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
turning cheerful, eager faces
into ones displaying frowns
and happy feet the other
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.
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.
Use these link buttons to visit our other poetry pages, fiction, non-fiction, and the interview!