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A brown leaf frees itself from a tree
and dances through the autumn air,
rejoices in feeling profusely free
until the wind rests it on my hair

I stand in a park full of autumn shades
watching the leaves and chestnuts fall
as the colourful surroundings fade
I reach out my hand to catch it all

When I was a child, at autumn time
I used to collect the fallen chestnuts,
figures thereof was a great pastime
but today they’re left on the ground to rot

My hands outstretched I greet the breeze
and all it carries and brings to me
down from the tall, soon-naked trees
and out of my fading memory

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The Changeling

When I was born, I guess nobody knew
that I was born to be an artist too –
for when it was announced much later on
my parents answered little else than scorn –

I stretch the boundaries I am confined in –
I have to, if I’m even to begin
expressing what I sense around me – I am free
from expectations born by anyone but me –

However nice it would be once to hear
appreciation from my source of being, it is clear
that what I am I have become alone
and what I do I must do on my own –

So here I am – a changeling I guess,
who didn’t quite fulfill my parents’ wish
(whatever else they wished their only child),
a failure, such I guess they’ve got me filed –

Yet who are they to blame or who to cry;
I cannot be another than this “I” –
whatever else they may have wished of me,
delusions were on them, never on me

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Wayward Ones

We are wayward ones, the lot of us
who pile up riches in little rooms
and search the roadside for clues
to nature’s bountiful fortunes,
aspiring to capture the spirit who bestows them
and rob it of this much-coveted gem

With eyes that gaze heavenwards
our souls aspire to fly,
and we waylay all grounded, earthly thoughts
of things we can’t beautify;
vagrants on life’s ruthless way
we are; the pagans of today

Intricate wording and inspired awe
for which we would gladly trade body for soul
is never guaranteed to wash ashore
our minds, and sometimes in the cold
we must wander wayward
unable to distinguish between gems and dirt

And wayward do we often trace the trail
of giants who had better minds than ours,
when we (and we do sometimes) fail
we seek them out, and pause for hours
to behold spectres of the sentences
which defy our all-too-worldly senses

We aspire to become what we are not,
and such can never like that which we are –
we want to reach out and take a shot
at the tiny, white-hot, all-too-distant stars
whose mere existence, without flaw,
for hours keep us locked in awe

Withhold our dreams we can’t – achieve them neither,
but still we hold our breaths in sweet suspense
for a glimpse of inspiration, if not, rather
a sight to produce one all-saying sentence
which makes clear for the world what we
don’t understand, but still pen down with glee

It’s like a never-ending pilgrimage
where, once you reach your yearned-for destination
you realize that lost without a trace
is every reason you had for the expedition –
wayward you were, and wayward you remain
as long as from beauty, art and dreams you can’t

Each follows each on this un-ending trail,
and all we fellow-travellers are lost
in our pursuit of this, our Holy Grail,
which no-one values anymore, no host
willingly will shelter from the cold;
it is now just a relic from the days of old

So what shall we do – we wayward ones
who value lost grandeur and hopelessly aspire
to live up to giant’s work, and find our homes
in dreams, in nature – on a funeral pyre?
We nonetheless embody hopes that stay
for future happiness to pave the way

As wayward as we are – we’re still imbued
with abilities to see past superstitions and facts,
and show the world itself in such a hue
that nature too looks awestruck on to these, our texts
(that nothing have to do with reality
and therefore contain the most serene beauty)

So let no fear deter us from our designated path
although the road is long and not sufficiently marked,
though our deeds may seem so small and easily dwarfed
and we often feel like groping in the dark;
for remember: The bridges that we cross today
were made by ones who went before and knew the way

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I exist within a hollow
in this world,
whereto nobody else would follow
even if they could

My poetry exists within a void
in open space
which other people still avoid
in their breathless pace

The world itself is surrounded by
a void of emptiness,
a void which people passing by
do not know exists

And if they knew, they’d pause to read
the words I here have written,
and when they don’t it means they are
severely world-smitten

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So Tired

I am tired of searching
for something I’m not sure to find.
I am tired of writing
words I am not sure I even understand.
I am tired of editing
poems written years ago and try to make amends
for visions I once had
that I barely remember, and much less comprehend.

