Hélène Cardona









In Dreams Like Rain


In dreams like rain

my mother visits.

A bird in the shower

takes messages:

Stalk a deeper world.

I hear Blake’s voice, walk through

the forest, and Yeats, reflect the light.

In this pool I turn into fish.


My multi facial appearance

springs open like a fan.

An array of Buddhist visages,

I’m not looking like myself.


I’m the seed, kernel

chromatic radiance

cherry blossom of a heart

extended into wind

fairy dance

poetic memory




© Hélène Cardona

From Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry 2013)



Quiescent Infinite


On a visit to my ancestors I’m shown

into the palace of hypnotists

through a small entrance and grand rounding staircase,

each step a drawer containing sculptures.

The landing expands into huge vistas

over fountains, centaurs and other creatures,

statues come alive, stunning spectacle.

Windows open onto a lake

– adorned by willows and vines –

whose surface, smooth and silver,

reflects the astonished beauty

of mutable selves riveted on the horizon.



© Hélène Cardona

From Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry 2013)



Pathway to Gifts


                  when my soul turned round,

                                      perceiving the other-side of everything…

                                                  ~ H.D.


Whispers wake me.

I return home

behind a procession of swans

to an island in the heart of Paris.

On the cliffs where the wild ones come

to show themselves,

I sing this whistling song,

look at the other side of the world

as if a deck of cards spread out

to peek under and flip over

for a glimpse at the hidden side.

The dream opens forgotten realms of creation.

I think that’s what time is.



© Hélène Cardona

From Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry 2013)













The new book from Salmon Poetry for Europe:



The book for the US:










Hélène Cardona is the author of Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry 2013) and The Astonished Universe (Red Hen Press 2006). She attended Hamilton College, where she also taught French and Spanish, the University of Cantabria, Spain, and the Sorbonne, where she earned a Master’s in American Literature. She taught at the Ecole Bilingue, Paris, and LMU, Los Angeles. She’s widely published, notably in The Dublin Review of Books, The Irish Literary Times, The Warwick Review, Washington Square and Poetry International. Hélène translated the Lawrence Bridges film Muse of Fire for the NEA and What We Carry by Dorianne Laux into French, and the poetry of her father José Manuel Cardona, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Aloysius Bertrand, and Jean-Claude Renard into English. She received fellowships from the Goethe Institut and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. Acting credits include Chocolat, Mumford, The Muppets, Serendipity, Red 2 and Happy Feet 2.







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