Welcome to Sage Femme Press

About Sage Femme

Sage-femme is a term I first heard in Tunisia during the 1970s when I worked in international health. It translates from French to English as wise woman but is commonly used to refer to a traditional midwife. This double meaning has always appealed to me.

Sage Femme Press began in 1999 as a personal endeavor—a way to share my explorations of healing art as nurse, poet and essayist with readers both inside and outside the health professions

— Veneta Masson


The Next Island

… that untraveled world whose margin
fades for ever and for ever when I move.

— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

After the third round of chemo
she flew to Hawaii and
after the fourth, to Barbados.
She’s not the first to push
beyond the tottering arc of fate
toward the gleaming, untraveled world.

Back in her desert, she dreams
about the next island.
When, where, how and how much
doesn’t matter as much
as the fact that it’s out there, singing
through the sun like Bali H’ai.

Why resign yourself
to a short life in time
when there must be
an eternity of islands?

— Poem by Veneta Masson
Photograph © Tony Brunswick. All Rights Reserved.


Poems from Clinician’s Guide to the Soul
The Poet’s Job

Watch & Listen:

Watch animations of Veneta’s poems:
Arithmetic of Nurses
Reference Range

Listen to Veneta’s workshop, Clinician’s Guide to the Soul,
sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council.