If I Ran From You by Karen Shenfeld

by Steven McCabe

new ks 1


If I ran from you

to Ouagadougou,

I’d hear your voice in

talking drums.

face upon

If I ran from you

to Coromandel,

I’d catch your scent off

salted winds.

her facewith sculpture

If I ran from you

to Auxerre,

I’d feel your touch in

blades of grass.


bird and face


If I ran from you

to the well of Khaba,

I’d see your shape in

whirling djinns.

shadow wallpapyrus


If I ran from you

to Madurai,

I’d taste your kiss from

banana leaves.

A golden angle 2

his figure

If I ran from you

to Muktinath,

I’d send you my prayers off

spinning wheels.


room with a view

Karen Shenfeld is a poet and traveller who makes her home in Toronto.

finallin golden angle layers

I went to a poetry reading and arrived too late to hear Karen read. Pierre L’Abbe told me about a poem of hers he thought particularly beautiful. I asked her about this poem and she sent it to me. I found the words emotional and evocative, inspiring images infused with a sense of ‘otherness.’ Even another time. Some of the visual ideas I generated began to touch on alchemical themes with hints of a ritual around smoke. Which may be a perfect symbol for longing, or the ephemeral arising from the solid, which isn’t solid at all. I felt the playful promise of the poem as bird-like, flying here and there.