Ann Zoller

This poem and the following poem ("What Speaks") explore the experience of  love and matters of the spirit.


My primal need is to 
love and be loved,
to be kissed under the moon
and to let its light fill the room
while I feed berries to my lover.
I want to hear music while we  

feed our bodies.
I want to walk in light all night
as we sleep in a spoon of  dream,  

as our spirits sip from a cup
of desire.  So simple -
to let the spirit slide into this cloud  

of blue music, this halo of energy
from god who loves us
and speaks from the heart  

inside our soul, the soul
inside the universe,
inside the eyes of  every lover.

             —Ann Zoller 
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The seed grew into a star
and the boat took them
into the cavity
where light shattered
their eyes.
Once two trees leaned close
to earth, their roots tight,
until the dress on the moon
split open and the train
circled the sky.
Out of the chest a bird
glided by to lead
the way home.
Only when we travel outside
trees soaked with leaves
do we ride the spirit and enter
the water.

             Ann Zoller

*  *  *  *  *  *  *
The following poem was previously published in Nimrod International Journal, Vol. 30, Number 1, Fall/Winter 1986, and is reprinted here with their permission.


My other self is a thin statue
I call Jenny.  She hovers
when my eyes squint before a storm,
her wings invisible, rattle silence
as she flies ahead of me,
coaxing with her black hair streaming
in the night wind.

Jenny is my inside part gone out
into the world, she gave
directions when I spied
on men castrating pigs with pocket knives.
Pigs screamed behind the shed
and farmers laughed too loud.
Jenny took my hand as I blessed
the bleeding pigs,
as I offered garlands of violets
to their foamy mouths.  Within the eyes
of pigs I learned the pain of survival.

Jenny is the other, my name
of grace who lives inside the black moon
and wears owl robes when the pond
shines with ghastly light.
I ask her what’s in store
as though she will tell me
how the red squirrel remembers
acorns hidden from other winters. 

She tells me to study the river,
feel the drop of rain before it falls,
she tells me I will be ready
when the apparitions sing lines
of the poem and bring me fish.

Under the weight of blankets
when fever gives me a second body
I enter an envelope above the bed,
a place where candles ignite
and wings thrum as harps.
There is no time there,
only softness like a fuzzy comet
that pauses in its journey
beyond this room.

Jenny is the self that moves
between the worlds, a being
that does not speak,
her sound quiet as green
inside the bud that hasn’t formed.

            —Ann Zoller

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

The following poem was also previously published in Nimrod International Journal, in Vol. 38, No.1, Fall/Winter 1995, and is reprinted here with their permission.


If you know what happened to the shoes
beside the barn, would you tell the woman
shrouded in sealskin?  She went to the water’s edge,
sprawled in the wave and did not tell anyone

about eating blood sausage, the smell
of fried blood so sweet it hung like a prayer
outside the door, an odor that sneaked
in windows when all there was was gauze

and a faint shape like a child’s thin body
washed in the moon.  To survive
is not enough, to make it through the long
field where corn waved like maniacs

in green with straw hair.  Oh no, one needs
to heal, sew the heart together and paint
a pretty face over the picture smeared with crayons
and charcoal.  Perhaps the milk from the lonely

cows will not sour now and mother’s trick
of clabbering the cream high on a shelf
in the cupboard will work like magic?
And after healing scars and selling

all the family plates, will she finally
thrive, swim out to sea and wear a fine
new dress, made of silk with a madras design?
Did the soul take on a seal’s coat,

the slick skin falling through the sea
on a circular journey,
and did the boat come home,
sliding through the water of the night?

            —Ann Zoller

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