La lumière de ses yeux

“Oeil gauche Espoir, Oeil droit Combat”
Dans le jour malade
La peine est indefinissable
Et les amis sans alibi
Mais malgré les promesses trahies
Et ceux qui meurent les mains nues
Il reste la lumière de ses yeux
Oeil gauche Espoir, Oeil droit Combat… [La lumière de ses yeux – Michèle Voltaire Marcelin]

April’s End

April’s end
Trees were fruit-laden
We ate mangoes
Our mouths and hands
Yellow-syrup stained
And every night it rained…

On angels

All was taken away from you: white dresses, wings, even existence. Yet I believe in you, messengers. There, where the world is turned inside out, a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts, you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seams. Short is your stay here: now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is […]


…And our names on that ring,
they’re only the most ordinary names.
It’s good you came. Sit here beside me.
He really was supposed to get back Thursday.
But we’ve got so many Thursdays left this year.

Without drowning

The weight of a man on a woman is like falling into the river without drowning. Above, the world is burning and fighting. Lost worlds flow through others. But down here beneath water’s skin, river floor, sand, everything is floating, rocking. Water falls through our hands as we fall through it. And when a woman […]

A dress of fire

But the dress, she said, the dress is on fire.
What are you saying, I shouted,
what are you saying?
I’m not wearing a dress at all,
what’s burning is me.


Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know what despair is; then winter should have meaning for you. I did not expect to survive, earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect to waken again, to feel in damp earth my body able to respond again, remembering after so long how to open again […]

With all my living breath

“….Yes, there is all this foolish beauty, borne beyond midnight, that has no desire to go home, especially now when everyone in the room is watching the large man with the tenor sax that hangs from his neck like a golden fish. He moves forward to the edge of the stage and hands the instrument […]

A naked woman…

"A naked woman in the dark, is a call for my hands, for my lips, a destination, A naked woman in the dark, possesses a clarity that illuminates so come what may, say grief or sorrow, a black out or a moonless night, it is most convenient and even essential, to have a naked woman […]

The Red Dress

I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. I want it sleeveless and backless, this dress, so no one has to guess what’s underneath. I want to walk down the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware […]

Poètes, vos papiers!

"Poètes… vos papiers !",  un spectacle qui fait résonner les notes musicales et les mots tendres, audacieux, puissants ou ludiques auxquels Michèle Voltaire Marcelin offre sa voix rauque et sensuelle et Buyu Ambroise, la sonorité de son saxophone.  Manuscrits, correspondances, rimes et déraisons, textes rares ou non, célèbres ou inédits, "Poètes, vos papiers !" ~ […]


Fue en enero el terremoto… Pasó un año Y que pasó? Pasó el tiempo… Y que cambio? Cambio el cielo… Sigue herido el pueblo Sigue de luto Michèle Voltaire Marcelin ~ 12 de Enero de 2011 Listen to a segment with  Michèle  on CNN Español:     *Traduccíones en francès y español del poema “Rift” […]

Promised Land

no we were not worthy of this land i swear on my life and on yours were we to beg forgiveness on our knees seventy seven times seventeen times from our lady of perpetual mercy history would not absolve us nor she we bleat like goats tethered to this land where men can be bought […]


death seeps into my dreams water sweet poison changing color draining its dark stench bowel green rice water grey as the empty sky as corpses i travel over no requiem no libera me domine corpses soaked and dissolved in water grey rice water bowel green seeping bleeding drenching flooding into this island of ceaseless wonders […]

Stones don’t bleed

It is time the stone made an effort to flower said Celan It is time it bled red I say And love And love And love flowed out of its wound for ever and ever Amen The calendar says September but why so short the time to dance The pace of clocks has been quickened […]


  When I was told I was to die Such beauty I witnessed in the sky Birds dancing round and round A flurried dance of feathers Pale as the clouds Such beauty I witnessed I want to die like a bird in autumn In full flight Sweet with song Michèle Voltaire Marcelin

caresse de demoiselle

dans l’incendie des roses qui brûlent le jardin je vis pieds nus quelle merveille je regarde encore le calendrier d’août malgré les rumeurs vaines l’été est hors d’haleine je viens à vous déshabillée en chair de femme ma peau en feu comme un soir couleur de pêche mes cheveux fous en auréole d’ombellifères tout embaumée […]


behind mountains more mountains behind sorrows more sorrows and hunger rain or shine the wind howls and rain comes again and again falls dark and blind morning same as evening every year the same and all the months the same since i saw the light there is no god no god to watch over me […]

love grows

love grows in this quiet house love grows with every gesture we are safe here in this sweet forever weaving breathless moments into hours spreading our treasures in the darkened room singing a sanctified sanctifying song when lust and laughter come together as we do intertwining we rise and fall and rise again and come […]

sweet death

let it be my death in a garden behind my house between animal and flower and the murmur of water let it be in a luminous afternoon with bamboos swaying in the breeze let it be with the sun’s last ray the wind’s last breath be mine as well your name the last upon my […]


say this is only a dream and afterwards morning say  i will emerge from this shadowy darkness obstinately I grab the day in my teeth taking steps back  growling but life pulls it away tearing it to shreds blindfolded in my dream i summon up names of streets places that witnessed my life and  youth port au prince streets […]


underneath the beauty was a rift in the heart of the land was a rift and the rift in the land reached the rift in our heart and we lost our people and the land… michele voltaire marcelin haiti earthquake-tuesday january 12th,2010 -5pm

Lost and Found

” Lost and Found “ is the book of love.  A CD of 25 poems chosen among the 74 in the collection is included with the text . There is an intimist tone to these poems and one can feel the poet giving herself entire to her devotion toward love. Contrary to the tone of […]

clair de lune

my love i will give you all i have saved for you joyful gifts groves clustered with flowers filled with bird cries mountains hidden behind other mountains and seas older than the earth itself my love, take the hand of this woman who knows not her left from her right yet knows unerringly the way […]