Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, April 22, 2014


by James Grabill

Amniotic drops of prehistoric dew on the canyon rim walls luminesce with light in the brain.

Complex otherness floats in womb-pulse swaths crossing the Pacific in adaptations of bodily cells.

Under blinding stars, electrical ancestral stories pour down through the small houses of losses and gain, where future scarcity looms and a dark-violet eyelash carries more weight than we know.

As the road goes out on its own, the root in a seed will decide. Where daylight drives the atmosphere, a shirtless boy swims in the sea of air. The cradle collides with shadow and magnetic lineage in current encircling turns.

As overflow sleep expands and contacts in the spectrum, the unfinished complex mind has an eye for complexity in the world.

Isn’t this where separation from the whole grew opposable thumbs and set off on the road coming back?

What part of the whole would being exclude? What animals haven’t loved and feared this air?

James Grabill’s poems have appeared in numerous periodicals such as Stand (UK), Magma (UK), Toronto Quarterly (CAN), Harvard Review (US), Terrain (US), Seneca Review (US), Urthona (UK), kayak (US), Plumwood Mountain (AUS), Caliban (US), Spittoon (US), Weber: The Contemporary West (US), The Common Review (US), and The Buddhist Poetry Review (US). His books of poems include Poem Rising Out of the Earth and Standing Up in Someone and An Indigo Scent after the Rain. He lives in Oregon, where he teaches 'systems thinking' relative to sustainability.