Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Monday, April 13, 2020


by DeWitt Henry

Source: Cagle

A.G. Bill Barr
should be disbarred
and/or spend time
behind bars or
drinking at them,
both earnest and glib.
doing biddings of
our worst President,
bar none.

For lack of Barack,
step up, be heard;
raise the bar of expectations.
Climb the barricades.
High jump, pole-jump:
clear the bar.
Cross the bar.

Nearly half of us
fear barbarian hordes,
beards and all (unless
us is them).  Seek to
bar the gate, build barriers.
Keep us over barrels, where
barrels are meant for
storing and protecting,
e.g. over Niagara;
or for shooting fish,
or empty ones for noise.

The BAR man sights down
his ungainly weapon
(though Browning Automatic Rifle
has nothing to do with “baros,”
Greek for weight).

Bars of gold, candy, or soap.
Bars of music and rank.
Barcode.  Bar-
gain.  Crow, salad,
barbell and barometer.
Stars and bars forever.

Barbed.  Barred.

Democracy amok.

DeWitt Henry’s most recent prose collection is Sweet Marjoram: Notes and Essays (MadHat, 2018).  A new collection, Endings and Beginnings: Family Essays, is scheduled for 2020 from MadHat.  Poems have appeared in Ibbetson Street, On the Seawall, Plume, Muddy River Poetry Review, Constellations, and Woven Tale Press.  Henry was the founding editor of Ploughshares and is Prof. Emeritus at Emerson College.