Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, June 25, 2017


by William Ruleman

Image source: National Geographic

You gaze from the face of the magazine at me,
And you are beautiful, I have to say,
Despite an impish male audacity
That lingers round your lips and eyes the way
A lad will do when forced into a fray.
O brave new world indeed, when we can change
Impediments in us that make us strange
To all the wonder that most suits the soul!
Some surgeries can show us who we are—
Can heal us, make us healthy, human, whole—
And whether love is near to us or far,
We know how we will meet it, play our role.
Not so when manmade tribal mutilations
Cheat the flesh of heavenly sensations!
The Lord God guard you from all hate and harm:
Self-righteous rants and priggish piety,
Lascivious longings and resentment’s storm.
May you find in saints’ society
A means to keep your heart and senses warm,
And may your offspring—if you have them—know
The gracefulness and courage you now show.

Editor's Note: Meanwhile . . . "A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week lifted a lower court injunction that had stopped the implementation of what many legal observers and LGBTQ activists view as the worst, most dangerous legislative attack on LGBTQ people yet. . . . The law allows for businesses and government employees to decline service to LGBT people, and that includes bakers, florists, county clerks and even someone working at the department of motor vehicles, based on religious beliefs. It allows for discrimination in housing and employment against same-sex couples or any individual within a same-sex couple. Businesses and government, under the law, can regulate where transgender people go to the bathroom. The law allows mental health professionals and doctors, nurses and clinics to turn away LGBT individuals. It also allows state-funded adoption agencies to turn away LGBT couples." —Michelangelo Signorile, "Queer Voices," HuffPost, June 23, 2017

William Ruleman resides in east Tennessee. His newest books include the poetry collections From Rage to Hope (White Violet Press, 2016) and Munich Poems (Cedar Springs Books, 2016), as well as his translations of Hermann Hesse’s early poems (Cedar Springs Books, 2017) and Stefan Zweig’s unfinished novel Clarissa (Ariadne Press, 2017).