Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Monday, May 01, 2017


by Scot Siegel

Image source: Pinterest

for Melania

One hundred days the Queen hibernates,
burrowed deep in a cavern of bark.

Every day, a star blinks on, or off,
birth of another scientist, or murderer,

and someone loses his or her job.
Every day is someone's first

at something, waking up married, burying
the dog, eating dinner alone as a widow.

Every spring, the earth gets back to work.
Queen searches for a dry place, a loft or shed,

a wedge of light between truss and stud,
someplace warm and undisclosed,

close to the source: Wood she'll strip from lap
or fence, chew and mix with saliva.

She works fast, connects petiole to rafter.
Spins the nest about the center stalk, weaves

combs for drones whose eggs take five to eight
days to incubate. Then they get to work.

Everything they do is for the Queen.
She never returns to the same nest.

Scot Siegel, Oregon poet and city planner, is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Constellation of Extinct Stars and Other Poems (2016) and Thousands Flee California Wildflowers (2012), both from Salmon Poetry of Ireland. His poetry is part of the permanent art installation along the Portland, Oregon Light Rail Transit ‘Orange Line.’