Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You are not the object of desire

You are not the object of desire, you see.
You are the symptom of lack of reason, of judgment.
Or it is possible that you are a symptom of circumstance.
You are the idea of a man – a man who may
Be unlike the men who constantly disappoint.

Therefore, I absolve you of this vile inheritance
Of contempt; you are pure until you defile yourself
With words which yield no fruitful sentiment
Or you fail to follow with action which fulfills their promises.
I doubt you will submit to such imprudence.

You may become aware of this desire I hold;
But, it may be too late for this weary traveler.
I will have tired of longing for longing’s sake.
And when the symptom of desire subsides,
The only things left will be the prospect of the future
And the memories of regret that shape it.

© 2012 Helena Malheur

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Words Whispered to No one

Cast your eyes toward the shed; the trees
no longer hide my street from view.
on a shaded hill-side, front and back –
gazing upon the water, I sing
to the Buddhists in your court.
Their howl is heard a thousand miles away;
It is evidenced by this great pretense.

You must forgive the silence in these walls,
and the darkness seeping through the halls.
Sadness is stretching its hands, pushing
through the ceiling, ever downward –
a slow, unyielding force to which I must relent.

My mind follows an intricate maze like a rat;
and like a nomad belonging nowhere,
I go everywhere, seek everything, and find nothing.
Palpable longings pale in this caustic moon –
the moon wearing its fitted rim of light;
in night’s flailing fabrication of heat,
words whispered to no one fall on idle ears.   

©  2012 Helena Malheur

Monday, December 17, 2012

Oh Love

Oh love!  Would it be fair to love you so 
as you know not where my heart’s desires lie?

Alone with the night, I am ever awake 
climbing a dream like a skilled mountaineer 
with reaching hopes; I live to love and
love to live your blues. And the world
is undoubtedly bluest at daylight’s break.  

You hold the world in your palm, spin it
on your finger.  Yet, I shan't overlook 
your ambiguous words and un-tucked whims. 

You mustn't talk foolishly whilst I lean  
even more awkwardly forward, steadfast
and right.  If you only seek possibilities 
but nothing more, don’t despair; 
I will forever be tender-hearted –
forgo temptations to breathe without you –.

My disobedience of reason will endure.
And the consumption of my heart, my soul,
shall fare to seek remedy from your embrace. 

©  2012 Helena Malheur

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The lost gather upon your road

The lost gather upon your road
and raise their arms in supplication;
but there are others who surrender
to their raw needs as desperation
heightens the urgency.

I’m always steps away from calling
but something keeps pulling me back;
I see your porch light is always on,
waiting for me to come home.
I won’t disappoint you this time, father.

I’ve hesitated one too many times
as I approached your gate,
for fear that I am no longer pure;
I had strayed for so long.

I am like a worldly ghost
looking to escape a shadow
that keeps trailing me.
Let your light shine upon my path;
and let it be seen far and wide. 

Helena Malheur 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

If I could turn the shade of the moon

The moon hangs heavy,
stretching its blues upon the sky.
Tender moments with you
are lost under the weight of this night.
I think of your wavering heart and this
elastic space between us;

It’s strange how space expands and contracts
with each laughter, each tear,
each loving word, or frustrated tone.

If I could turn the shade of the moon,
I would paint it white,
brighter than the whitest white you’ve ever seen.
Will that make it easier for you to see me?  
Or will you still be afraid of the dark? 

©  2012 Helena Malheur

Monday, September 17, 2012

a hundred romantic verses,,,

I sleep, clinging to the pillow
your head had rested on, once.
I cannot kiss its lips, nor can I depend
on its arms to hold me, or its hands
to caress my face; but the memories of you
dance across its body like a montage of scenes.

I watch the night sky glitter with a million stars.
I know you see it too.
The moon whispers my name;
it calls for me to give in,
to surrender my heart to love
without reservation, expectation or doubt.
It summons me to feel the freedom
of living without fear. I try but it isn’t easy.

I watch the light seep into my room –
the crickets must have seen it too –;
I take a breath, abandon my mind
to follow nature’s calling, your calling.
Distance can be so cruel,
and yet it can ignite a fire inside you,
rouse an insatiable longing and desire
to fuel a hundred romantic verses.

This is number one and I wrote it for you…

©  2012 Helena Malheur

Monday, August 27, 2012

Laughing again, living again, loving again….

The room is empty.
The world seems quiet,
Except for the cricket’s chirr.
I sit in the vacant terrace
Where you used to sit.
I sip from a glass,
Red wine that tastes
Bitter now,
With memories trailing
behind each drop.

I look back at the room;
It seems so much bigger;
It’s too big for me –
This world is too big.
But, I'm starting to feel
as if I'm growing with the world
Since you left.
I want to feel small again;
I need to feel small again,
To be held in your arms,
Like a child.

