Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


by Gregory Palmerino

The father of a first-grade girl killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was discovered dead in an apparent suicide Monday morning at a town hall in Connecticut, police said. Authorities said the body of Jeremy Richman, 49, was found at about 7 a.m. at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, a Connecticut community that has been scarred by the tragic school shooting that left 20 students and six staff members dead. The victims included Richman’s daughter, 6-year-old Avielle Richman. Richman, a neuroscientist who founded the Avielle Foundation in his daughter’s name, studied the brain and violence. The foundation had an office at the town hall. —The Washington Post, March 25, 2019. Photo: Jeremy Richman, father of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Avielle Richman, addresses the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission on Nov. 14 in Newtown, Conn. (Jessica Hill/AP via The Washington Post)

The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.
                        —Langston Hughes

You think
you know the sounds
I mean. I’ve heard your news,
so come and listen to me now,

Of course,
it’s nice to think
the old wind weeps in tune,
fire mourns, the earth and water live.
So what.

I, too,
tried to embrace
listeners of that song:
the child is father of the man—
it’s gone.

It’s gone:
the Romantic
poet’s imagined place,
or all faith in one’s innocence.
It’s gone.

I hear
the echo now;
it repeats a child’s wail,
sounding notes too dumb to ignore
they’re dead.

Gregory Palmerino writes poetry in Connecticut's Quiet Corner, where he lives with his wife and three children. He is a past contributor to TheNewVerse.News.