I am tired of attempting
to believe that my writings have meaning –
but what else is worth believing in?
I’d drop the pen and do something better,
more meaningful and worthwhile
if I thought that it existed – I am dreaming
of a contrubution of some sorts
beyond writing.
But I fail at visualizing
what they might entail
when everything besides my words
seem out of sorts.

I am tired of searching
for meaning that I’m certain I will never find,
I am tired of dreaming

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A Writer’s Plight – Preface

I will attempt to tell you all
and will attempt to tell it right
the story of the secret Fall
and of a writer’s hidden plight.

These stories I am to unwind
are alien to you I guess
and ignorance of them, you’ll find,
was once my biggest wish.

But as a writer nonetheless
to this task I feel obliged;
to bear unto you all witness
and on these secrets shed some light.

So listen please and listen well
as I will bring these things to light
and as I will attempt to tell
the stories of a writer’s plight.

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A Writer’s Plight – 2

I climbed a narrow staircase
winding upwards without end.
I climbed towards a foreign place
where someone had me sent.

I rose up, clinging to the wall,
in darkness I stumbled ahead,
and through the dark a voice would call
my name; and this it said:

”Approach, I’ve sent for you,
I have been waiting patiently
– I have a task for you, so
come and listen carefully.”

And out the darkness I then came
to the light on top of the stair
and the voice who’d spoken my name
was waiting for me there.

An old man was his guise,
he bade me enter and sit down,
stern then became his voice,
he gazed down at me with a frown.

”I sent for you purposefully,
for you have just been chosen
to aid me, it’s a necessity
and you can not be woken –

not till you have completed this;
the task I am to give you.
So have a seat, the past is whisked
away, you start anew.”

He handed me an open book –
its pages were all empty.
I trembled as I took the book
and held my destiny.

”It’s not been written yet,”
he said, with solemnity of voice;
”that is your task – now go ahead
you do not have a choice.”

I stared down at the pages
as I leafed through the volume.
I might’ve sat there ages
before filling out a column.

His eyes were resting at my face
as I sharpened a pencil.
I felt shattered by his gaze;
bent entirely to his will.

I started writing, hesitantly
and words came out of nowhere.
My hands, mere tools of literacy,
worked steadily to share…

To share the message I had been
Somehow picked out to pen down.
I didn’t know what was therein
before the page was shown.

Column up and down I wrote
as slowly dawn drew nearer
and the horizon lightened, wrote
exhausted, struck with fear.

Words fell out, on the page strewn
from my hands without my knowing.
Through the pencil they were blown –
a river – with no ending.

Then upwards I looked, and behold
the old man had disappeared.
The sun had risen, streams of gold
flowed through the windows sheer.

And I no longer sat in the small
dark room above the stairway.
Rather out of bed I crawled;
my own room on display.

For a brief second all I felt
was overwhelming relief –
until my eyes on my desk fell
and the sight I couldn’t believe:

There lay the book, open at the page
I’d reached before the morning.
I felt the weight of that man’s gaze,
sank to my feet in mourning.

It hadn’t been a dream then –
I was now all at a loss.
All I could do was grab a pen;
continue from where I left off.

Word after word kept materializing
as I went back to my work.
They mixed with tears of the exhausting
imagery that over me surged.

I realized that day – too late –
I’d given myself away.
That I’d entirely sealed my fate;
To books the best of days.

My life had taken a drastic turn
and now it’s still the same:
While down my candle slowly burns
I keep this curious name:

“Writer” is the name, and that
condemns to live forever
in print, and through all else that
through time I shall bring to paper.

No peaceful sleep inside a tomb
will be my destiny.
Rather will I be forced to haunt
any number of libraries.

No freedom and no peace was I
allotted in this life –
and even after the day I die
I’ll carry on my strife.

Hear my advice – the lot of you
who dream of a writer’s creed:
Keep off in awareness of the truth;
it’s slavery indeed!

I may lay down the pencil now
and stretch my tired limbs
but the writing is never over
and the future I can glimpse;

For it’s been written over me:
“The day I can’t write when I try
I will never again feel joyous or free;
this will be the day I die.”

