Zoë Translates

Poems, original and translated.

Original works

To a muse (haiku)

Heart of the lotus Labyrinthine mystery Adorns your bosom


This shall be the beginning of the end. The ghosts are putting on dance shoes again. Mothers prepare daughters for unknown joy That for once will outlast daily despair. I’ll go meet you in the familiar street, When dawn is pregnant with light after rain, Without knowing whether you will be there.

To a poet

Was I indeed lucky To witness your descent? You struck with no warning Like tears from surging joy. An angel’s last message Before her death in flames: Your gift of fresh meaning Already in decay. But what you’ve made in me Can’t simply be unmade. And I desire What brought you here


An asteroid travels in resonance With Jovian orbit around the Sun. Unstable, also invariable, Caressed by nothing but solar gleam. A fragment lost in the aftershock Of wondrous, one-of-its-kind events. Forgotten, formless, and fossil-like, It keeps traversing an empty space. But planets are perturbative. A touch is usually strong enough

The rose

With my left hand I repel and embrace. With my right hand I create and destroy. I stand before you, both hands free. We remember past hopes and joy. Listen to this moment – silence is alive. Nothing divides and nothing draws us close. Attention is all we exchange, Attention in the shape of rose.

Aubade (of the roads)

Nothing quite prepared us for this, but here we are. You lie asleep in the back seats, and all I see, Through the rear mirror, are empty roads unfolding. Turning off the headlights, as golden solar rays Are about to fall from the sparsely-clouded sky, I drive on, not too fast, in the wordless morning.

After Cædmon

Now let us praise the keeper of Planet Heaven, Our Goddess, friend and leader in love and justice, And their bold, empowering plan. We celebrate each and every wonder that she, Ever-present father of beauty, has instilled Firmly in who we truly are. In their very first work is this people, children

Old poems

Dans la vie intérieure, le temps tient lieu d’espace. (In the inner life, time takes the place of space.) Simone Weil, La Pesanteur et la Grâce (Gravity and Grace) Inside [the black hole’s horizon] … [what used to be a spatial coordinate] is the time … The singularity … is not a place in space; it is a moment in time.

A riddle

What is the root of spring, And the eye of summer, And the harvest of fall, And the heart of winter?