Harriet Zinnes: Three poems

"Imagination Dead. Imagine."

            -- Samuel Beckett

It is late.
Stars in the sky.
The Big Dipper. Gleaming.
The hovering trees.

The red blossoms close.

Farther along the path
seeming wilderness

Nothing in the palm of the hand.

Plan the day, if necessary,

Tokens fall from the subway box.
It is not clear who won the game.

Games in the night.
Not backgammon, of course.

The wedding took place on the couch.
Only Roger the cat was witness.
Barbecues would not follow.
Only rain dripping on the patched-up roof.

It needs repair, she said.


What on the page and on the canvas
if not sun?
If not word,

Ah, white on white.
Blueness eludes.
No sky.

There is no kite.

Sanctity, surmise?

Into the lagoon
the work of art.


A dysfunction.
It is not just fruit on the table
though the wine is sour.
Clouds form
even as water in a pale green pitcher
and rimmed in gold
is a havoc of perturbation.
Clearly ghostly.

Desperate are the fingers throbbing.
Now on the pitcher.
Now on a glass that appears and disappears.

Outside snow freezes quickly on the window.
At least the pitcher stands still, she murmured.
But it is murky, he said.