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Sunday, March 31, 2024


by Geoffrey Philp

Did you enjoy the cherry blossoms' early peak bloom? It was a warning sign. A 1,200-year record of cherry blossoms shows our current climate is historically unprecedented.  [Photograph byRinko Kawauchi]—National Geographic, March 26, 2024

In an early spring

maples bloom while elms tremble—

dreading a cold snap.

Geoffrey Philp, a Silver Musgrave Medal recipient, is the author of Archipelagos, a book of poems about climate change which was long-listed for the Laurel Prize. Philp’s Twelve Poems and a Story for Christmas retells the nativity story, transporting readers back to that holy night in a fresh yet traditional way. His poem “A Prayer for My Children” is featured on The Poetry Rail—an homage to 12 writers who shaped Miami's culture. He  lives in Miami and is working on a children's book Marsha and the Mangroves.

Saturday, March 30, 2024


by Kai Jensen

The bridge falls so quickly.
The ship seems stationary
like a fat little house
alight behind the dark lattice
tiled with coloured rectangles
or a plump insistent animal
nudging a leg for food.
On air, laconic voices
discuss the situation.
It seems there’s a crew up there.
The pilots wring their hands—
their bad dream’s turned real.
Nothing seems to change
but the bridge falls
all at once, its cobweb drooping
then brushed away.
The men dozing in their cabs
awake to death. A city stalls.

Kai Jensen’s father was born in Baltimore, the site of the recent bridge disaster, while Kai was born in Philadelphia. As a child he emigrated to New Zealand with his family, and is now an Australian. Kai works from home as an editor at Wallaga Lake on the Far South Coast of New South Wales. His poems have appeared in most leading Australasian literary journals and, in the United States, have been published in or accepted by The Inquisitive EaterMen Matters OnlineThe NewVerseNewsRattle and The Fictional Cafe.

Friday, March 29, 2024


by Rick Mullin

by Dave Whamond

I’m very friendly with the Pope of Rome.
In fact he likes the Bible I put out.
I have many, many copies in my home.

Bound in leather and embossed with chrome,
Trump Bibles make the stories sing and shout.
I’m very friendly with the Pope of Rome

who’s traded in his New Revised, that tome
of lies, for something we can talk about.
Trump Bibles. Home just isn’t home

without my Book of Acts. Amen. Shalom.
My TV pals agree the Book has clout—
Joel Osteen and the Pope of Rome.

And I mean all of them. The Astrodome 
has never seen the crowds that we turn out.
There are many mansions in my home

and proverbs in the many fields I roam.
I spread the Word and rid the world of doubt.
A holy boatload’s on its way to Rome.
I have many, many copies in my home.

Rick Mullin is a painter and poet living in northern New Jersey. His latest books are Huncke, Exot Books, and The Basilisk, Dos Madres Press.


by Gilbert Allen

by J.D. Crowe

What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?

And they bargained with him for thirty pieces of silver.

                                                              —Matthew 26:15

Verily, verily

Donald Iscariot

hawking the Holy Word

with MAGA zeal

offering Jesus Christ


for sixty bucks. Just twice
thirty! A steal!

Gilbert Allen, a member of the Travelers Rest United Methodist Church, already has a Bible. For more information about him and his work, check out the interview at .

Thursday, March 28, 2024


by Gordon Gilbert

In the not-so-distant past,
genocidal acts, a holocaust,
distant from our shores,
rumoured only, but for most unseen,
finally revealed in retrospect
indelibly to soldiers’ eyes,
brought home in photographs,
not to be denied.
Ah, we said, if only… If only…
But we did not know
at the time, only later,
and alas, too late to do
what we surely would have done
had we only known…
But now this genocide comes to us live,
like a fog slowly lifting, revealing
the landscapes of barbarity:
bombs falling; the destruction of
homes & neighborhoods,
schools & hospitals,
mosques & churches;
the death of civilians—
babies,  children,  women,  men;
the cries and wails of those
(for now) still alive.
searching in the rubble for those they lost.
We know this time. 
We cannot say we do not know. 

Editor's note: The title of this poem is a line from “To the Days” by Adrienne Rich.

Gordon Gilbert is a writer living in NYC's west village.  During the pandemic, he often found solace and an inner sense of peace by taking walks along the nearby Hudson River; now he does so as unwilling witness to the ongoing genocide in Gaza. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


by Jim Burns

Riots broke out in Philadelphia after Nativists burned down a Catholic church in May 1844. This lithograph shows the Know-nothings (in the top hats) clashing with the state militia.

Out of the vapors
of the past
I come
to sing you a song
of the poor and huddled masses
who have gathered at your gates.

I am the inscrutable Chinese,
one of 20,000 from my land
who for a dollar a day built your
grand railway of the golden spike.

I am the drunken Irishman,
the mobbed-up Italian,
the ignorant Pole
who sweated and died
to forge the iron and erect
your palaces of steel.

I am the Shylock Jew 
whose sweatshop toil
made the clothes on your back,
but whose financial acumen you blame
for relieving you of your earnings.

I am the the suspected spy,
the German who had to change my name
to protect me from your Klan
when first our countries fought.

I am the devious Japanese whose family
were reviled as turncoats
and dwelt in your internment camps
while in Europe I fought and died for you.

I am the wild-eyed son of Middle Eastern deserts
denied entry into your land 
and murdered in your cities
because of the evil of a few
who, like me, pray to Allah.

I am of those deemed not human at your southern border,
who braved deserts and human predators
to pick your crops, roof your homes,
tend your lawns,
do the jobs your sons won’t do.

