Sandra de Helen

There's an arroyo seco right next to my
littoral zone. Crazy right? Dry bed adjacent
to an area so rich in love and light, plants
and animals, it could make a person

orgasmic. Can we slop some of that salty
moisture from the zone into our bed? The
dust is choking me. The rocks are sharp.
I long for the silky feel of oceanic blue
upon my parched skin. I dream in colors
of algae and starfish. Will you kindly
stagger away from the rain shadow and
let me dip your lips in the balm of warm
liquid? The sun reaches depths here you
may not have experienced. Its heat will
penetrate all the way to your sediment.
I've done everything but subduct you.
Kiss me, you fool.

Sandra de Helen on poetry, poets and the challenges of her practice:
I’m overly fond of words. When I see a poet use them to create images and stories, I’m delighted. I read many things, and I always have at least one book of poetry at hand. I love several poets (Judy Grahn, Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds, Emily Dickinson) and I memorized poetry from an early age. I was mesmerized by James Whitcomb Riley’s “Little Orphant Annie,” which my Mom used to recite until I learned to recite it myself. Mom recited poetry regularly, and I loved how the rhymes (hers were all rhyming) created pictures and feelings for me. The most challenging thing for me about my poetry practice is that I also have a playwriting practice, an essay practice… I want to write it all. 

Photo: Bev Standish
Sandra de Helen’s work appears or is forthcoming in Artemis Journal, ROAR, The Dandelion Review, The Medical Journal of Australia, Mom Egg, Lavender Review: Night Issue, and other journals. Her collection of lesbian love poems, Desire Returns for a Visit, is forthcoming from Launch Point Press.