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Does Chaos Count as an Emotion?

Does chaos count as an emotion?
Or is it just another lie
we tell ourselves to hide
the fact of holes in our understanding
of the workings of the mind?

I look at you and all I feel is chaos –
a mingling of what is and was,
what could be had and lost
and what I truly feel hides there behind –
an answer that my mind won’t let me find.

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Enmeshed

Enmeshed in thoughts of black and gold
of amber and of careful skill,
and drawn towards these almond pools
whose sparkles drain my will

Enmeshed and tangled into strength
which carries weakness in it too,
caught up in thoughts uncertain of
the whereabouts of (always!) you

Outside my window stands a tree
with leaves unfolded, clad in green,
and on my window sill is set
an ashtray, cigarette butts within

But in my head I only see
those smiles, those tears, those memories
who with your disappearance ought,
yes ought!, but never quite do, cease

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Golden Leaf

Those golden autumn leaves –
I think of you –
your life a leaf of time itself
and sharing hue –

Your golden skin, angular bones –
a withered leaf –
the dewdrops on the leafs; your tears
that’s bound to cease

Your eyes that glitter amber-brown –
vitality is here –
development still going on;
there’s beauty there

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You, My Poem

How concentrate when you are here?
It’s difficult for sure.
And when you’ve left, still more
than while you still were here.

How can I write a poem
with an exquisite poem by my side;
what could I say that isn’t tried
about you? My heart’s poem.

How concentrate? I fail, you see,
much rather than write I wish
to study your features, and with a kiss
sign you, my poem: “by Me.”

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When You Smile

Those wonderful, curious ridges
and valleys adorning your face
that speak simultaneously to me
of agelessness and bygone age;

Those shadows and highlights; treasures
of wisdom both old and new
contained in your smile and your wrinkles
ceaselessly draw me to you;

What good is simple beauty
that knows very little of time?
No, tempered by time and struggles,
such polished it’s made sublime;

And through your beautiful wisdom,
which smiles bring to your face,
I sense an ocean of vital strength
transgressing the passage of time, and age.

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Who Are You?

you stirred the water of my soul,
a new beginning could you mold –
who are you? I don’t know.

what power could stillwater free,
turn a wasteland into a sanctuary?
what power lies in you that I can’t see?

not see, but feel it’s effects; feel
the tidal force when round you wheel
in circles around me. who are you?

I don’t know, and I don’t care
as long as you are here
I need not to hear named a thing
which cannot really be explained.

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Iconostasis 2.

The touch of your hand and the sound of your voice –
the smile and the movement of lips and of tongue –
the flicker of eyes and of eyelids, your breath,
the turn of your head and your shoulders, your warmth –

The tightening of sinews, your delicate fingers,
the ironic glimpse in your flicker of smiles –
the picturesque shape of your bones and your features,
the dignified shyness of poise and of gait –

The worries that furrowed your brow and your cheeks,
the wisdom that rests behind smiles, behind tears –
the knowledge you’ve gained, the illusions you’ve lost,
the marks left behind by your loves, hopes and fears –

The distant remoteness you try to preserve,
the closeness you need and the substitutes for it;
leave that in the past, and let’s see for the future
if not my embrace could prove much better fit.

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Interlude

A plane unfolding a cloud is the only
sign of other life we have in sight
while under this, the sky of the earliest
of the early days of Spring’s reluctant light
we tread a path through last year’s
withered stems
and talk about all else than what we want.

And then a silence long and rarely broken
before we see it all again.

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Lee Shores

While I was tossed about by waves
and couldn’t make it home a-shore
I never thought that I should live
to see the daylight anymore

As wave by wave came crashing in
I thought that I should breathe my last
and I prepared myself to face
whatever end earned by my past

I then an unexpected foothold got
when waves diminished and my boat
instead of being tossed about
now suddenly with ease could float

These lee shores I have found and what’s to do
but feeling restful when this way upheld
by gentle currents coming out from you
who withhold storms from being by me felt

I’ve dreamt of waves, and drowning too,
each nightmare followed by the next,
a long succession of them so
at last I thought that I was cursed

But when I sense your hand and voice
I’m sent back instantly to sail
in the smooth waters of your arms,
your breath the only wind to fill my sail

Your chest, your arms my lee shores when afraid,
your eyes, your voice my comfort when alarmed –
the ocean of my mind can do no harm;
when you are here my darker thoughts abate

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Warmth

I miss it – gentle warmth –
caress of souls, of sun and Earth –
a thousand tiny rays and swirls
from you to me and back again –
an endless, wordless, mindless
and thoughtless exchange;
a promise left unspoken
and a word that’s never said
cannot diminish this presence
of the things we had
together –
lingering a while
once you leave me;
your warmth a pleasant memory
as cold envelops me

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Red Interlude

I wanted equality for all. Or did I simply want to feel better about myself? I wanted justice for all. Or maybe mostly for myself? I wanted a bright future for all. Or perhaps dominantly for myself.
But all I knew at the time was that the words that came out of my mouth sounded mature and convincing – at least to my own ears.
I was so proud of having found something to prop myself up on that it hardly even mattered what it was – at least at the time.