Think of me as you will,
but Lady Liberty, 
raise your torch to me.
I am America,
I am you.

Jim Burns was born and raised in rural Indiana and received degrees from both Indiana State University and Indiana University. He then spent most of his working years as a librarian. A few years into his retirement he turned to a decades old interest in writing, especially poetry, and in the last two years has been fortunate enough to have published 18 poems and two short pieces of nonfiction online, in print or both. He lives with wife and dog in Jacksonville, Florida.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024


by Suzanne Morris how I chose,
in the end,

to remember her name
on the prayer list

to be read aloud
in Sunday worship.

Not Catherine,
Princess of Wales

or Kate, as she is
familiarly known,

but rather, simply, Catherine.

Not because I
wanted to avoid

raising the ire of anyone
who disapproves of

the British monarchy’s
continued existence, or

starting a dialogue
in hushed tones

about how shabbily the Royals
had treated poor Meghan.

Not to put aside the question of
whether or not

anyone outside
the royal family

and the healthcare professionals
ministering to her

has a right to know
the precise location of

the 42-year-old woman’s

or the degree of
its advance.

No, in the end, I wrote down
simply, Catherine

because I believe

the frail-looking woman,
wife, and mother of three,

sitting alone on a bench
in a striped sweater

that appeared a little
too large on her frame

marshaling all her energy to
assuage the world’s

insatiable desire for

will always be,
in the sight of God,

simply, Catherine.

Suzanne Morris is a novelist with eight published works, and a poet.  Her poems have appeared in several anthologies, and in online poetry journals including The New Verse News, The Texas Poetry Assignment, and Stone Poetry Quarterly.  She resides in Cherokee County, Texas.

Monday, March 25, 2024


by Donald Sellitti

Goodbye, Kyiv and thank you
for the chance to stand in solidarity
with you at safe remove to
write of you with passion and with
anger in my slanted rhymes.

I cared a lot, I really did, and bared
my heart in lines I broke in
unexpected places, taking 
risks you wouldn’t 
You’re not a poet.
I was just as brave as you.

The moving zeitgeist though
has moved and left you 
far behind as winds of war
have blown again and lauded us with
new and fresher outrage for the
dead and dying. My anger needs
new tinder, not the charcoal
of your cities, for its burning.

I’m back inside my garden now
where themes of death and
inhumanity present themselves
in quaint and small tableaux.
A newly fallen tree; a spider that
I’d stepped on carelessly
with one leg tapping. Death is 
all around me as it is with you.

I might write of you again, Kyiv,
if something fresh emerges from
the blandness of unending war, 
a bomb as blinding as the sun 
perhaps, awash in metaphor.
But for now, goodbye Kyiv. 
Best wishes for the future,

Donald Sellitti honed his writing skills as a scientist/educator at a Federal medical school in Bethesda, MD before turning to poetry following his retirement. Numerous publications in journals with titles such as Cancer Research and Oncology Letters have been followed by publications in journals with titles like The Alchemy Spoon, Better than Starbucks, and Rat’s Ass Review, which nominated him for a Pushcart Prize in 2022.

Sunday, March 24, 2024


by Julie Steiner

“Choir Boys 2” by Christina Clare

“There is no sorrow, pain, or woe…
no suffering He did not know,”
we used to sing. That’s how I knew
the Christ Child was molested, too.

Confused, afraid, and mortified,
He told His mom—who said He lied.
Since mine refused to understand,
I knew He’d known that, too, firsthand.

Each time He said or acted out
what children shouldn’t know about,
she spanked the young Emmanuel
and told Him He was bound for Hell.

That filthy-minded, foul-mouthed kid
reformed, because of what she did.
For decades, she’d congratulate
herself for having laced Him strait.

“I disciplined Him out of it,”
that saint would brag, while He’d just sit—
impassive, passive—and endure
her calling clobbering a cure.

(What “cured” us was we’d moved away
from those who’d made us frequent prey
on seeing no one took our word
for anything we said occurred.)

The current lyrics for that hymn
leave nothing fuzzy, nothing dim,
and nothing to be taken wrong
by snarky teens, who’d say the song

skipped birth pangs, menstrual cramps, and such.
But how I’d sung it was as much
support as victims might derive
back then, for having dared survive.

Let others sing the new, improved,
and ambiguity-removed
text. I can’t. I can’t unknow
the words I needed, long ago.

Julie Steiner is a pseudonym in San Diego, California. Besides The New Verse News, the venues in which Julie's poetry has appeared include the Able Muse Review, Rattle, Light, and The Asses of Parnassus.

Saturday, March 23, 2024


by Kathy Conway

For a month, we’ve noticed 

tender green sprouts—

too early not to freeze or

be trampled, often poking

out of dried-brown leaves 

of last fall. Do you hear

their crinkle in

the breeze? 

On our walks, we’ve created 

a game—are they crocus, 

jonquils, tips of hosta? We’ve 

savored forsythia and lilac buds, 

the red tint of oaks, the pale 

green of maples. 

I have always loved early 

Spring’s pops of color, signs

of growth and new life to come;

births and passings of loved 

ones, of this year’s departed 

and a yet-to-be-born


This spring, we also have the brown 

water of floods and mudslides, 

the yellow and red flames of fire, 

leaving grey-black ash and debris

in war zones—Ukraine, Gaza, 

Haiti. And the orange man—I’ll 

not use his name—threatening 

a bloodbath.

Kathy Conway lives and writes in New England and is increasingly frustrated with the state of the world.