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Los Angeles (Oh LALA! ) Poésie en français! (Ooh lala!) ah! Hélene Cardona!

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Night Messenger

~ by Hélene Cardona

I wake. In a meadow

braided with wild grasses and flowers

notes of music drift from a harp.

A penguin is running.

I follow to the river.

He lays on a leaf,

lets the current carry him

and says, this stream is your life,

instead of watching from the meadow,

flow with it's rhythm.

Guided by Scottish pipes

I reach the gate

between my past and the waterway.

Like the penguin, I lay on a leaf,

let the river transport me

knowing I've entered another world.

Émisaire nocturne

~ by Hélene Cardona

Je m'éveille. Dans un pré

galonné d'herbes sauvages et de fleurs

des notes s'échappent d'une harpe.

Un pingouin court.

Je le talonne à la riviére.

Il se couche sur une feuille,

se laisse emporter par le courant

et dit, ce torrent est la vie,

au lieu de l'observer du pré

laisse son rythme t'envahir.

Guidée par une cornemuse

j'atteins le portail

entre le passé et les flots.

Comme le pingouin, je me couche sur une feule,

me laisse emporter par la rivière

sachant que j'ai pénétré un autre monde.

From, "Dreaming My Animal Selves Le Songe se med Âmes Animales" by Hélène Cardona.

There is a look and feel to the poetry book that is printed in English on one page and translated to another language on the page opposite. Those of us that know Pablo Neruda and Garcia Lorca and every poet born after the advent of the printing press, have enjoyed the duality of poetry translated and presented to us as bilingual or if not, joyed that at least it is written in the one language we do posses.

In this format of poetry translations, there is however, a question looming always at the back of our searching poetic hearts, can this translation be trusted? Is this what the poet intended to say? There is humanness in the crafts of translation, interpretation if left to the translator alone must be remain unbiased and yet possess a poet's vision to be sure he misses no symbolic intent or unseen metaphor.

And here we remember the unboundaried acceptance of poetic license, and like the Bible in its first printing, the words of God's writers were left suddenly up to the individual able to read it for themselves, and thus create or become illuminated upon the moments of their own interpretations. Granted, this led to the new denominations of Christianity when once read, it awakened one or the other to exclaim, "NO THAT'S NOT WHAT HE MEANT… okay fine, I will start my own religion!"

A Mind Like the Sky

~ by Hélene Cardona

Go deep into the third eye, blue

pearl, space between breaths,

place of complete equilibrium,

friend and stranger.

Become one with God,

alchemical moment. Emotion

marries intellect, mind and sky,

builds overnight a house of earth

born from love, the clarity

of being wanted

so much, claims my truth.

Guided by an invisible

thread, become the spirit

of the law, embrace the order.

Un esprit comme le ciel

~ by Hélene Cardona

Plonge au cœur du troisième œil,

perle bleue, espace entre

soupirs, équilibre

total, ami et étranger.

Deviens un avec le divin,

moment alchimique. L’émotion

épouse l’intellect, esprit et ciel, bâtit

du jour au lendemain une maison du terroir,

née d’amour, de la clarté

d’être aimée à ce point,

proclame ma vérité.

Guidé par un fil invisible

deviens l’esprit

de la loi, embrasse l’ordre.

Hélene Cardona's poetry is presented as such, it is compiled beautifully in a book reminiscent of Lorca's or Neruda's but not in Spanish which when read here in Los Angeles is more universal, but in French. This is good for her followers abroad and back home and in all due respect to her native language.

The written word in French is quite pretty to look at, Here in Los Angeles, the question may be seldom asked, of whether or not to trust the french interpretation in comparison to the greater number of Spanish speaking readers and published bi-lingual poetry. Thus, the acceptance of what it says to the French would be only the problem for the French but lucky for them who do read Helene, the book in its entirety has been translated by Cardona herself.

"Dreaming My Animal Selves Le Songe se med Âmes Animales" by Hélène Cardona whose name bears in print the many french ways to write the letter "e" which are marked with accent instructions, and so we come to understand, her native tongue ancestrally is Francais. In case you wonder, there are no pretensions present but perhaps admiration for those who can read and understand fluently the sexy linguistic without the looming question of correct interpretation for the reader as a byproduct of the read by non-french speakers.

Hélene's poetry is lovely, short and sweet, and the included French for some who desire to further their studies of French, is poetry by Berlitz, due to the universality of her poems which are very easy to follow when comparing the two languages. It may even prove the perfect aide in learning French if so desired by any student to take a break from the monotony of repetitive educational exercises.

"Dreaming My Animal Selves - Le Songe se med Âmes Animales" is wonderful in its simplicity, the poetry at times reminisces Anais Ninn's, "Little Birds" with Helene's musings as passionate toward sexuality but coupled by her with her love of nature where metaphor is left to the sensuality of the reader and their own third eye's interpretation.

Reciting a Helene Cardona poem in French at the next after dinner party would be a topic of show and tell folks may remember for quite a long time, especially following it up with the English translation.

La fleur la plus séduisante

~ by Hélene Cardona

Les orchidées séduisent –

cygnes sensuels à figure humaine

leurs bouches primales captivent –

cocons fantômes luisant au clair de lune

animaux subliminaux dont l’élégance

et la passion du théâtre se saturent de perfection.

Sanguines ou virginales

elles prennent quatre ans à fleurir

et jeter leur sort.

Leurs paupières iris caressent secrets de tentacules

oranges, langues pourpres, robes d’or ruisselantes

de joyaux, lèvres succulentes qui cautérisent

nos désirs immortels.

Leur audace virtuose et regards baissés

nous ensorcellent et nous convoquent à Cythère.

The Sexiest Flower

~ by Hélene Cardona

Orchids seduce -

sultry swans shaped like us

their primal mouths entice -

ghost cocoons aglow in moonlight

subliminal animals whose elegance

and passion for the theatre fixate on perfection.

Sanguine or virginal

they take four years to flower

and cast their spell.

Their iris lids caress secrets of orange

tentacles, purple tongues, gold robes dripping

jewels, luscious lips that cauterize

our desires in their everness.

Their bold mastery and downward glances

bewitch and summon us to Cythera.


Overall, "Dreaming My Animal Selves: Le Songe se med Âmes Animales" by Helene Cardona, is worthy of the displaying shelves of one's poetry book collection, nestled somewhere between Lorca and Ninn. Helene understands the -animal selves within us all, as did Alice Walker who left a long lasting impression of the existence of a definite spirituality in animals in "The Temple of My Familiar." Her familiar was a pet she could rely on when visiting her own introspection and her "familiar" was a bird mixed with a cat or a ferret or another domesticated wild animal she would turn to in times of self questioning.

Cardona presents a similar element of the animals as our spiritual guides and messengers from the God is Everywhere Heavens. The book is not filled with words about just the animals but also of nature and the planet in relation to our own cosmic rhythm. The poetry itself, before the french translation can hold up on it's own, as a succulent snacking for the hungry minds of those who seek signs in the words of poets and other such anti-linear literalists and thinkers.

Breeze Rider

~ by Hélene Cardona

Every force of nature has a purpose.

I maintain the planet's balance.

When people feel I'm here

they're lifted.

Traveling through wind

one reaches p[laces others can't,

a matter of quality.

The goal is to let the mind flow

and not stagnate,

let it rumble like a river.

If one tries to keep a little piece,

trophy, illusion,

the whole is lost.

The mind flows through the wind.

Ride the breeze, lift into it,

a surprise each time.

Ride the wind drawn from sun

heating more reflective places.

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