Hélène Cardona’s first book, The Astonished Universe, a collection of poetry in French & English, is published by Red Hen Press. A citizen of the U. S., France and Spain, Hélène is fluent in five languages. Born in Paris of a Greek mother and Spanish father and raised all over Europe, she attended Hamilton College, New York, and the Sorbonne, Paris, where she wrote her thesis on Henry James for her Master’s in American Literature.

She worked as a translator/interpreter for the Canadian Embassy and the French Chamber of Commerce. She is also a teacher and dream analyst. She has lived in Geneva, Cambridge, London, Llandudno, Monte-Carlo, Bremen, Tarragona, Paris, New York City and Santa Monica, and travels extensively.

A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she played Fuffi Drou in Lasse Hallström’s Chocolat, Candy in Lawrence Kasdan’s Mumford, and many other roles. Voice credits include The Bourne Supremacy, The Terminal, Big Fish, The Interpreter, The Pink Panther and others. For Serendipity, she co-wrote with Peter Chelsom the song Lucienne, which she also sang. 


If I could gather all the sadness of the world,
all the sadness inside me,
into a gourd,
I’d shake it once in a while,
and let it sing,
let it remind me of who I used to be,
bless it for what it taught me,
and stare at it lovingly
for not seeping out of its container.


My Mother Ceridwen

The light on the icon,
The way I see her in my dreams,
The core of her at the edge of darkness,
In a magic cauldron always full,
Never exhausted,
That brings her back to life,
Guarded by a golden serpent
Coiled in the shape of an egg,
The world snake marshalling
Inner reserves,
The seed of a new journey,
A glimpse of the mysterious and elusive,
A woman in a wreath made of morning glories,
This is how she lands on the page,
Slanted, looking out in space,
Integrated within me,
Save the blue sky across her face.


Neptunian Cavern

I get attached to things to live
the way darkness gets attached to light,
I let them come to me,
it takes a while to remove assumptions.
I marvel at travels in air balloons,
finding my place in the world.
Everyday prepares for death,
I let paths overlap,
a magician’s recipe to produce desire,
knowing when to be visible or invisible.
The transition from the dream is imperceptible,
a whisper on a stringed instrument.
I reach the bottom of the ocean to retrieve coral,
a flower animal extending myself to thrive.
The rain hasn’t come yet.
Storms brew at the prow,
force me into stillness,
a white tulip resting on open lilies.
Be willing to sweep the floor,
feed from the sediment of the river,
carve shadows burned in ground,
craft ghost figures out of mud.
Art is perpetual rebirth,
the way we choose to express ourselves,
the way we take directives from God.


Mind Games

In the dream, there are two of me,
catching up with one another,
one curious, vulnerable mind,
pursuing the other, flawless, invincible mind,
forever in awe of its acrobatics,
its superhuman nature.


Sherman Pearl Moonday poetry reading



© 2006 Hélène Cardona

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