Margret Saine

Margaret Saine


Margaret Saine was born in Germany and lives in Southern California, where she taught Spanish. She writes poetry and short stories in five languages, and regularly translates other poets. She has written prefaces for seven books of poetry. Her books in English are “Bodyscapes,” “Words of Art,” and 5 haiku chapbooks, plus several poetry mss. to be published: “Reading Your Lips”; “The Five Senses: Erotic Poems in Alphabetical Order”; “A Love in Winter”; and “Music of Reflected Light: Water Poems.” She is currently working on a volume of ekphrastic poems about music, art, and literature. In 2015 she published her Postwar childhood memoir “Ungeschicktes Kind” [Awkward Child] and a book of poems, “Das Flüchtige bleibt” [The Ephemeral Remains] in Germany. Her poetry has also appeared in Italy, France, Chile, Mexico, Jordania, India, and the Philippines. Margaret Saine is an editor of the California Poetry Quarterly, called CQ.


Wizened and veined
the wilted hands
of maple leaves
that the wind blows
over the path
scraping the cement

Gouging the dirt
with their tips
claws that want them
to stay around

Autumn makes room
-swinging the broom-
for new spring

Peeking out
tender buds in chartreuse
wishing to be seen

Orange willow rods
swishing the breeze
alive in the wind
breathing water and air

NB After the first winter rains, spring comes to Southern California while it is still fall, leaves falling…


My river
that doesn’t want tears
–enough water, thank you
and no salt, please–
my river that floats me
supports my dreams
and ferries new ones
by wave express
my river that
moves me gently
along the shores of life
that pass before my eyes
but I shall remain tied to
my river that doesn’t
want my tears


After we said
good-bye forever
you stand there still
before me
and next and behind me
on my retina
in back of my mind

A statue of stone
always there moving
yet seeming immobile

Time is slower than memory
ferrying our atoms
to their demise
eroding our profiles
[even in FB]
in rivers of forgetting
crumbling bodies into atoms
who may or may not
be lying together
–one in perfect balance
with the other–
in some meandering stream
drifting towards the sea

My relentless memory
my optic
myopically preserves
the Mount Rushmore
of my memories


I am the stranger
tickled by lights
who walks over grass
playing with the shadows
in my garden

Strange guest
amid sprinkles of dew
they lick my feet
and cannas dispense
the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
that grief and heavy dream demand

The city in the name of stones
relentlessly corrodes morsel by morsel
but in my garden
stones turning to sand earth dirt
twinkle with beauty’s spark

And the earth rises
leaf on leaf
bud on bud and
flower on flower
toward the light
she rises and shines

I gasp a breath from the tree
I gulp a paradise in the shared air
of hummingbirds and butterflies
alighting with a whirr
I drink the drift
of stealthy vines
hidden gingers hyacinths
engaged in a shadow dance

I ride the wave from the deep
sucked up by the morning sun
caught in the reflecting light
of the earth
nature’s water diamond

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