Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, July 26, 2020


by Katherine West 

In the movies they dodge bullets
Jump back up and make jokes
Jack-in-the-boxes all of them
Good role models for poor folk

Who wake up screaming in the night
So loud throats hurt in the morning
Drive-by shootings only in the mind
Past, present, and dream all folding

Into tiny cranes too delicate to fly
Their origami necks long and thin
Wings stretched wide
Trying to remember wind

The lifting into something greater
Than sky yet made for paper

Katherine West is the author of three collections of poetry and one novel: Scimitar Dreams, The Bone Train, Riddle, and Lion Tamer, respectively.  She has had poetry published in Bombay Gin, Lalitamba, Tanka Journal, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, and TheNewVerse.News who nominated her poem "And Then the Sky" for a Pushcart Prize in 2019.  She lives in the mountains outside of Silver City, New Mexico where she translates Mexican revolutionary poetry and creates custom, hand-made poetry chapbooks.