Folio


Ami has published in journals, and written for various magazines. From hundreds of poems, here is small sampling taken from her books and other sources.

Violin Concerto | Diya | Sea Salt and Roses | Heart of a Dragon
Subway Ride
| Revolt | Armor | Stolen Face |Chinese Lanterns

 

Violin Concerto

How smoothly
the strains of Paganini
flow into the heart.

As the bow pulls a rippling
swell from the strings
in each passing,

power runs up the arms,
shifting the weight of lyric,
a flourish of ornamentation.

Who knew the curves of
polished maple could
yield such voluptuous sound?

 

Diya

In the gold light of dusk
she cupped her hands
holding flame in a leaf-boat

she set it afloat on the
pond next to a water-lily
breathing magic

then she followed suit
first the sandals
then the silk

then the wind
loosened long hair
she had

so carefully tied back
with a ribbon torn
from the sky

 

Sea Salt and Roses

Roses burst
from stormy rock
outcroppings

overlooking a
cresting sea.

Waves crash,
loud against
dark cliff walls

and echoes rebound
shameless torment.

Just above the fine churn
a mist hangs sullen
over salt-blue depths,
hiding the gulls

so when they
shoot through
the cloudy vapor,

they seem conjured
from a magician's hat.

 

Heart of a Dragon

During the darkest hours of night,
the heart can no longer hold out.
Dark as the hunter's dragon
in some enchanted weyr hidden
as I stand on the edge of night.
Pungent, acrid flames emerge
to blow my heart upon the hearse
floating in the silent black lake.
I hunger for the morning light,
and a new resolve is born;
a wish for the sun to burst in glory
above the rim in bloody redness.
The smell of life, that's what I want,
to lift me, take me now to that land beyond
where dragon's heart turns to gold,
after the long, long battle.

 

Subway Ride

His mode of transport
is a novelty for me.
I try not to touch

or breathe too deeply
of the metallic chill
and body crush.

We're both in jeans,
my son and I,
riding the subway.

He is staring ahead
thinking God knows what.
We don't shout above the

din or we'd be hoarse.
I frown as a girl wriggles by
casting a lascivious glance

his way. Over-painted,
tightly-clad, she smiles
and sits right next to him.

Hands off, I want to say
he's still a child,
but he's not. I see his

shoulders straighten
as he catches, and
returns her smile.

 

From: Revolt

"Anguished voice
cannot be heard
in the roar of hate,
intolerance.

No waiting till the rain has stopped,
harness the bolt of lightning now
to exorcise the silenced earth
of bubbling ghosts that stifle it."

 

From: Armor

"Severely steep, the arduous climb—
to learn to trust again.
Night drinks light with hunger,
the betrayed inherits pain."

 

From: Stolen Face

"There is more to you than this
outer shell you show the world;
the broken, mangled oyster that
encloses a small but lustrous pearl."

 

Chinese Lanterns

The idea is always
irresistible

of something fragile
temporarily holding
in its hands,

a destructive force
—paper enclosing fire—

Illuminated Chinese
dragons and red
silk banners sway

casting a glow on
summer nights and
garden parties

Dim sum and noodles,
Oolong tea, ivory chopsticks

Loud voices and laughter
scare the ducks away,

and finally, when the guests
are gone, sinking into
a low-lying chaise and
drinking what's left
of the wine

Bees unwind
in yawning flowers
drowsy with the
summer heat

The last waves lap
as a quiet swan slides
on the unruffled surface
of the pond to climb aboard
the wavering moon