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Margaret Saine

Margaret Saine was born in Germany and has taught French and Hispanic literatures in California. She writes in five languages, and is also a translator. Her books in English are Bodyscapes, Words of Art, Lit Angels, Gardens of the Earth and A Book of Travel. Her Woman in Winter, as well as her Spanish translation of Breathing Underwater—Respirando bajo agua, will be published in 2020. Saine has published four poetry books and a childhood memoir in Germany. Her two Italian books are to be published. Her poems have been translated into Arabic and other languages. She is an editor of the California Quarterly. Since 2008 she has written over 5,000 haiku, which she writes daily since November 2008, and she has several other finished poetry manuscripts on file.


A swift and sudden day
shifting like a river
a changeling threat
moves on and snakes away
into the shadows of war
changing as we speak
changing us and our bodies
changing our lives
to clang like cheap metal
with bitterness

Imperceptible in the air
this lingering change
of dawning carnage
crawls wide and white
through the day’s unrest
breaking our livid will
and wrenching off
threadbare serenity
shifting and shaping

My page is an eye
my eye is a page
whose letters tumble in fright
seizing space and gauging time

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