Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, July 18, 2014


 by Gil Hoy


Tidings as worn
out as a tree with
200,000 whorls---

You disemboweled
our first-borns, we’ll
decapitate your lawmakers,

You put mines on our
highways, we’ll take the
wheels off of your planes---
Tit-for-tat, tit-for-tat.

Seasons circling in their
rhythmic macabre cadence---
always ending in winter:

We’ll do this to yours,
so you won’t do that
to ours---we’ll set the charge

in your most pious churches,
so you won’t put cyanide
in our park water fountains,

Your spears did what to ours?
Our arrows will pierce your hearts---
Your grenades did what to us?
Our armies will torch your farms.

Different stories
and characters---but always
the same plot---rows of
bronze, field stone and
iron markers show the way,

Scratch up that foul
record loop, so it won’t
play at all---
better yet, burn it---

at an overdue Memorial
Day celebration in Gettysburg,
Robert E. Lee the
guest of honor,

apologizing again to the
Virginians for Pickett’s Charge.
We’ll vaporize your cities
if you put anthrax

in our schools,
we’ll put E Coli in
your meat for
good measure---
Tit for tat, tit for tat.

After all is said
and done, Sir---
can it truly be told
that we are still on

that same broken trail,
founded by our ancestors'
bones, with blood for mortar
and still covered by ice?

Gil Hoy studied poetry at Boston University, and started writing his own poetry in February of this year. Since then, Gil’s poems have been published in Soul Fountain, The New Verse News, The Story Teller Magazine, the Clark Street Review, and Eye On Life Magazine