Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Sunday, June 21, 2020


by Pepper Trail

"There Is No Safe Place" by Amanda Lea Sidor

Iowa small town, the Methodist sanctuary, stained glass and bright wood
The scent of lilies,  smiling voices loud, "Great is Thy Faithfulness"

Pizza place down the block, always busy, orders shouted backward
Line at the counter, stomachs growling good, quick hit of gossip

Bear curled in its den, cubs asleep and suckling, living warmth
Above, outside, snow shadow of Denali climbing the white sky

Lafayette Park, high school groups, hormones and democracy
The White House in its dignity, old church tower looking down

North of the river, Estados Unidos, breath held no more at last
The child in your arms, shivering but safe, but safe

What we thought we knew, we did not know
Where we thought we were, we are not

Pepper Trail is a poet and naturalist based in Ashland, Oregon. His poetry has appeared in Rattle, Atlanta Review, Spillway, Kyoto Journal, Cascadia Review, and other publications, and has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards. His collection Cascade-Siskiyou was a finalist for the 2016 Oregon Book Award in Poetry.