Sentimental Poetry edited by Anthony Watkins
A pair of fitted shoes,
a bucket of clean water,
a hot meal to fill your belly.
My baby cousin sits on
a throne of toys,
with her pack loyally
waiting to defend her.
Let me remind you of the women
whose wrists were fractured
and tongues severed by
the shadow of a man.
And their children who walk
five miles a day
for a drink of something
mistaken for water.
I would die for her,
the fragile beast
frolicking on the ground
at my feet.
Family: a group of people
with a web of love
that always seems to grow
like a field of dandelions.
They labour for love,
they sacrifice for family,
we all die for each other.
The Last Day
We walked down the street alone,
in a bubble with only each other.
Unaware of the nosy eyes
exploring our bodies from
the safety of a passing car.
Unaware of the sniper
shuffling behind us,
preparing to shoot us
as though we were celebrities.
He wanted to take the perfect,
The bullets appeared on every
social media platform,
and they lodged
of our hearts.
Our love was tainted with shame,
and that was the last day
I held her hand in public.
Her broken wing beat
against the rattling walls
of the confining cage.
She threw her body
against the door,
ripping herself to pieces.
She pecked at the lock
for months, until the
She beat herself
with the hope for
until all she knew
was life as a helpless
When they came for her,
she was too far gone.
She couldn’t be saved:
her mind had wavered,
her spirit had withered,
her soul had crumpled.
She would remain in
her beloved cage,
forever a jailbird.
Mikaela Norkus, a high school student in Aurora, Ontario, her poetic ramblings can be found at https://sugarandblackberries.wordpress.com. She uses poetry as a way of documenting her own life, as well as the lives of people who are unable to do so for themselves. When not writing poems, she is snowboarding down steep slopes throughout the winter season, watching Netflix, or leaping into a good book.
I listen to my heartbeat like a golden oldie.
I listen to my heartbeat, which seems to come and go.
I listen to my heartbeat, its own dark story.
I listen to my heartbeat and its undertow.
I listen to my heartbeat like distant thunder.
I listen to my heartbeat quicken, then slow.
I listen to my heartbeat, its murmur, its secret.
I listen to my heartbeat and pretend I know.
Articles of Faith
I put my trust
in the small and slow.
Things that take
a long time to know.
the eye of the crow.
The ripe fruit,
the nodding rose.
The quicker it goes,
the ordinary glows.
Antonia Clark has published a chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors, and a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon. Her poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including 2River View, The Cortland Review, Eclectica, The Pedestal Magazine, and Rattle. A medical writer and editor, she has also taught poetry and fiction writing and manages an online poetry forum, The Waters. Toni lives in Vermont, loves French picnics, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.
“it will change you forever”
i hear for the millionth time
i smile politely, hand resting on my belly
eager to slip away, hide from the attention
people have babies every day
i think to myself
and i really don’t believe
every one of them has changed
all that much
six months later
i sit in front of the tv
the christmas tree to my left
illuminates my apartment in shades of
red, gold, green
the colors of holiday cheer, a beacon
of happiness for the dreary winter
she sits in my lap
completely fascinated by the lights
dancing and twirling on the walls
a tear runs down my cheek
as i smile at her
“you are my sunshine...”
i softly hum
to my tiny, living, breathing beacon
of happiness for this grey world
i never was one to cry very often
i think as i sit in my car at
noon, time for lunch
tears stream down my face
like silent echoes of emptiness
i wish she was here to enjoy
this first beautiful spring day with me
i call the babysitter to check in
“please tell her mommy loves her” i request
wiping the remnants of sadness from my face
as i walk back to my desk
she creeps into the room
wearing her mischievous smile,
peeking around corners
i am dumbfounded for a moment
how is it even possible that my baby
my tiny little baby
i feel the tears coming
burning in the corners of my
eyes at the thought that she is
no longer a baby
but my nostalgia is interrupted suddenly
when he jumps out
“ahhhhhh i gotcha!”
he says as he grabs her by the waist
and she erupts into a fit of giggles
“da!” and she points to be set down
so she can turn around while he hides again
i once thought it would be impossible for me to
love him any more than i already did
until she came
and i watched him fall
in love with her
my beautiful daughter
you have changed me
but not in a
hey did you do something different
with your hair
kind of way, like i had thought
all those months ago
more of a
part of my heart, part of my soul
walking around the living room
sharing her crackers with the dogs
while her cartoon sings playfully in
as i stare at her
and suddenly feel the desire to cry
as i do so often
ever since she arrived
kind of way
Sonnet for Dean
Because our lives were blessed with tender grace
inspired by a father’s love that grew
to shine within his children’s happy face
each hour spent more beautiful and true
unbound by earthly promises to fly
beyond the breadth of stars and mortal things
Invincible as angels dance on high
and gallant as the glory heaven sings.
