Lisa Stice

Out of Banishment
for Leonor López de Córdoba

your words transcribed (réplica)
not quite the same as your own
lost from San Pablo at Córdoba

lost like su familia locked away
lost like a promise of safety after
long years imprisoned in darkness

lost favor of Catalina of Lancaster
sepan cuantos esta escriptura vieren
fire of the spirit survives in memories

* Leonor López de Córdoba (1362-1420; Spain): wrote the first autobiography in Castilian (Memorias)

* sepan cuantos esta escriptura vieren (Let those who see this writing know) borrowed from Memorias by Leonor López de Córdoba

for S. Rukiah

to contemplate
to know your own subconscious
that is freedom

tell me what a hero
looks like—will I recognize her
when we meet

I want you to know
all your banished poems are returning
dreams reprinted

* S. Rukiah Kertapati (1927-1996; Indonesia): poet (Tandus), novelist (Kejatuhan dan Hati / The Fall and the Heart), and children’s author (Pak Supi, Kakek Pengungsi / Mr. Supi, the Refugee Grandpa)

* title borrowed from the English title of Tandus

* S. Rukiah’s books were banned and her writings removed from anthologies during the New Order.

Weakened Sight
for Ninon Hesse

you know, some of us are afraid
of the dark, some of us need
a little night light in these dark
seasons of the soul when, without
some help, we couldn’t go on,
at least not so easily as before

and when others come to excavate
the scene in full light, they might
find the pen and say his fingers
touched this and never know
it was you drafting out chapters
and setting everything rightly

because, you know, light can be
deceiving too, when squinting,
it’s easy to see what we imagine,
loving our ideas so much, codling
them into a dream-state completely
missing the wallflower in shadow

* Ninon Hesse (1895-1966; Ukraine): historian/archaeologist, co-author/editor (Kindheit und Jugend vor Neunzehnhundert 1, Kindheit und Jugend vor Neunzehnhundert 2, and Ausgewählte Briefe) and memoirist (Lieber, lieber Vogel: Briefe an Hermann Hesse); third wife of Hermann Hesse


Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse. She is the author of two full-length collections, Permanent Change of Station (Middle West Press, 2018) andUniform (Aldrich Press, 2016), and a chapbook, Desert (Prolific Press). While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. You can learn more about her and her publications at and at

2 thoughts on “Lisa Stice

  1. Lovely testaments to the power of the written word. I especially like the personal engagement your persona has with each historical figure.

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