Anne Whitehouse

Summer Interlude

I didn’t see it coming
when I walked slam bang
into an immense web
anchored to trees
along the path.

Jumping sideways
I narrowly avoided
the black, hairy spider.

A posse of red-nosed flies
with black-and white-striped wings—
how did they get into the house?


Outside from the Inside

From Isamu Noguchi to Man Ray, Poston War Relocation Center, May 30, 1942

Here, in the internment camp
in the Arizona desert
our preoccupations have shrunk
to a minimum—
the intense dry heat,
afternoon dust storms,
and the difficulty of feeding ourselves
on thirty-five cents a day.
Outside from the inside
it seems history has taken flight
and passes forever.

Here time has stopped and nothing
is of any consequence,
nothing of any value,
neither our time nor our skill.
But I must remind myself,
work is the conversation
I have with myself,
and space is supplied
by the imagination.

Here, there is the memory
of ancient places,
wind and sun, endlessness,
where I came from and where
one day I will go.

Oh, for a mountain peak,
a glacier glistening in the sun.
Oh, for an orange,
Oh, for the sea.


Anne Whitehouse

In 1976, I took a Transcendental Meditation class. The student price was $35, the best $35 I ever spent. While I don’t practice TM everyday, I have found it an invaluable aid for writing. Sometimes I will be sitting at my computer, and I’ll start to fall asleep. Then I know it’s time for a meditation session. Or I’ll be trying to write, and my brain will feel tied up in knots. Or my to-do list will invade my thoughts. Meditation makes a clear space in my mind, like the limpid surface of a lake, where writing can emerge.

Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections, including Meteor Shower (Dos Madres, 2016), The Refrain (Dos Madres, 2012), and Blessings and Curses (Poetic Matrix, 2009). She is the author of a novel, Fall Love, as well as short stories, essays, features, and reviews. Recent honors include 2016 Songs of Eretz poetry prize; 2016 winner of the Common Good Books’ poems of gratitude contest; 2016 RhymeOn! poetry award (first prize); and 2015 Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize.

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