Lately we’ve been contemplating the notion of imagination as salvation and then, (and there is no other way to say this) lo and behold, these poems arrived from our dear friend, the extraordinary poet, Millicent Borges Accardi.  We will be presenting her on several Sundays before the end of the year, always with wishes for more books from her (Her most recent was “Injuring Eternity.”) and continuing success at climbing the mountains of understanding.  Here is a woman who knows how to describe the view.

The Maiden with the Rose on her Forehead

This is the arrangement.
You are alone in the careful
Boxed garden, inside
A brick city of no arrival.

The air drums up like skin
Stinging with a golden
Promise. Then there is this wind
And the roses, feel their steadiness.

There is a muscular wind
That lifts your skirts about
Your face, like night into day,
The cloth rustling and pulling

Is a prince going to war.
Guided by your tension,
You want so much to be inside
This stretch of time, this battle

To hold yourself down. The cloth
Brushes your neck and such,
And the struggle burns like a lingering,
Burns upon your forehead.

How to Photograph the Moon

How to photograph the moon
He said to me, outlining the dark
Side of the craters in the sculpture
Embedded in the floor of the tomb
I’d heard no one has seen the moon
In person and that there might be life
There. I heard the craters might support
Other life forms but I had not imagined
I could even imagine that much of a dream.
I was young and the war was fresh
In our minds, the ration card, the horded
Chocolate and meat, the lard and twine
My mother saved under the sink. I had my
Own ball of rubber bands, round, like I thought
The moon might be if we could hold it close
Like a teddy bear or a doll. I dreamed
Of dog-faced men, exploring the surface
Of the moon, falling down cavernous holes
Of tunnels, finding treasure and darkness
And perhaps the key to the universe,
The answer to all of my questions.

Published with permission of the poet.

Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American poet, is the author of two poetry collections: Injuring Eternity (World Nouveau) and Woman on a Shaky Bridge (Finishing Line Press chapbook). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the arts (NEA), the California Arts Council, Barbara Deming Foundation, Canto Mundo and Formby at Texas Tech (researching the work of writer-activist Kay Boyle).

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  • Sam Marino October 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    “…finding treasure and darkness
    And perhaps the key to the universe…”
    Millicent’s words truly takes me to these places.

  • Carmel Mawle October 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Every line of Millicent’s poems resonates with beautiful imagery. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  • Linette Escobar October 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I’m proud to see such lovely work from a fellow Portuguese-American woman poet. Millicent is a great writer, and I look forward to seeing more from her!

  • Scott Cooper October 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    “Imagination as salvation.” Reading Millicent’s poems in that context conjures up for me the sense of there being at one and the same time that yearning to be “finding treasure and darkness, and perhaps the key to the universe,” and then, at one and the same time, that “ball of rubber bands, round, like I thought the moon might be if we could hold it close.” For me, it speaks of the profound and the mundane together as one. And that in one we might find the other. Once again, with “imagination as salvation.” Thank you for posting Millicent’s poems. I concur she speaks brilliantly of such things.

  • Jean Paik Schoenberg October 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Millicent’s poetry makes me feel like I have dirt underneath my finger nails and dew on my face. Her poetry takes you outside while going inward.

  • Tony J. Roma October 24, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    I’ve loved reading Millicent’s poetry, and these two pieces are no exception. The imagery always stays with me. Thank you!

  • Joan Hanna October 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you so much for featuring these poems by Millicent Accardi! I was fist introduced to her work with her collection “Women on a Shaky Bridge” and have been a fan ever since. She seems to speak into a women’s heart in a way that is so unforgettable. Like these lines from “The Maiden With the Rose on Her Forehead”:

    The air drums up like skin
    Stinging with a golden

    The intangible becomes physical and the tangible floats away into the air as if we could never ever really grasp it in the first place.

  • Maho Sato October 24, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    “The Maiden with the Rose on her Forehead” really reminded me of the book about the courtesan around late 15th to early 16th century in England. Purity and sadness… Thank you very much for sharing your poems!

  • Kara Arguello October 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Millicent has a tremendous voice, and these two pieces are no exception. Thanks for featuring this very talented poet!!

  • Carolina M Hinojosa October 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I really enjoyed reading these two poems. The line that will roam my mind for an uncertain amount of time is : “There is a muscular wind”. I love that line. Thank you for publishing these two works. They are magnificent.