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Sentimental Poetry edited by Anthony Watkins

Sitting in the Corner of the Library

Fifty years on, 
you still remember
forging passes 
to skip study hall 
so you could go 
to the library.

You would look 
for poems in books 
that no one reads 
or a book with a spine 
that had never 
been bent open.

You would sit 
in the corner and read,
you could stay all day
and keep 
each other company.

The bell would ring 
and you would leave it 
lying open
on the table 
so someone else 
might stop and read.

You would hustle off 
to class for 
a boring recitation 
of a popular poem 
that everyone knows 
and everyone reads.

Al Black is a frequent contributor to Poetry the War Zone, which is where this was first published.


They made me fall, I fell for you,
Like snow, this love that melted,
I catch myself say, "heart be true",
The beating drops have pelted.

I read your words of passion pure,
Your notes of thrilling joy I find,
How perfect is the ethereal cure,
You have poured on humankind.

What now I think you need to see,
Your pen and ink have won my best,
Shall I become part of your tapestry,
The thought beats beneath my breast.

This is not a sonnet, but it hopes to be,
A tribute to the love that outlasts eternity.

Candy Marie is a moderator and regular contributor to Poetry the War Zone. 

*Inspired by several but mainly thank you, Mr. Al Black, for the walk down memory lane.

Dead is Dead


When somebody dies, folks hardly ever say “dead”

They prefer “expired” or “deceased’ instead

Most of the euphemisms don’t do any harm

Like “biting the dust” and “buying the farm”


Consider “falling off the perch” or “given up the ghost”

“Taking a dirt nap” is one I like most

“Kicked the oxygen habit” and “gone off line”

Are another couple favorites of mine


How about “at room temperature” or “fell off the twig”

“Wearing a toe tag” or “played his last gig”

“Bought a pine condo” and “six feet under”

“Became a root inspector” makes one wonder


Try “belly up” and “bit the biscuit”

“Laid down his burden” and never missed it

“Gone to his maker” and “out of print”

“In a horizontal phone booth” for a permanent stint


“Defunct,” “extinct,” and “in the crisper”

Most say ‘em no louder than a whisper

“Gone to sleep city” and “passed his sell by date”

“Cashed in his chips at the pearly gate”


Now I could go on, but you get the point

Have a fun life before “checking out of this joint”

And should you come to my funeral, don’t bring a thing

Just sit back and listen to the fat lady sing.

Alan Balter was born in Chicago and attended the Chicago Public Schools. He entered the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1956 where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 1960 and a Master’s degree in Special Education in 1962. Subsequently, he taught adolescents with developmental delays at the Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois. He returned to the University of Illinois and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education in 1967. After working as the Director of the Niles Township High Schools Department of Special Education, he took a position with Chicago State University in 1969 where he prepared teachers for children and adolescents with developmental delays, learning disabilities, and emotional disorders. With 32 years at the university, he retired in 2000. He and his wife Barbara, also a retired teacher, enjoy extensive travel and fourteen grandchildren.

vintage automobile

There are many fine examples of their work, along with that of 0ver 200 other poets. As an open group, all are welcome:

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