Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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 24, 2019


by Mark Danowsky

Illustration by Tony Calabro

The world is on fire
so fire back

Fire before fire can be declared

Fire before anyone can shout fire

whether the building is crowded
or otherwise

Shout fire, fire, fire
in the hole

Man down
Woman down
Child down

down child down

Who else is left down?

You know who
is cowering in the bathtub
fearful of a stray
bullet in the brain
Wayne saw John
Wayne or The Baptist

Showed him The Way

Fear, Love

the world becomes
a scary place

Wayne at night

his family in harm’s way

he prays for them

prays for us

pray we understand why

why guns save
not shatter
lives of a feather

collapse us with shards

a million little pieces of shrapnel

 Wayne, god
can’t you see

the rest of us shot thru

bleeding out

Mark Danowsky is a poet / writer from Philadelphia and author of the poetry collection As Falls Trees (NightBallet Press, 2018). He’s Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.