Shaft of Light

Smile behind the lips

her face a sunflower

in a garden of trees


The eyes of the seagull open

Choose your beach

tears caught in the throat


Stand in mountain pose

breathe the flame of the ghost

a shift in reality


I lost my mind

hanging in the void

A voice enters


shaft of light

God’s finger in the shallows

consoling my inner weather



From Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016)


Hélène Cardona is a poet, literary translator and actor, the recipient of numerous awards and honors including a Hemingway Grant and the USA Best Book Award. Her books include two translations: Beyond Elsewhere (White Pine Press, 2016), and Ce que nous portons (Editions du Cygne, 2014), and three bilingual poetry collections, most recently Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016) and Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry, 2013). She also translated Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for the Iowa International Writing Program’s WhitmanWeb.


She holds a Master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College & Loyola Marymount University, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut & Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. She co-edits FulcrumAn Anthology of Poetry, contributes essays to The London Magazine, and is co-producer of the documentary Pablo Neruda: The Poet’s Calling. Publications include Washington Square, World Literature Today, Poetry International, The Irish Literary Times, The Warwick Review, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, and elsewhere.

Acting credits include Chocolat, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hundred-Foot Journey, etc. For Serendipity, she co-wrote with Peter Chelsom & Alan Silvestri the song Lucienne, which she also sang.





Issue #42 December 2014
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