Hedy Habra

Meditative Egret, Chinese ink on rice paper, copyright Hedy Habra

Or Am I or Am I Not a Knot of Contradictions?

                      After Harmony, by Remedios Varo

Last night I woke up in angst. I thought my cat was scratching behind the closed door. It must have been a desperate critter scratching frenetically the surface, caught somewhere within the unfathomable layers wrapped around our home. Its tragic attempt at freedom left me terrified. I imagined the wall’s plaster cracking open, giving place to another dimension from which a trapped bird or bat would fly, or was it another being immured for too long, striving to liberate itself as it sensed feathered nests in the back of the recliner’s upholstery?

When I sit still for a while on my desk, I hear the growth of underground roots filling the interstices of tiles as though I were in an abandoned patio invaded by weeds or the ruins of an ancestral house. I am no longer alone, surrounded by reflections of my lengthening shadow rising over the walls. That’s when I sense writing as a form of incantation. See, that’s why I write, not to tell a story but to reconcile myself with the echoes of the tunes that keep singing within me like a haunting melody as the musical score becomes three-dimensional, takes a life of its own, or is it just a variation on the same tune?

Hedy Habra is a poet, artist and essayist. She has authored three poetry collections, most recently, The Taste of the Earth (Press 53, 2019), Winner of the Silver Nautilus Book Award. Tea in Heliopolis won the Best Book Award and Under Brushstrokes was finalist for the International Book Award. hedyhabra.com

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Fall 2021