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A Writer’s Plight – 1

I do not know until this day
whether I was awake or dreamt
and never before did I say
these things; for I was too ashamed

What happened was that once I went
through cooling air an early morn
out with the trivial intent
to visit someone I hadn’t seen for long

I reached his door and then I’d ring
the bell, but I got no response
I waited long but for nothing
and then I had this dreadful hunch

I opened the door, called out his name
but the house remained in silence.
I searched the rooms, it was in vain –
then I sensed somebody’s presence

Into the living room I saw
and this moment I shall never forget
for as I opened up the door
I saw a sight of awful dread

He was at home, but he was not
within his usual human shape
what I beheld that day, with shock,
had over it a table cover draped

Somehow he was turned to a rock
of massive granite, to this day
I cannot say through all my shock
how I approached the sad display

I rested my hands upon the stone
and yet again called out his name
never have I felt so alone
never did my voice seem so in vain

But then the stone began to speak
to me, and yes, it had his voice
although the tone had become bleak
to match the terrible words of choice:

”This is a curse”, he said to me,
rock trembling beneath my hand,
”but there is a way you can set me free,
please help me return to the shape of man.”

I asked him what it was that I
could do to help him out of there
and once again come back to live
to breathe again the refreshing air

He guided me, and all I did
was following his instructions
I merely did whatever he said in,
I thought, an act of compassion

First I removed the table cover
and beheld the rock in entirety
then I took a pencil, and all over
the surface I wrote repeatedly –

his name, again and again and again
repeated all over the rock surface
and as I wrote I saw, first faint,
how the shape began to be replaced

But not with flesh and blood, oh no,
something must’ve gone wrong for me
for what I now began to see
was nothing like what I’d expected to:

His voice went silent and the rock
with strong and powerful tremors shook
began transforming, and with shock
I now held in my hands a book

The title was his name I saw
and when I dared to open it
I startled then i shock and awe
when seeing what it did emit

It was the story of his life,
his face hovered over the pages
I had not turned him back to life
but made him undead for ages

I held the book, cried out my pain
but no-one heard and no-one cared
my howling disappeared in vain
and since that time I haven’t dared

to shed a tear for him or me
for any way I turn the subject
it’s all my fault, for it was me
who made him an inanimate object

Maybe it wasn’t my intent
but it doesn’t matter anymore
as over my old desk I’m bent
I ponder wounds remaining sore

Was it a blessing or a curse
what happened to him on that day?
I carried him home in my purse
and on my shelf he’s on display

I could not bear to leave him be
(though it might have seemed right to do)
in some cold, distant library
cold-hearted people passes through

I keep him on my shelf to see
I keep him as a stark reminder
that though my intent was him to free
rather I became a murderer

He’s still alive and present here
but only in bookform today
and in due time I suppose and fear
that he too will succumb to decay

But until that day he has an existence
beyond the borders of life and death
where, even though I feel his presence
I can’t feel Him, and to his voice I’m deaf

Undead, forgotten and locked inside
a book cabinet drenched in tears
is now the person who once inspired
such great hopes and such great fears

Not dead but certainly not alive
not lost but long forgotten
the fault wasn’t his, it is all mine,
and alone now I carry its burden

Be careful of what you write, and of
when and where you use your pen
writing is remarkably tough
and you might very well regret your end

Be careful whose name you put to print
and of whose voice you should detail;
you might do harm without intent
so do be careful to prevail

My friend now rests not in a grave
but high upon my cabinet’s shelf
if you don’t want yours to share his fate
then keep your writings to yourself

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A Poet’s Plight

After a prolonged dry spell
I fetch my bucket and descend
towards the now overflowing well
under the moon’s pale floating crescent

The drought was long and hard this time
but finally ebb turned to flood
and all around me droplets shine
re-illuminating a flow I near forgot

A word I fish up from the well
one word, two words, a full-grown phrase
till finally I’m unable to tell
whether mine or whether gifted grace

The flow returns with seeming ease
and now I almost forget it was gone
now words and phrases to stanzas flee
and I’m breathless holding a newborn poem

It’s dripping wet with the water drawn
as I carry it home in trembling hands
to feel the release of writing it down
and celebrate it with songs and dance

As the wet season takes hold again
I soon fall back in my old routine
re-united with my friend: The pen
spewing poems like a sowing machine

The rain keeps falling outside my door
like the droplets of ink from my trusty pen
as I proceed to write and to store
preparing myself for next dry season

The flow runs through my fingers now
and drips out on the paper sheet
I replenish my energy in this flow
as my newborn babies I tearfully greet

I know I am writing on borrowed time
and any moment the drought can return
but this pleasant moment is all mine
till I rest my pen, my fingers worn

