All copyright © 2003 remains with the authors.
All copyright © 2004 remains with the authors.

Harriet Zinnes


Rain it is
and gorges
sometimes cascades
and of course
marshes, rivers, streams.
And lakes?
Yes, lakes.

There are mountains, too,
and plateaux,

The crevices are careless,
and the trees are simply there.

Look ahead now
and see the cows
asleep on the grass.
Yes, asleep,
even as the farmer cuts the hay
and roses grow near the house.

Always watchful for the birds
who fly near the mushrooms.
The farmer is hesitant;
his wife is weary.

Harriet Zinnes, NYC, USA, 4.28pm, 7/03/03



Out of desire
no, within desire,
during desire,
and all its ways.
Which ways?
fulfilled desire,
its smile,
and wry effects;
the happenstance
of its consummation,
the rule of its slippery steps,
the relief and its sanguinity.
Its ache and its final surcease
when emotion is motion
and the smile turns to sleep.

Harriet Zinnes


He Waits

Is that elan
or elegance
or disquiet?

The tombs are near,
and the prisoners do not stir.

It is the silent man on the street corner
who is waiting.
For what is the man waitng?
The traffic light has registered so many times
and yet he waits.
Waits on the street corner
and the cars pass and pass.

Harriet Zinnes, NYC, USA


Taste Them

Do not add them to your memory
of word shapes.
Taste them. Taste them.
such as
applique, embroidery, batik, pigment.
Do not swallow them.
Let the lips maneuver them.
Let them lie on the lips,
but do not bite them
Let them wallow wallow wallow.
The taste will be the surprise.
What will be swallowed
will be sound.
the memory of sound,
the unheard noise of sound.
Applique, embroidery, batik, pigment.

Harriet Zinnes
11:54 a m.
New York City



The rust on the window,
the spot on the table,
but the scent, the scent.
Lilacs bursting white and blue,
the vases seemingly tilted
to hold the petals and leaves.
The sun shines through the window
and the grass the grass
still too green to compete
with the blossoming.
Is it summer still?
Will the rain come again,
even as the flowers will wilt
and the sand along the seashore
will long have lost their footprints.

Harriet Zinnes
September 24, 2003
New York City
8:30 pm



It is like that
but it is a game
like that
and not
and all the same
Its essence may change
but it is like that
and it is not

Variation is a scale of being
and being is
and is not
It is like that
and it is not

Be wary

Harriet Zinnes
12:17 pm



In the meantime
out of time no music
Oh, words, where are you
so absent in the song

Harriet Zinnes


In the meantime
Out of time no music
Oh words, where are you
so absent in the song.
Be here. Be here.
We will listen.

Harriet Zinnes


Before Our Eyes

Before our eyes
and nothing and meaning
and pragmatism
and the roots of trees
the leaves of the flowers
the demeanor of the insolent child
the worshiper in tears in the pew
Before our eyes
and pragmatism
and ening
and the nothing of clouds
the rain the snow the leaves

Now the door opens
the church bells a ringing
and the roots of the trees
not before our eyes.

-----Harriet Zinnes


They Are All There

The red-winged blackbirds
wild hogs
Portuguese men -of- war
They are all there
but do we see them
and if we see them
how do they affect our lives?
Gecko or crab
the wind
a storm
the sea
They are all there
Wilderness, deserts
They are all there

Skyscrapers fall down.

Harriet Zinnes



Is it deaths for oil,
oh, America,
that new found land,
by men without vision
who speak without compassion
that they advocate
even as the people behind them
voice their money ambitions.
Peace it is
against war.
It is time to hear that call.

----Harriet Zinnes


It Is One

It is One.
It is No one.
It is Being.
It is Nonbeing.
It is Self.
It is non-Self.
It is.
Isness is all.
All is isness.
Being nonbeing
where nowhere
where no is where
and where is nowhere.
Function is fluid.
Rapidity is slow
Slowness dwindles
Time is.

Harriet Zinnes


The Veranda

On the veranda
with its closed-in stairs
you've wandered too close
like the children's three bears
with your sparkling champagne
in the immaculate glass.
No, no, I'll walk out the door
out the door, out the door
out of the ancient French door
near the overpass.

-- Harriet Zinnes
New York City
May 25, 2004



Pontormo, Parmigianino, Modigliani
with their elongated figures
Mannerists --
long sharp noses,
mouths, oh mouths,
where is that bare slot,
that tilt of the head
Renaissance? No.
Early twentieth
He, tubercular,
dead at thirty-five,
in 1920.
His nudes that shut down
his Paris show
now luring the crowds.

Harriet Zinnes, NYC


I am not a river.
I am not time.
I am a body in time that is,
in time that is not.
The river flows.
The blood in my body flows.
I am not a river.
The blood in my body flows.
There is time.
There is no time.
The blood in my body flows.
Time demurs. It waits.
The blood in my body flows

Harriet Zinnes
Sunday, June 13, 2004
12:00 midnight.


Poetryetc is a listserv relating to poetry and poetics which provides a forum for poets to debate their critical and creative work. The list has over the years run a number of projects for its members, of which Snapshots has been the most enduring.

Every Wednesday, Poetryetc members were invited to post short poems on any subject or in any form they chose. The idea was to make a poetic collage of instamatic “snaps” of that day that reflected the international membership of the list. The project has generated an astounding number of poems.

The first two runs, of six weeks each, and the first ten weeks of the third run, are archived at Wild Honey Press under Poetryetc Project. The rest - amounting in all to a run of a year - are archived here.

Poetryetc, like its affiliate Salt Publishing (, was founded by Australian poet John Kinsella. Salt is managed by Christopher Hamilton-Emery (, while Poetryetc is owned by Alison Croggon ( Poetryetc is now archived at and anyone interested can join from that url.

To contact the listowner: Alison Croggon

These pages are designed, maintained, and hosted by Rebecca Seiferle, the Editor of The Drunken Boat. To email.