Sample Poems by Anne Harding
One-Eyed Carp at the
She slow-swims close to the sides
of the aquarium. Parallel to
confident of direction.
Her good eye against the glass
sees her self-eye
the other eye, tight membrane,
sightless against place,
which is a china castle
dyed-blue stones in forests of green
for oxygen in a watery confine.
eyes were where my ears are,
hurt would be invisible for me, too.
Pain lies in front, dead
If I close one eye, it's all flatness-
no perspective of pastrami, herring,
slaw, the slices and the knives-
as if they paper a wall without texture.
both eyes open, I look down
a road-like counter that recedes
into its own
and I perceive the vanishing, head on.
Glass Eyes in
the Museum Case
If eyes make up a face,
only half a face
and is buried deep
with the flesh and bones
of those who didn't
perspective's 3rd dimension.
With one good eye, not two,
what does a person
How flat the planet really is.
Depth is overlooked
without an f-stop.
here the eyes that didn't see
endure, all of glass, blues
and browns, even bloodshot
the rheumy prince,
irises that eddy in the spheres.
What a Slave Wore
Lord, I'm standing here wondering,
will a matchbox hold my
sung by Ma Rainey, 1923
The museum is looking for slave clothes,
are hard to find. They turned into rags
and evaporated long ago. Their holes
beyond the coarse fabric, dull plaids and checks,
till they became the air that fed
So yes, of course they'll fit in a matchbox, Lord.
And we will all try to
wear what was worn,
the frocks and breeches sewn by the owned seamstress.
We will wear
what was worn until we're unclothed at last,
when we see each other, all of us, in broad
and the search will be over.
Greek Urn on a Greek
a black & white-figured red urn, Corfu
See the picture of a black &
urn painted here on the side of a red urn,
like a play within a play.
black and white against the red:
how tenderly colors share surfaces.
Look at the story
circling this red urn:
See the white face in profile
of a richly draped woman, her arm
in anger at the black & white urn.
White, too, the hair of the old
who rests on a rock, his white beard
seeming to move on his chin with his every
and his eyes pleading as he tries to explain.
She snarls her warning of
for his dallying, when he should have been carrying-
should have carried
the simple black & white urn back to the store room.
Of course she too belongs
to the threat,
but unlike him she's oblivious
to her own imprisonment on the side of
caught in a clash that will endure for
Krakow: Street Art,
The sound of the 6th Commandment sweeps
with the wind that moves
poring over the empty figures we see chalked
on the concrete walls like
of homicide detectives, their outlines white
and powdery, ephemeral bodies from
to be washed away with the gentlest of rain.
That's how easily oblivion
into what is already an abyss.
And yet after-images on the inner eye
forgetting at bay,
not unlike the Ferber plaque that lists
the eighty-eight from one family