As long as the rain falls I will write
and make a stock in preparation
for the next dry spell, and in spite
of my life-force’s growing exhaustion

When the book is filled I can rest again
– the well will have run dry anyway –
re-read my production and be content –
when the rain starts again, I cannot say

I will wait, first refreshed, then with unease
for the next wet season to bring me to life
I will edit the written, and try to cease
all thought-activity of my strife

From season to season on I strive
shifting between joy and despair –
when I write all is good – when I can’t it’s a fight –
against forward-facing hope and fear

This story of how the seasons turn
is the truth about a poet’s production
between dearth under a scorching sun
and the sweet release of creative emission

The wet season near the filling well
is life in its bare quintessence
from here springs countless stories to tell
amidst this free, life-giving substance

But during drought the story is other
and every day is for life a fight
where emptiness threatens to totally smother
the sources; this is our hidden plight

Sometimes you give in to despair
and fear the drought will never end
and these strong fears will at you tear
beyond what you can comprehend

Until some point where returning rains
no more replenish your life and poetry
and you fade with no more left to gain
die a poet’s death – drawn-out and empty

Only your writings then will stay
to showcase your life-long secret fight.
And in this metaphorical way
I present you with: A Poet’s Plight.

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Song of the Intermediaries

The experts tuning the instruments
have all been deceived
into thinking that we intermediaries
are inherently weak

They displace our words and derive
thereby a different air,
this alone would be enough to drive
the strongest to despair

The experts love the fine-tuned sounds
of fancier instruments,
but our sounds will exceed the bounds
of all they can invent

We will sing it out, intermediaries,
from the highest top;
the secrets kept in secret diaries
till They beg us to stop

The fine-tuned sounds of emptiness
will then finally cease
and we’ll replace them with the bliss
of words resting in peace

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The Poem: Water

I wrote a poem
but when I returned
I couldn’t see it –
diluted blue ink stains a page
someone’s spilled water on

the most poetic poem
I have ever written

as if the water felt
attracted to the ink
spelling out its name
so irresistibly

and water merged with water
words are lost
but now the most poetic poem
ever to take shape in my hands
has become more meaningful
than anything
I could’ve ever planned

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My Beauty

I’d like to show you my beauty
if you would like to see;
but show it without showing me.
A luminous stone on the seabed when dry
becomes something boring and drab to the eye –
no, if you will see me then don’t look directly
but see through the lens of my poetry.

It may seem as if I am hiding from you
yet I am before you and easy to view;
but was I with you in the flesh, plain to see,
you’d never be able to recognize me.

Some beauty’s awarded, is measured, to each,
of different purposes, different kinds,
and that of a poet extends its reach
predominantly to the hearts and minds.

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The Old Man

I keep you in a tower in my head,
I know you’re always there, that I can get
advice from you whenever needed…

All I need to do is climb the stair,
the winding stair up to your lair
and end up in the library…

The place where you first handed me my fate;
a book with empty pages and a pen…
And told me to write…

Sometimes I walk the stair and feel
the walls are closing in,
but I always see the light at the other end,
above my head you light the candle
that I walk towards
ever upwards, upwards, up to you…
Up where the candles burn.

“Fill the book and then you may return.”

The day the book is full the candle burns out too.

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The Poetess

To someone whose primary contribution to the world may have been amusement at her naïvety – all admiration for her courage aside

She was a modern Poetess,
the one whose story I’ll relate,
she thought herself an ancient priestess
guarding all secrets of fate
(a view under much debate)

Such whimsical a character
as hers I never met before,
and you must know it means disaster
to seek nothing but rapture
and the stable things ignore.

She thought herself superior
to other people just because
her mind only ever bore
thoughts of unknown shores
and grief over fake losses.

She sought an elevation
of mind and soul and spirit
to fuel her inspiration,
and assigned no merit
to her own discredit.

Lifting herself to distant spheres
unseen, unknown and ancient,
was how she tried to quell her fears
but wherever she went
they with her went.

And as she slowly realized
she didn’t know what she thought she knew
all ideals then became disguise
to hide how destitute
thoughts her mind now fueled.

Originality was lost
if ever she possessed it,
and imitation of a host
of ancients ensued; her wit
was disinherited.

And all ideals became excuse;
her love; possession
whereby she lost her muse,
her fate; rebellion,
and her hope; evasion.

