Diane Ackerman

Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including The Zookeeper’s Wife and A Natural History of the Senses.

Winter 1988

Soft Lens

By Diane Ackerman

Water held by a curve, it bridges the invisible oceans of light with a single continent, is fragile as dust, yet anchors the Mayan profile of the moon among night-swarming […]

Winter 1988

Aviatrix

By Diane Ackerman

In dawn’s feathered light, a lady cardinal hurls herself against my bedroom window. Hallucinations stalk the glass as she slams her softness into the flat, cold world, trying to perch […]

Summer 1986

Intensive Care

By Diane Ackerman

In the antiseptic Eden,your small light burns:a green dotroaming the fluorescenttwilightlike a cometthe halls of evening:a pulsethat carried youacross two continents,from coal-mining village,cricket for the county,and Oxford ribbons,to picturesque America,where […]

Summer 1986

Amber

By Diane Ackerman

Liquid memory, how gold the prisontrapping this fly undecayed in sunlight,anatomy perfect as any time traveler’s.Once it feasted on rump of mastodon,then sought shade on a nearby ginkgo tree.Caught unaware […]

Summer 1984

Night on the Nile

By Diane Ackerman

Steep central among the bridgesas if in the sternum of a vast ribcage, the viewfrom my window is peril-lessand perfect: a strategemof lights that blacken the sky. The city is […]

Summer 1984

Silhouette

By Diane Ackerman

Nightwing, you live in coffinsby day, a mortuary scribewriting ads for guiltabstract as leached bone,with words like “perpetual,”“always,” and “everlasting,”words too mineralto risk whole with a lover.To feed your art,you […]

Fall 1982

Zoë

By Diane Ackerman

Ultimate immigrant,who passed through the Ellis Islandof your mother’s hips,with a name slit loosefrom its dialect of cell and bone:welcome to the citadel of our lives.We listened for the hoofbeats(your […]

Fall 1981

Sleeping Beauty of the Bronx

By Diane Ackerman

   Dearest friend, dead to me by time’s present fiction:   I read your plight weekly     through the dream whorl of print,  how they pox your face and arms with high-strung electrodes, […]