Sandra Newton


Fight between a Tiger and a Buffalo by Henri Rousseau

Yesterday at the shop I chose plants
To replace what winter had pillaged
Leaving a moist fecundity behind.
And so, imperiously, I said to the gardener
“This one
And that
And perhaps that other as well.”
I had looked only for appearance
To fill some empty spaces.
And then the pattern and the meaning emerged
Fixed upon me by a knowing eye:
Whale’s tongue agave was exotic beauty
The tough earth and rolling sea in one;
Tropical banana was fragility
A tall, leafless stalk trembling defiantly;
And oleander was cautious destiny
Small pink flowers like nipples
Attracting the careless heart.
Our days are only stale memories
Begging water from the cloudless sky
And warmth from rocky earth:
Destiny of a fragile, exotic beauty.


About the writer:
Sandra Salinas Newton is a Professor Emeritus of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College. She has two published books: Enjoying the Arts: Poetry (1977) and Enjoying the Arts: Film (1978). Her short story, “The Balikbayan,” is printed in Philippine American Short Stories (Giraffe Books, 1997). She earned her B.A. from The City College of New York, her M.A. from Hunter College, and her Ph.D. from Fordham University. Dr. Newton has attended a number of writing conferences and workshops, most recently with the Writers’ League of Texas. She has also been an art reviewer and freelance photographer.

Image: Fight between a Tiger and a Buffalo by Henri Rousseau (1844-1910). No medium specified. No size specified. 1908. Digitally enhanced and watermarked by RAWPIXEL (2015). By free license.