Though you are miles away,
I feel your breath around my neck;
Let go and I'll let go of you. 
It's time we left it all behind.
I am ready 
To give myself a chance,
To start laughing again, 
Living again, loving again…. 

2012 Helena Malheur

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The beach

The sounds of the world
undulate like the waves of the ocean.
White birds circle above my head.
I smell the sea;
I feel it between my toes.
The sand's stuck to my feet.
A breeze carries the music
of children's laughter.
Boys, shirtless, barefoot,
preen for girls with bare bellies,
tattoos and tan lines...

Ah, to be young again!

©  2012 Helena Malheur


I live in a world of delusions and artistry,
where every work is an interpretation
of my imagination.
And my imagination has no bounds;
It neither has a beginning nor an end.

He is the vision, a reality based diversion --
nameless, faceless, voiceless --
and exists only to feed the scenarios
invented to accommodate this work,
this piece of dynamic art based on delusion
and imagination. And yet, I feel nothing.

There is a world which knows nothing
of the freedom imagination affords;
I refuse to live there. Still,
I want the fortitude to live among the brave
who dare to love freely and exclusively so.

As an answer to my wish,
I discovered that I am a part of that world.
After all, I feel something real, something tangible --
the tightening chest, the quickening breath --.
it isn't a delusion; it is real as he has become real.

He even have a name, a face, a voice;
and I hear every word he speaks
as if these were words I heard for the first time.
But if he asked, I will categorically deny I love him,
because I fear my heart will be broken
before our affair has begun.

©  2012 Helena Malheur

Saturday, June 16, 2012


You must know that we will end sometime.
For me, sometime will come too soon.
It interrupts my dreams,
shakes me awake in the middle of the night.

It is raining now. I feel the rain falling on my hair
and I remember how much you love the rain.
So, I dance in the grass, bare footed like a child,
and I wait for you to come back and take me inside.

I wish to sink inside the curves of your arms,
watch your eyes stare mine still and
feel our thirsty breaths become quenched.
And for a moment, I want to fall in love with you.

Instead, I'll find myself sinking deeper into reality 
like a boulder sinks in the sea.
and your breath will become colder,
your eyes won't hold my gaze and I'll pull away;

fear itself trembles inside my chest
at the thought of falling in love with you.
I wish I could let go, just for a moment,
so I can recall the freedom of feeling everything.

But I've learned that feelings open new wounds 
like burrowing a hole in the pit of my gut;
I neither have the will nor the energy 
to forget another once more.  

Could it be that I am already there?
Am I in love with you and I don’t know it?
I belong to no one and no one belongs to me;
It is the only truth I know and there is freedom in that too.  

© 2012 Helena Malheur 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Shattered Vase

You collected wild flowers,
rested them on my head like a crown;
I was your queen.
The rest, you rearranged over my heart --
the meeting place
of bees, lovers and butterflies.

We were the envy of strangers.
Like a Monet, distance was our ally.

They glanced at us,
they wanted to look closer but
we kept moving
further and further away from them
because that was how we were meant to be seen.

You see that glamorous frame?
It is nothing but cardboard.

And the picture
you believed is a masterful work of art
is just a million puzzle pieces --
a million puzzle pieces that don’t fit together,
glued together.

I used to talk for hours without saying anything.
I spoke of nothing because you did not hear me. 

With every word left unheard,
every little piece mislaid and ground to ash
and the lies arbitrarily falling into the cracks
of the broken vase,
there was nothing left to restore.

The flowers had wilted. The crown had fallen.
But you saw what they wanted to see.

You asked me to hold it together one more time.
Were these words of wisdom or folly?
I knew these pieces did not fit together.
And one cannot put together shattered glass
and call it a vase again. 

© 2012 Helena Malheur 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Root of Your Words

Like the wind tosses 
autumn leaves,
sorrow has strewn 
my memory--
it's spotty at best.
But if I close my eyes,
I can still feel your hands
caress my hair as I slept--
they’re even softer, gentler
in the darkness.

And sometimes
I see a glimpse of you 
in the mirror. 
I see you 
behind swaying curtains
and swinging doors; 
I know you are there, but 
I can never find you 
when I look for you; 
and I choose to run away 
to a place that is safer than this.

But when the spring lilies bloom
their stems sprout
above the root of your words;
I know them all too well. 
They tell me that
your God has not left me.
They tell me that
your God is my God.
And he will be good to me
as he was good to you.
And that one day, 
I will find you
when I look for you.

© 2012 Helena Malheur

For my mother (Dec 1942- Apr 2006)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Maybe Someday

I shall not hold you.
Instead, I’ll watch you, your hands
and the unusual gestures of
your long fingers and arms.
It used to puzzle me;
now, I find it intolerably charming.

