Sentimental Poetry edited by Anthony Watkins
On the stream bank scattered with hay, twigs and pine cones
I flick fat flies from my mistress’ swishing black pony tail
Underneath a lantern lit with fireflies of snow.
A gardener of love, I coax, flatter and tease her
To cultivate the soil in which will bloom a rosebush;
A pomegranate romance; a honey sweet apple
From the tinniest pips of my affection.
But sometimes a wicked witch, I comb her curls.
Unhappy and unwilling she frets, spits seeds
And twists her un-kissed, shimmering mouth
Before she blows the candle out and buries her head beneath the covers.
There is nothing like a romantic evening at our home.
Placing the newspaper aside at last,
I lose myself to the canvas of her face
For her pretty picture can always amuse any man bored with reading.
But was I not a stable boy riding,
Was I not the blue bird alighting upon a branch of her finger?
And had I not travelled to the hill of her beak,
Would lovers now be able to lie there as well?
Someday I will turn into a tree, deaf to her sweet nothings.
All her heart-shaped carvings going up and down my white trunk.
Hard at work as always, my Snow White polishes silverware,
And places the cutlery into the cupboard of my neck.
Graceful as the wind she picks
Our crumpled leaves and strews them on the rug.
But on her way back she exclaims,
You are not the prince!
Put these clothes back on,
Before I cut your forest off.”
Anum Sattar studies English at Ohio's College of Wooster. Her poems have been widely published. A Vonna Hicks Award winner, she frequently reads out her work at Brooklyn Poets in New York City.
The poem was dictated by the leaves
the shepherd said.
On a still day, the words that came
were about spaces in the air,
and about what happens when no wind blows.
One day, in a storm, many words
came with the rain, but then
the rain effaced them.
The next morning
the remaining words made more sense
because of the ones washed away.
When the shepherd died,
the words went underground
and its thoughts, dictated by leaves
rotted and transformed
like the bones of sheep or tiny insects
that roamed under the bark of the burial tree.
If found in time the poem would have told
the secrets of loss, change, longing
and of course of greed, and of molecules
that shift into new places like the sudden
change of wind-direction.
The poem was dictated by leaves
the shepherd said.
He was illiterate.
The poem never found.
Marjon van Bruggen's work has appeared in I Am Not A Silent Poet, Nature Writing Magazine, Better than Starbucks Poetry Journal, and The NY Literary Magazine. She was shortlisted for the Paradox Poetry Prize in 2016. Three of her poems are in the anthology: SOMETIMES ANYWAY: Pride in Poetry Volume II.
van Bruggen's educaton included University of Amsterdam and Iowa State University. “I wouldn't be the person I am now if I did not have my poetry”-