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Sentimental Poetry with Anthony Watkins

Death Warmed Over


That’s what my son said when I said

I wanted to be cremated. And, of course,

the other son, sibling that he is, asks

before or after you die? My wife

declines comment. She has already told me

she doesn’t want any cameo appearances in

any of my poems. Unless it’s a rhyming will.

No, she didn’t say that. She could be very funny

if she would let me.

First Published in Greatest Hits, Pudding House Press, republished in
Just So You Know from Kelsay Books.

Edmund Conti has published over 500 poems, some of which may have been memorable. He can't remember which ones. He does remember his new book, Just So You Know, from Kelsay Books.

You Are Here


Nothing fools the public

like the kind of simple map

that they hand you at the campground

with a smile.


The distances seem easy

and each trail appears a snap.

They don’t tell you it’s an hour

for each mile.


The reasons for this problem

are the many ups and downs

and the rocky elevations

which abound,


turning cheerful, eager faces

into ones displaying frowns

and happy feet the other

way around.

Phil Huffy often writes at his kitchen table in Rochester, New York. He considered relocating, but the table is bolted to the floor. His publications for 2018 numbered nearly 100.

You Still Know Me

once they would have called you “feeble minded”
or “senile,” but now they say you’re “demented”
not that it matters to me my friend, because 
I call you Michael


the nurses say you don’t know me 
but when I hold your quaking hand in mine 
and a crooked smile plays around your lips 
I know they’re mistaken


not long ago we played our games 
between sugar maple trees and a red brick building 
where they warehoused sheets of metal for some war 
instead of once brilliant men


and the day after, we went to college 
where we learned the law yet still found time 
to write poetry for pretty coeds with blond hair
and full lips who loved us in your rusty Studebaker


then somehow, it became today and I’ve come

to visit you, as I will tomorrow, and your eyes will
brighten because you still know me
my good and lovely friend Michael

Alan Balter is a retired university professor who enjoyed a career spanning 32 years at Chicago State University where he prepared teachers for children with special needs. He and his wife Barbara live in Northbrook, Illinois. They enjoy travel and fourteen grandchildren.

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Best Friend


I remember bringing her home from the shelter.

Her fur like a storm cloud.

She had a bubblegum pink collar.


I remember her learning to sit.

Her tail like a child on a swing.

She was proud.


I remember her waking me in the night.

Her tongue tickling my fingertips

for a belly scratch.


I remember her first time in bear lake.

Her legs like a propeller.

She swam all day.


I remember her barking when she heard something.

Her clawing at my door.

She was just trying to protect me.


I remember the day she ran in front of that black Chevy truck.

I remember her lifeless body, still warm, still soft.

She was chasing my ball.


I remember everything about her.

She was one year old.

William Pitcher is a 20-year-old poet from Smithfield, Utah. He was runner-up in the school poetry contest at Sky View High School. He also plays football for Utah State and is a Whitesides Scholar Athlete. This is his first publication.

Amsterdam, Two Bridges


Affable water lips and chats

along stone-enforced banks.

A cruiser’s wake wags unending

after it, floats flouncing like cross

dowagers with long memories.


Fewer boats in autumn. Boys lend

a hand with ropes, but few coins

come their way.

The low swung bridge opens

when needed, smooth and slow

like a sliced smile. All white wood,

at night lit with lots of tiny lightbulbs

the city’s pride, the Magere Brug.


This is a human scale, nothing too much.

A scarce kilometer downstream

sprawls the Berlage Brug. Naked,

enormous, careless, bright white stone,

red sun squat on him, pocked by bird feet,

cables, monstrously tidal, impossible,

uncivil but always desirable.


Two of two thousand Amsterdam bridges

cross the unforgettable river Amstel

where my houseboat rocked with

every passing ship.



Poetry has become a way of living for Marjon van Bruggen. She is happiest when she can sit alone at her desk, trying to understand the world, or simply enjoying playing with words.

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