Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Sunday, September 13, 2015


by Janet Leahy

President Obama called the Iran vote on Thursday “a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world.” Credit Andrew Harnik/Associated Press via NY Times, September 10, 2015

       after Galway Kinnell

Distrust everything

if you must, the politicians,
the news reports, the agreement.

Distrust Iran,
but trust the long hours of dialogue
the talk round the table of peace.

We have rehearsed the sorrows
of war
generation to generation.

Remember the desolation
the emptiness
of those who return

from the battle fields
—everything changed.
Do not talk of bombs

there are consequences.
Wait and listen.
Listen to Beethoven,

to his Ode to Joy, listen
to the Native American flute.

do not go early into war.
Listen to the sitar
to the classical lute

to the children singing.

Janet Leahy lives in New Berlin, Wisconsin.  Her poems are published in journals and anthologies and appear at TheNewVerse.News and other on-line poetry sites. She has two collections of poetry and is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.