Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Saturday, August 04, 2018


by Devon Balwit

I came for the beaches but stayed for the O rings,
for the liter bottles, tooth brushes, buoys and bags,
for the shush of takeout boxes at dusk.

I came for the palm fronds shivering like dancers’
fingers but stayed for the orange-pinafored crews,
rubber-booted, working against the tides.

I came for the frigate birds and brown pelicans
but stayed for the seals strangled in rope,
for the whales, gullets splitting with PCBs.

I came for the once-in-a-lifetime memories,
the honeymoon and anniversary, but stayed
for the imprint of kin, our far-flung footprint.

Devon Balwit lives scarily close to the Cascadia Subduction Zone. She has six chapbooks and three collections out in the world. Her individual poems can be found here or are forthcoming in journals such as The Cincinnati Review, apt, Posit, Cultural Weekly, Triggerfish, Fifth Wednesday, The Free State Review, Rattle, Poets Reading the News, etc.