine with his partner and his dog Emitt. There is also the semi-feral cat, Smudge. And a kid or two. He writes poetry, does woodworking and lately, dreams of the summer.