Because our hearts are burdened with a fate
too great for even one to understand.
We must remember destiny won’t wait
and know he walks beside us hand in hand
he’ll whisper through the verdant trees and streams
forever in our hearts and in our dreams
With a Broken Heart
I read his note that said “my brother’s death
is imminent,” advising every friend
and distant kin before the final breath.
I’m sorry for your loss, I wrote, hit send;
without a way make to amends. The hand
is quicker than the eye and second thoughts
proved axioms don’t lie. An ampersand
could follow with some blue forget-me-nots−
or prayers of sorrow offered, if unread;
I’m sorry for your loss?! What’s left to say
when something so definitive is said?
There’s nothing more pathetic or cliché,
excuse me for my premature goodbye
I’m sorry for your loss, needs no reply.
Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is an eight-time Pushcart nominee and a four-time Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of 5 collections of poetry, along with several chapbooks, and the winning chapbook in The Red Ochre Chapbook Contest, “Before I Go to Sleep”, Her latest collections slated for publication this year with Main Street Rag are “An Ode to Hope in the Midst of Pandemonium” and “ In the Making of Goodbyes”, Clare Songbird Press. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online, print magazines and anthologies. She is the Assistant Editor for The Orchards Poetry Journal. According to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson. www.clgrellaspoetry.com
They say I sow unruly seeds,
talk gibberish to trees,
I give their children gifts of weeds.
They see me circling ‘round the cabbages,
bowing to the Brussels sprouts,
poking with a stick, just like a kid,
and once, they swear,
I worked all night upon my knees,
pushing rocks around, digging deep.
They whisper, thinking I don’t hear.
They wink, and think that I don’t see.
They sleep, they do not know the dark.
I wander in my garden skeined with memories of green,
listening like an animal to winds begin and cease.
I feel my way along the roots and nubs of things.
My fingers cultivate a wilderness of need.
I’m using all the tools I own.
I’d build a wall to end their watch.
I would but time ticks down . . . .
Hands I cannot still, unearthing stone . . . .
Night birds tend me, I am not alone.
Berries ripen while I wait.
Leaves come early, fruit comes late.
I squandered winter, wanting spring.
What meaning should I give to crows on snow?
I only felt the weather turning cruel.
Naked branches pleading with an empty sky
I saw as metaphor
For cold so deep no words could say.
And when spring came
I raged against the rain:
“Don’t ruin my day!”
Might as well tell the sun
To shine on your parade.
And what about the sun ?
When river’s green turned gold
I feared its shadows, let the gold
Slip through my hands.
I envied birds their wings.
Their music filled the sky.
They could have taught me how to sing.
I dared the waves.
“Don’t take my castle in the sand!”
I didn’t hear their old refrain:
Next time build on higher ground.
Is where I’m standing safe?
I thought I felt it shake.
No consolation came.
We live in earthquake country.
There is no escape.
I tried to count the stars.
The stars just winked, as if to tease.
The lights I saw have ceased.
I argued with the sky.
”How far? How wide?
The sky went on and on . . . .
I tried again. “And then?”
The sky grew tired of me.
And I grew tired of listening in the dark.
As if the moon would always light my way . . .
The moon smiled down.
But when it’s hidden, or it’s new,
We’re on our own.
I begged for time.
It ran away from me.
This is all we get.
Don’t waste your days of grace.
Uneasy in my lethargy,
I’ll call in sick, a kid again,
This green and growy day.
Cat’s in the closet, popping her litter,
Fat poems ‘round the corner,
Ready to burst. Hurray!
I’ll dance in happy socks,
I’ll pogo –stick my way to the zoo!
Learn Italian, fly to Paris, or Brazil.
That boy with droopy pants
gets born again
and in the Dollar Store, there’s joy.
Spring! A bird pooped on my head!
Release the meter-maid!
Declare a holiday! Give the pigeons amnesty
Even though they foul the square
And yes they’re dirty but I love their birdiness.
Today I love everyone,
Even lady poets with three names
Even my neighbor’s dog sniffing at my crotch
Yes even that old guy counting out pennies in the express line.
Oh blowy day when anything might happen:
Maybe I’ll meet Mr. Right in Trader Joe’s . . . .
Find the winning ticket in a pocket at the Goodwill . . . .
Have an epiphany while eating a fish taco.
Oh I could live forever in this day!
Sun pokes its fingers in my face . . . .
Possibilities blossom, words bloom on trees,
trailing leaves in a filigree of light.
Beyond this neighborhood the distances are far.
I want to walk and walk and not turn back.
Miriam D. Aroner is a children’s writer, having published three children’s books. A number of her poems have been published, including her latest, online in the Boston Poetry Magazine.