Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Saturday, April 22, 2017


by Cynthia Neely

The New York Times, July 22, 1962

To Rachel Carson, mother of the environmental movement, who died April 14, 1964

Was it a good day to die
when we were young,
when the earth was younger
than it is now?

Silent Spring had sprung
and we were bell-bottomed and braless,
flowers in our hair.

Today would have killed you
now that we’re old
and the world is older

but no wiser.
Our kids are tweeting,
the birds too for now.

Yes, I’d say it was good to die
before you could witness
the work you’d done undone,
Mother Earth again made “useful”
to us in useless ways.

And you aren't able to see
the undoing continue
as sea stars lose their limbs,
polar ice cools the sea,
oceans rise, our winters shorten
and our springs become silent.

Poet and painter, Cynthia Neely is the 2016 winner of the Bright Hill Press chapbook contest for Passing Through Blue Earth and the 2011 winner of the “Hazel Lipa Prize for Poetry” chapbook contest for Broken Water published by Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment. Her essay work has appeared in The Writers’ Chronicle, and her poems have been included in numerous print and online journals, including Bellevue Literary Review, Crab Creek Review, Floating Bridge’s Pontoon, and She has been nominated for “Best of the Net” as well as had work included in several anthologies. Her full-length volume of poetry Flight Path was published in 2014 as a finalist in the Aldrich Press book contest.