Anne Tammel

Anne Tammel

Anne Tammel is the author of the collection of poems, Endless: a Literate Passion (Aldrich Press, 2015). Tammel’s works have appeared most recently in Poydras Review, Annapurna Magazine, Saint Julian Press, 3Elements Literary Review, Edgar Allen Poet Literary Journal, Clarify: an Anthology, Heaven and Hell Anthology, Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood and many more.

A Silicon Valley native, news correspondent, branding expert, and editor for literary publications, Tammel is also owner and founder of Poets and Dreamers, the author’s network featured in CBS Los Angeles. Tammel earned her MFA in creative writing at California State University, San Diego, and her BA in English literature / career writing at California State University, San Jose.

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Dante and the Red Silk Journal

One early morning, in Florence, I met with Dante
Aligheri. We strolled mile after mile of dusty
city streets, past dawn ‘til

we reached the Arno, where Dante, in his hand-
crafted flat leather shoes and red velvet cloak, offered
a rich purple Florentine plum. “Neutrality

does not suit you.” He looked into me then
through me with eyes of foreboding: “Who are
Leaves fluttered as Dante took my own

red journal from my hands. “Look past
your mortal life.”
I dropped the too-
ripe plum. Leaves shifted

to shades of autumn as wind
rushed past us. “Everyone is allowed
to go mad…at least…once per year.”

handed me his own red journal, filled with the words
and drawings of plums and the purple-scarlet
private notes. He nodded as he walked

through that colorful Florentine crowd, away
toward the Duomo, my own red journal tucked
beneath his arm. I tried, with unsteady legs, to

rush after the poet, through the clang and the clamor
of those ancient city streets, along that uneven
cobblestone road, only to discover—





She glows, tangerine behind the blunt
powdered cliffs that line Akrotiri,
the ancient city only half-unearthed.
Does anyone know? She sings;

her mystical notes cross all of Oia,
that Greek island north of Crete. Above
white cliffs, sun burns to twilight. Sky fills
with dusk. All turn to watch her rise, burn red

above the Aegean—to summon the night.
Tall women dance beneath her. Each
sends forth her own ancient symbols—prayers
for the night, for the mystical light

that circles the sky. Selene looks back to
search the vast earth—to find Endymion.


On the shuttle, away from the airport,
the scalding terrain reminds us
we are far from America. We pass
unfinished structures, random, and surrounded

by miles and stretching miles of nothing
but sun that beats into and through them. They rise
from the rough earth like abandoned
ruins and forgotten homily crosses.

The people here are exquisite paintings,
with expressive lips and deep dark eyes—their
voices a music we may never truly understand
but we long to hear again, again, and yet again at dawn.

Fading vehicles carry us toward worlds forgotten, to
ancient treasures that bear signs of the new
just above the old.

In Athens, the broken stone roads
toward Acropoli hum with motorized
scooters that kick up the dust from
unnamed souls, far beneath these roads. The
language of locals and motors form

a static song that will hum
throughout the night and into
days and more and more of these
arid, stretching hours. And still we walk
these dusty, narrow roads of late after-
noon, sip Fanta from little glass bottles, wait
for the myths to envelope us, even in

our dreams, to fold us into our forgotten new
world, transform us into people like them,
with those exotic eyes and unexplained,
intangible charms—those
voices the world longs to hear
again, again, and yet again, even
in the first faintest,
of dawn.

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Poetry in this post: © Anne Tammel
Published with the permission of Anne Tammel