Sentimental Poetry with Anthony Watkins

The Ghost at the Old Lychgate, St Mary, Berkhamstead

 

Sometimes, when the rice has not been properly swept from the ruddy path

And the footprints from each wedding guest scar the surface with erratic scuffs,

When the cherry blossom petals, stirred into little eddies, stack like confetti on the grass,

You might catch the leaf like rustle of a congregation long gone from the church,

Glimpse the shadow of a rain cloud when there is empty sky, shaped like a young girl in a pleated frock,

Always a bridesmaid . . .

 

In the heat of the May morning you can sometimes hear the sighing

Behind the sound of birdsong from the cedar, mixed with the rustling of a thrush

Scrubbing below the border hedge. The words can be just made out

By the more discerning listener, the one who hears the scraping

Of the beetle on the hoggin, or the whisper of a butterfly or moth in nervous flight,

No, always a butterfly . . .

 

“Never a bride.” The words are uttered in light breathy murmurs

That send ripples through the unmown grass beside the graves,

Bending blades in a melancholy breeze. The shade of oak trees

Leave their cool spots by the porch wall, where the last of the snails shelter from the morning heat.

Sometimes the sounds of marriage can be heard across the glebe land, drifting in the shimmering air,

And the more perceptive watcher, the one who sees the movement of the lichen on the tombstones

May see an apparition stand beside the church gate, drowned out by sunlight, or so the locals say,

Always a bridegroom . . .

 

 

Martin Porter lives in Whangarei, New Zealand. A Pushcart nominee and Best of the Net nominee, he is published in New Zealand, USA, the UK, and online. He currently sits on the New Zealand National Flash Fiction Competition committee.

Winter Trees

 

Their empty branches ghost the sky

with memories of spring;

the winter trees do not ask why

the birds and leaves took wing.

 

Upon the hill, in harsh relief,

they stand out from the snow;

companioned only by their grief,

to wait is all they know.

 

Beneath, their roots rest deep and still,

while seasons slowly turn

from winter’s dark, narcotic chill

to chlorophyll’s sharp burn

 

that everywhere will come again

though doubting trees still grieve.

Soon starling, sparrow, robin, wren,

will teach them to believe.

 

 

Lisa Barnett’s poems have appeared in Angle, 14 by 14, Measure, Poetry, and elsewhere. She is a three-time Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award finalist and is the author of two chapbooks.

Eureka!

 

I scoffed at the scholar’s

findings on Bacon:

that Marlowe wrote Hamlet

and history’s mistaken.

 

I foresaw Darwin’s theory

on the Origin of Man

supplanted by my own

biological plan.

 

The bat striking the ball

does not actually touch:

this molecular miracle

did not interest me much.

 

That Schopenhauer is gone

when my back is turned

is knowledge of which

I was never concerned.

 

Time travel, black holes,

and the earth’s fatal course

had not yet plagued me

for I doubted the source.

 

I found Dewey post-modern

and Aristotle antique,

Freud was a nightmare

and Plato was Greek.

 

I fed the flames

under Shakespeare and Donne

reaching for

Fahrenheit 451.

 

Every law of the cosmos

was mere folly and sham;

from Newton’s to Murphy’s

I gave not a damn.

 

Life’s Book of Knowledge

did not open for me

until I learned its first lesson:

I alone held the key.

 

 

Gayle Compton’s poems and short stories have appeared most recently in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Main Street Rag, Tipton Poetry Journal, Poetry Quarterly and The Blue Mountain Review. He lives in Pike County, Kentucky, home of coal mining and internecine feuding.

Uncertainty

 

Maybe

It wasn’t

The warmth

Of his smile

Or the comfort

Of his touch

It wasn’t the joy

He shared with her

Or the jokes

He told her

It wasn’t the seat

He always saved for her

Or the sweater

He gave her

When she was cold

It wasn’t the way

He looked at her

Or even the moments

That they shared

But the way

He didn’t want her

That made her wish

He did

Breanna Geiger is a student, born and raised in Texas. She has always been interested in literature and teaching and has only just started writing poetry. This is her first publication.

Father

 

You grew up without him,

one of three boys

raised by a single mom.

She loved you with all her heart.

It was never enough to fill that void,

gratify the hunger

you yearned for fantasy to fill.

 

You created a magician.

A dad who could hocus pocus

your insecurities away.

A father whose magic hat

had power to build self-esteem

as if sleight of hand,

could heal the heartache

of a broken home.

 

You’ve postponed living,

say the best will come

when he returns.

You dream of the day

he will stand before you and say,

“I’m sorry son, I’ve returned to fill the hole

the empty place that aches.

You are someone worthy of my love.”

 

It has been 30 years.

That day has not yet happened

nor will it ever.

Who loved you more

the one who left

or the one who stayed?

 

 

The Elderly Man & His Nurse

 

She glides in;

unseen angel wings

adorn her.

His grimace curls into a smile,

when he sees her.

Heaven has

released one of its own to him

for these few hours.

 

She whispers to him

in Spanish.

He doesn’t understand,

but still, he laughs.

She laughs.

Two foreign languages

bridging the gap

with smiles.

 

She calls him ‘papi.’

He takes it as respect;

she uses it for endearment.

She wipes his nose with a Kleenex,

he responds by kissing her hands —

an unequal exchange of

affection.

 

The hours completed,

she waves as she leaves.

His smile is erased again,

until tomorrow

when she returns.

His earthbound

Angel.

 

 

Ode To My Father

 

There is a firm knock on the door

to your soul. You’ve left the door

unlocked for too long; Death politely

seeks entry. His lulling tune calls

out to the weary making sweet his

promise of rest. Know well dear father,

Death’s promise will take you from

us. You consider your care too arduous

for those you love. You weakly nod “yes”

to Death's call. With trembling lips, you

whisper love should not require so

much. I turn away and hide my tears.

Loving you was never a burden.

 

 

Arlene Antoinette enjoys writing poetry, flash fiction, and song lyrics. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Brooklyn College. Work by Arlene may be found at Your Daily Poem, Little Rose Magazine, and Foxglove Journal.

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