Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Friday, July 27, 2018


by Penelope Scambly Schott

The Wasco County, Oregon Substation fire, which burned up thousands of acres southeast of The Dalles, is 92 percent contained.  —The Oregonian, July 24, 2018. Photo by Beth Nakamura.

In the midst of his 3,000 acres of ruined wheat
he stands with a pad and pencil.
The red-tailed hawks who swooped for rodents
have all departed the county.
The dog who has followed him out to the fields
frantically licks at her paws.
He has just 72 hours to file his claim for crop loss
while the black dirt still smolders.
This was promising to be a great year for wheat.
Now he tallies defeat by the bushel.

Penelope Scambly Schott, author of a novel and several books of poetry, was awarded four New Jersey arts fellowships before moving to Oregon, where her verse biography A is for Anne: Mistress Hutchinson Disturbs the Commonwealth received an Oregon Book Award for Poetry. Several of Penelope’s books and individual poems have won other prizes. Her individual poems have appeared in APR, Georgia Review, Nimrod, and elsewhere.