Skip to main content

Sarah Burgoyne :: Two poems


That one surmounts oneself is the wisdom of the shadow.

The light winks constantly because it knows this secretthat Irene sits in front of the mirror, with a rose compact and this is why the smell of powder inexplicably fills the air, and rose is the colour of the wall at night.

Shadows rise behind their objects. Memory is this:
a peripheral world of pale liquid stone.

On the plaster wall the light is wet:
a headlight on a rainy bypass.

In the room, fin of light, fly of light,
twinned light of angels, moving but unscared.

Where candlelight illuminates the ceiling—mostly,
or lights the underside of a tree's leaves—

yes, this:
box of the soul.

The sink is my palm, upturned on the floor
for you; think of your house; descend.

The fig tree's shadow is a ladder
for you to climb.

Press your ear to the fridge;
inside is a cautious poet echoing your poem.  

Eyes closed the water is porcelain;
eyes open it is the vein of a leaf.

Temperature thresholds:
hard to discern.

Kindness is the burner at its highest—
inhaling orange and ache; a deep breath.

I guess we've lived in green's lights and darks,
tongues in the florets, consensus of green.

Irene, tonight
I ask the animals to forgive me.


The things I cannot say posture as mess.
The night’s a broken filter: a cold cloud
arranging over day’s geranium surfaces,
where I police me for all that is too loud

and too base and this is the tick which brings me
to wanting. Here, the pasture is thick though my coat
of arms is made of shards, and each one sinks me
in a hole, and sets me against me as a moat

I wait beside on the shore smelling of rust and knife,
here, because my page is full. The footsteps
downstairs, you hear, just there, are my other life
I hear them and yes, they are my other life, swept

awake downstairs to walk around as if
I cannot hear them living all across it.

Sarah Burgoyne is an experimental poet. Her first collection Saint Twin (Mansfield: 2016) was a finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize in Poetry (2016), awarded a prize from l'Académie de la vie littéraire (2017) and shortlisted for a Canadian ReLit Award. Other works have appeared in journals across Canada and the U.S., have been featured in scores by American composer J.P. Merz and have appeared with or alongside the visual art of Susanna Barlow, Jamie Macaulay and Joani Tremblay. She currently lives and writes in Montreal. Her next manuscript will be published with Coach House Press in Spring 2021.

Popular posts from this blog

submissions :: where is the river

Up to six poems in a single .doc file with author biography and photo to

All rights revert to the author/s upon publication.

about :: where is the river

where is the river :: a poetry experiment is a bi-monthly poetry journal open to a variety of aesthetics, forms and experiences, with a preference towards showcasing work by emerging writers. There is no single path, nor any single way. Founded in September 2017. Edited by Kiefer JD Logan.

Elidio La Torre Lagares :: Six poems

walking in Rome
male cicadas foretell the sun
the distance of rain as we walk
through Rome on the 25th of July:
the history of Empire

i touch the breath of fireinside
my mouth birds peck at
dormant words under my steps

roads lead into alibis for an idea of time
when tutte strada vanno a Roma

lady Cicadas, on the other hand, treasure
silence around the marbled stories
of Villa Burghese

Sophie walks beside me painting
the air longing dreams
the world conforms a canvasher voice
a ripe fruit that floats
on the Roman landscape

from the hills of Villa Medici the city
spreads like the wings of an eagle of light
constantly diffusing emergingsomehow
the impending clearance of dependences
melts with the gradation of memories the precise
clockwork of stages

with loss and life to gain

clouds travel homeless


The Roman Colosseum-
round as a certainty
or the eye of a hurricane-
was once one of the
seventh wonders
of the world. But, little
is known of it compared
to the years it has outlasted
time and earth…