Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


by Alan Walowitz

Victor (Zeke) Zonana (1924-2016)

Now onto this New Year, bad as it promises to be—
there’s rumor You, too, have given up,
filled with Your own brand of regret:
seeing us squander our gifts—
wasting our will as if it were a game,
failing to care for our own,
or honor this place we like to call home.
So now You’re headed out-of-town,
like some will-o’-the-wisp
to locate some new folks, perhaps, and begin
In the beginning, all over again.

But if I’m wrong and it be Thy will
and You’re listening still,
dear God, what the hell,
let us be inscribed again, then sealed.

Though please feel free to pass on him
we’ve loved so well
who takes his place one final time
and happily chants the ancient prayers
for those of us so far removed, we don’t remember how.
But unlike You, our renegade and sometimes vengeful God,
this old man’s not rash nor filled with rage.
But of his own considered will he, too, wants out.
Let it be recorded here, as in Aleppo once,
a temperate man took his life in his hands,
then gently chose—of his own free will—to let it go.

Alan Walowitz has been published in various places on the web and off. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry, and teaches at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and St. John’s University in his native borough of Queens, NY. Alan’s chapbook Exactly Like Love was published by Osedax Press in 2016 and is now in its second printing.