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Margaret Saine

UteMargaret 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.

In and Out of Words

My business is circumference. — Emily Dickinson

that I live in words
Not with words
not beside
but inside them
words light and heavy
like pebbles polished by the river
cocoons of golden chrysalids
inevitable words
all around moving and
settling with
a river’s patience

Words alighting
on the pages like doves
flowers in a garden
sheltered by comforting trees
that have all the answers
or almost all
that supply us with cradles
for our feelings
branched arms embracing us
and to boot
trees that supply the paper
that cradles our writing

Here I drink the wine
forty years after I bore children
and with delight I sink and slink
into the garden of words

I write to remember
I write to forget
I submerge my eyes in the sea
travel to get away
travel to get home


Y la poesía / de la pintura clara / y la sombría
And the poetry / of painting / the clear and the dark — Rafael Alberti

Cartographers, an early poem
I lost after writing

Cartographers mapping
Our daily routes and travels

Cartographers doubting
The horizon as do we

The blue of the Mediterranean
Subsuming the blue of the sky

The Blue Green Gallery
Of Maps in the Vatican

Walls of a floating maritime world
Under the preposterous coffered ceiling

Cartographers mapping
Our daily routes and travels

Mapping the seen and perhaps the dream
Not mapping the invisible

Designing for us and imagining
Our way to the heavens

By crossing horizons

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