I forget to breathe in
each time I hear your voice.
I am mesmerized by every word,
every inflection; and yet,
I stop listening the moment we lock eyes
and it feels impossible to move.  

I shall not kiss you.
Instead, I’ll let my lips caress your name
as yours do mine (even though
you mispronounce my name);
It will have to do until someday.
Maybe someday, you'll know me the same way. 

© 2012 Helena Malheur

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Is this love sung out loud? / Est-ce l'amour chanté à haute voix?

Is this love sung out loud?

I hear his heart beating,
from here.
I smell the rain on his hair --
his cap to the side,
his eyes on his guitar.

I listen to his words
and the sounds
rolling off his tongue
like gentle waves at my toes;
I know them
as if they were mine.

his melancholy notes
stretch and recoil;
I step closer and closer,
inch nearer and nearer
to his thoughts
until he is too close

and the melody quivers
as it leaves his throat --
it surges through my heart.

Is this love
seeping through
my skin, my core?

Is this what love sounds like
when it is sung out loud?

Est-ce l'amour chanté à haute voix?

J'entends son coeur battre,
à partir d'ici.
Je me sens la pluie sur ses cheveux --
sa casquette sur le côté,
ses yeux sur sa guitare;

Je l'écoute de ses mots
et les sons
rouler hors de sa langue
comme des vagues douces à mes orteils.
Je les connais
comme si elles étaient miennes.

ses notes mélancoliques
étirement et de recul;
Je fais un pas de proche en proche,
pouces plus près de ses pensées
jusqu'à ce qu'il soit trop près de moi

sa mélodie carquois
quand elle laisse la gorge,
surtensions dans mon cœur.

Est-ce l'amour
qui s'infiltre à travers
ma peau, mon cœur?

Est-ce ce que l'amour ressemble?
Est-ce l'amour chanté à haute voix?

© 2012 Helena Malheur

J'ai écrit ce poème en Français à pratiquer l'apprentissage de la langue. C'est un travail en cours ...
Yes, the all familiar "I'm practicing my French" speech in my broken french above! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

un autre cliché à nouveau

fortunes sont venus et repartis
l'amour est perdu et retrouvé
et a perdu de nouveau,
mais la vie continue comme si de
rien ne s'est passé

personne ne reconnaît la vérité
personne ne vit à regretter
personne ne dit rien

l'air stagnant s'installe
dans une salle vide
les gens vivent ensemble,
mais ils se mentir à l'autre
et ils à accepter le mensonge -
un moyen de vie
ils ne peuvent pas faire sans

et c'est la vie, parfois
mais Je me refuse à l'accepter
Je veux être une solitaire
une amant, une errant folle
qui connaît le droit chemin

et je ne céderai pas
et je ne vais pas attendre
pour devenir un autre cliché à nouveau

© 2012 Helena Malheur
J'ai écrit ce poème en Français à pratiquer l'apprentissage de la langue. C'est un travail en cours ...

Saturday, February 4, 2012


There is silence in the things I collect. I know each one.
Each has its use; it outlives it and is replaced.
There is freedom in silence, in perfect desolation,
isolation from noise and the imposition of others.

There is a narrative of the past, a quilt of love 
and loss, a heart covered in a web of stitches.
There are empty spaces, shallow depths,
a vacancy that desperately seeks a lodger.

There is a strength that holds me firmly to the ground –
a hurricane cannot shake me, move me, touch me;
and yet, the slightest breeze from his lips sways me.

There is a world of fantasy that intrudes on my thoughts
and when I let it in, I travel without ever leaving.
I travel to a place where the stars dance upon the sky
like a hypnotic chorus line crafted by a master magician.

There is a wondrous string of presumptions, predictions
and delusions woven like a dream-like-scene –
a phantasmagoria of motion and light –
rehearsed in my mind like an act from a Shakespeare play.

And there is a man, his fingers poised over tired strings
I wait for him to strike the first note; but when he does,
it is like he’s tuning an instrument with tone-deaf ears.

Still, I have not forgotten the reverberations of love;
the melody is stuck in my head, repeating over and over,
and the words are on the tip-of-my-tongue.

2012 © Helena Malheur  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I will never forget you

For G.G. 

I will not forget you,
not yesterday or tomorrow --
not even when birds rejoice in song
or the sun sets upon the ocean shore.

I’ll wait for the rain to cleanse my woes
and bathe the earth with tears of love;
let love soak deeper into this desperate soil
beneath the budding leaves of grass,

and I'll watch 'em grow taller, stronger, lovelier... 

I will never forget you,
not in this moment or the last
nor in the next or the next after that.

© 2012 Helena Malheur