I am a retired professor of French, living in New York City, painting, writing, and trying to learn Portuguese. (Language-study is my favorite form of frustration.) My most recent poetry collections are The Unknowing Muse (Dos Madres, 2014) and Wars Don’t Happen Anymore (Deerbrook Editions, 2016).
Hymn to the Pelvis
Basin where it all began,
savage, sage, and made to swivel,
We forget you at times.
We hear there are climes
where no one forgets—
though an island
founder from the weight
of its Queen,
no one, though the shore
in fringes of foam.
In April, I went out
to photograph the gold
blooms, blue bells,
and shadows on the park
floor. I heard a whirr
and swiveled to view
red that even had it rained
he would have caught
my lens or found the eye
of any female nearby,
grey as a nun.
City of Remembered Cities
A river divides our city in principal parts.
Bridges are named for leaders,
victories, and lovers
who walk beside the river.
display the craft of steelworkers
and spiders. Lower bridges
figure in watercolors.
A corridor connects the street
of banks with the street of groceries,
Inns of Court with Avenues of Art
and Offices of Diagnosis.
Those who know who they are
are asked to be governors. Those who don’t
are asked to be actors. Passengers
are asked to avoid irregular situations.
Thanks to alphabetical
order, the city remains grammatical.
Tallness rhymes with smallness.
Near a Spire of Triumph
burns the flame of our irreparable loss.
I have your little light. You have the large dark
from which you cannot see the River or the Bridge,
the Village or the damage. You get no news. Forgive me
if I watch TV, evenings and late into the night.
all poems appear in Cleopatra Haunts the Hudson, Spuyten Duyvil, 2007
©2016 Sarah White