Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, May 07, 2022


by Jan Harris

Valeria Hlodan, her baby daughter Kira, and Valeria’s mother Liudmila died in the missile strike on 23 April. (Picture: @myroslavapetsa; Rex via Metro.)

after seeing the photograph from Odesa
of a mother and her new baby girl
killed by a missile-strike
but lay down the bread
your throat will no longer swallow
and rest your eyes
on the bird that alights
on the sweet-smelling lilac 
by your door,
notice his glossy black cap,
yellow breast glowing
in warm April sun,
how he stays for a moment,
how swiftly
he flickers away.
Jan Harris’s poetry has appeared in various literary journals, including Acumen, Atrium, and Poetry Wales, and in anthologies, including several e-books published by Poetry Kit. She received third place in the Wales Poetry Award, 2019. Her first collection, Mute Swans on the Cam, was published by Oversteps Books in July 2020.