Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"Âme en Peine à Paris" by Heidi Seaborn

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “Âme en Peine à Paris” by Heidi Seaborn.  Seaborn started writing poetry in 2016 after three decades as a marketing executive. Since then, her work has appeared in over forty journals and anthologies, among them Nimrod, Penn Review, and American Journal of Poetry. She is a graduate of Stanford University and serves on the editorial staff of The Adroit Journal.  She lives in Seattle.  Find out more about her at

Âme en Peine à Paris
Heidi Seaborn                        
            ~November 2015

Paris written down my naked arms,
"Drapeau Français" Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
its shimmering seam of truth and lies.
Ghosts sip espresso in café bars.

In the Seine, peonies float, stars
of pink petals reflect the clotted sky,
shadows written down my naked arms.

Wooden boats, a sepia pond far
from the boy with lashed, dusk eyes.
Ghosts sip espresso in café bars,

suck les huîtres off the shell, carve
steak from bone with silver knives,
Paris is written down my naked arms.

In caverns beneath speeding cars,
red dress swirls away Paris’ demise
to a ghost sipping espresso in café bars.

Paris’ shimmering seam: river of stars,
succor, sucre for Ars
poetica written down my naked arms,
I sip espresso with her ghosts in café bars.

Poet’s Notes:  This villanelle was written as a love letter to Paris—a city that I know and love so well—post the terrorist attacks. The poem speaks to the vibrancy and constancy of a city that endures and that all who pass through carry the imprint of Paris with them. 

Editor’s Note:  This is a haunting villanelle and beautiful elegy for that tragic day in Paris.  My poem that was inspired by the same events may be found here 

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