Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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 24, 2018


by David M. Katz

AP photo via El Paso Times, June 17, 2018

Behind the masks each Halloween, there are
The kids who quiver for the candy corn.
They come out of the dark to the lights above
The lintels of doors both safe and terrifying.
There are some who are too small to knock
Even at a parent’s urging. They fear
The giant more than they want the sweets.
But most are brave enough to carry on.
For others, at the border, there are no
Such masks. For them, the shock comes suddenly
Out of the darkness, and the giants who
Lift them from their parents’ arms are too
Vast, too high, too formless to be seen.
This is a different kind of Halloween.

David M. Katz’s books of poems include Stanzas on Oz and Claims of Home, both published by Dos Madres Press. He’s also the author of The Warrior in the Forest, published by House of Keys Press. Poems of his have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The New Criterion, The Hopkins Review, and The Cortland Review.  He is currently working on a new poetry collection, tentatively entitled Money. He lives in New York City and recently retired after a 40-year career as a business journalist and editor.