Ignorant of her shortcomings
still she wrote, in agony,
often copying most of the things
she couldn’t otherwise modify,
till truth itself became a lie.

Her love life turned around,
she went from man to man
in search of something so profound
that never did, and never can
be born to mortal Man.

And in her search for this merging
with something intangible
she gradually lost all meaning
and now her every scribble
left her more and more unstable.

For what she wrote about
was so different from her life
that it did amount
to a contrast such that strife
became living, and plight her life.

Even plagiarism could no more
conceal her loss of hope,
inspiration had locked the door
and her mind was doped
with escapism past all hope.

This has become a quite dark story,
I apologize for this,
but if you dream of nought but glory
and for nought but glory wish,
it’s all too easy to be lost; remember this!

For poetry itself is never fame,
true poetry should be anonymous:
Do not mark the words with your name
and expect something miraculous
to come to you; you will be lost.

Besides, today the view of art
is altered past recognition,
today all things can be called art –
it’s no exaggeration –
so art itself has lost much meaning.

And poetry especially so,
but what lies dormant in earth today
might yet someday spring up and grow
with no essence of decay –
so wait for it, it’ll come someday.

Back now to our Poetess
who’d tossed her torch away
and given in to her distress
because she saw no way
of bringing her ideals to light of day.

She could not vanish quite
so much of her remained,
but insipid and with no might
to even feel in vain,
with no sense of loss or gain.

Someday I hope that she
will be brought back again
from dark obscurity –
at least her words remain
for us to ponder and retain.

Until that day I urge you,
all of you who read this piece,
to not wait patiently for
a day when poetry
all by itself restores the peace.

That day would be so far away
that much can still be said,
but on that dreamlike, distant day
so many years and thoughts ahead
all poets who today lie dead
would once again be read,
and what they had to say
would be interpreted –
and you would then see clearly
that they as well as me
worshipped above all, dearly,
art, truthfulness, liberty,
justice, peace and harmony

Wake up right now
for that is all a dream.
We’ll never reach it anyhow;
the world, people, everything
they are no better than they seem.

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Vital Signs

For years on end she had written
of all that in her was hidden
and everything she saw
while observing her surroundings,
about all the things
that filled her with awe.

She wrote about both big and small,
about all things she could recall
until the fateful day it stopped,
and she with nothing left to say
felt inspiration melt away,
and her faithful pen she dropped.

She was a Poet full of life,
her words could slice just like a knife,
but now her voice was silent;
as the Poet now seemed dead,
a death she felt with utmost dread,
sudden although not violent.

She checked her vital signs
of mind and body and other kinds,
and they all seemed to function;
her brain, her lungs, liver and heart
seemed still to play the same, old part
they’d played since creation.

But something inside her had died,
she felt it, she sat down and cried
and with familiar movements then
she reached out, as she was wont to do
to the object which she always knew
could comfort her; the pen.

But setting it to paper proved in vain
although she tried again and again,
no words would form although she was
with her emotions overwhelmed,
and then to her did suddenly dawn
reality, however harsh.

The Poet’s death had stolen away
her inspiration with a sway
of sudden emptiness;
she was a human, still alive,
but no more Poet, that part died
and left her pathless.

When she her vital signs observed,
she left the most important one unheard –
What makes a Poet a Poet
and from others thereby set apart
(it’s not to be found in the mind, but in the heart) –
that part was dead.

Returned to humanity again
she sought inspiration all in vain,
she could not revisit the past,
and so she moved on reluctantly
mourning her lost creativity,
stolen so dreadfully fast.

Her heart now had adjusted speed
to beat as human hearts do beat,
not stirred with emotionality,
not much aware of the mundane,
far less of true art (which seems plain
to eyes void of imaginuity).

The Poet’s vital signs had waned,
just human ones remained,
and as awareness thereby fell
from her before observant eyes
she could no more distinguish lies
from truths; and all was well.

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It’s This Simple

To those who have felt entitled to assume that the primary reason I write poetry should be that I happen to be a woman – rather than because I had anything to say or any need to express it.

No, I don’t write poems because I’m a woman;
I write poems because I’m a poet!

No, I don’t write love poems because I’m a woman;
I write love poems because I love!

If you don’t understand what I’m trying to say
I suggest you stop reading right away –
with your lack of intelligence
you would misunderstand
every poem anyway.