Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, January 17, 2018


by Wilda Morris

Eleven Guantánamo inmates are challenging their indefinite detention in the US military camp in Cuba on grounds that Donald Trump’s defiant pledge to keep all remaining detainees permanently locked up is fuelled by hostility towards Muslims. . . . Some of the petitioners in the new filing have themselves been held on the Cuban base almost since the beginning; others have been detained for 10 years. None of them has ever been charged, and all know that unless the courts intervene they could remain in their cells until they die. In a memorable phrase, they say that ‘the aura of forever hangs heavier than ever.’” Pictured: The entrance of the US prison at Guantánamo Bay. Photograph by John Moore/Getty Images —The Guardian, January 11, 2018

           “ . . . And good-bye to you, old Rights-of-Man.”
                  ~ Billy in Billy Budd by Herman Melville

Hello to paying men of questionable truth to bring in suspects.
Hello to assuming men guilty without evidence
Good-bye, old Rights of Man

Hello to ice water baths, sleep deprivation, threat dogs
Hello to solitary confinement and mocking of religion
Good-by, old Geneva Conventions

Hello to hours in stress positions, temperature extremes
Hello to sexual abuse, rectal rehydration, waterboarding
Good-by to you, old Rights of Man

Hello to the US using medieval torture techniques
Hello to the US adapting techniques from the Nazi camps
Good-by, old Geneva conventions

Hello to holding prisoners indefinitely without trial
Hello to holding prisoners decades after deeming them innocent
Good-bye to you, old Rights-of-Man

Wilda Morris is a widely published, award-winning poet. She is a past-president of the Illinois State Poetry Society, Workshop Chairperson of Poets & Patrons of Chicago, and Chair of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Wilda Morris's Poetry Challenge provides an online contest for other poets each month.