Penelope Weiss


The day of the hurricane I played piano for all you beauties.
I wore my yellow sunglasses and my raggedy sneakers.
You jumped with joy out there in the bleachers.
You loved me. You shouted and clapped and stomped your feet.

After the first song, the water rose. I put my feet up and kept on playing.
The keys were underwater, but I played on.
Get your butts out of here, I shouted, get your butts out quick.
Then I said goodbye to this old town and kept on playing.

Under a Mulberry Sky

I drink cold sake
under a mulberry sky.
My red kimono.

Silkworms are ugly.
But I adore how they spin
their ghostly cocoons.

Once again I fall
into a mulberry trance.
My blue kimono.

A Voyeur at the Hermitage

Hermetica and Harmonia, sisters who live in separate cells,
look beyond three pale horses in a field of hay and sorrow.
A rainstorm swallows the sisters in its gigantic mouth, spits them out.
Magically, they whirl above the horses.

The horses shake their heads. What is the world coming to?
Don’t ask me, says Hermetica. She just wants to go back to her cell.
Harmonia nods her head. She just wants to play her harmonium.

Beyond the pale horses the rainstorm keeps coming,
Magically, Hermetica and Harmonia keep whirling.
I can’t keep up. My telephoto lens points at the sky.
Exhausted, I sleep in the field beyond the pale horses.

Penelope Weiss was born in 1942. She grew up in New York City and now lives in Shrewsbury, Vermont. Storiana, her collection of stories, was published in 2010 by Casa de Snapdragon Press and is available on Amazon.
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