Teenagers are fragile – more so than even they themselves think. And through the haze of hormones and emotions, making decisions at all is a near miracle.
I had been flirting with the idea of socialism for a while – the exact reason eludes me today. But at the time I really wanted to believe that it was because I was naturally predisposed to care about the welfare of others, and society in general. Because I wanted to believe in something.
I was living in a small, lazy industrial town with a high unemployment rate. There didn’t seem to be any bright future prospects. And my family seemed to have resigned themselves to that fact – whatever they might say in a political discussion, it was clear to me that they really only cared about their own lives, and failed to see the bigger picture. Later on I realized that such an observation did in fact not just apply to my parents, but to much anyone.

I met R in high school. He was a socialist (at least in speech). I was so impressed with how deeply he claimed to believe in what he claimed to believe in – as if he had life experience enough to know what he was talking about. He was the force that sent me over the edge into joining a communist party. I had been flirting with the idea for about three quarters of a year, but not seriously thought it through. After all, I was only 15.
Being idealistic is so easy as long as you aren’t paying your own rent or signing your own papers. As long as you’re eating at somebody else’s table and can’t vote. Keeping that idealism alive once you have to put your own bread on the table – that’s the tough part.

Everything was coated in red all of a sudden. The songs my mother and grandfather had taught me to sing as a child were all about red flags. When I was little I didn’t know that was a socialist symbol – the flag of Denmark is red as well after all. I just figured that’s what it was about. It wasn’t until my early teenage years that my brain became able to make the distinction. After all, my mother sang the Internationale and the Danish national anthem interchangeably – so why couldn’t the flags be interchangeable as well? It was all jumbled up for me until I started reading about politics seriously as a young teen.
I can’t even recall why I started taking an interest in politics. Perhaps it’s just in my blood. I grew up in the reddest municipality in Denmark (naturally, a poor one for Danish standards), with a proudly socialist mother and a loyally social democratic grandfather. It could be genetics – or contamination.

I wanted so badly to believe in something. To prop myself and my teenage insecurities up on something. And here was this hot teenage guy who had all the answers; and answers that fit in neatly with the songs I’d listened to in my childhood. Neatly coated in familiar red. And here I had a chance to impress him… And you could even fill out the form online.

I have no regrets about joining when it comes to it. I learned a lot in the communist party. That communists are paranoid and live in the past, namely. That fixed truths are too fixed to stay truths in the long run. That pragmatism wins out in the end no matter how well thought-out theories you counter it with. A theory is just a theory. Ideals are not reality. Predicting the future is impossible. And everything change, so looking for a final state of society isn’t worthwhile.
Granted, I don’t think that’s what the communists WANTED to teach me. But that’s what they DID teach me. Not with their words, but with their actions.

However, at the time, the world was a red haze. I was in love and I was fired up by the lethal concoction that was hormones, beliefs and emotions. The stuff that makes people make mistakes essentially. Good things mistakes are opportunities to learn.

I made progress quickly. Sat in on the high-level meetings. Was sent to Brussels to speak about the state of the Danish educational system at an international meeting for left wing parties. Played with the thought of starting a communist youth organization along with one of my friends. A friend who soon became a boyfriend. R was not forgotten but just out of reach, and this guy was truly devoted to “the cause” and we worked together. It seemed a match made in Heaven. We would fight together side by side, joined together by love and beliefs… Except that we weren’t. We were just teenagers who went through a phase.

I started writing for the newspaper of another worker’s party. However, I did so covertly because the two parties were fighting. They were both paranoid because they had attempted a merger recently (just before I joined), and the result had ultimately been that my party backed out, with the consequence that a significant minority left the party and merged with the other party on their own. Cue the drama.
I was happy writing culture stuff for the newspaper, which was even a daily, albeit a small one. I received free books and CD’s. I had a really nice editor. But I had to write under pseudonym for fear that my own party would find out. This very quickly started to bug me.

Gee… The idea evaporated into thin air as soon as my fingers hit the first key. What was it I had intended to write? I couldn’t remember. It was just that his face kept obscuring my thoughts. The intention of writing was always there, but the ability came and went like the wind – even when it was an article with a strict deadline I was working on. It didn’t seem to matter to my brain.
What had I intended to write? How would I get back on track? I needed to deliver that article on time or I would surely hear for it. I would rather avoid the scolding that would follow – but how? My mind took some sharp turns without warning. I just couldn’t seem to keep up anymore.

All the drama got on my nerves. I’m not a drama queen by nature, and even the teenage heat couldn’t keep up with the exhaustion I was starting to feel. I just wanted to live my life and here was this party limiting my opportunities. I could not write for the newspaper I wanted to write for, except in secret. I couldn’t hang out with the people I wanted to hang out with because my boyfriend got jealous. I couldn’t say what I wanted to say because anything to the contrary of official party line was met with demands for “schooling”.
Was it really worth it? My “belief” started to falter, little by little.

It was a farce beyond words. Three small communist parties, who might have been able to make something of a difference if they worked in unison, all Hell bent on stabbing each other in the back over who got to be the leader. Who got to have the last word. Who got to go to whose arrangements. Who paid for what.
I sat in on a meeting where my party – who held an annual festival in Copenhagen – decided to ban the newspaper I was secretly writing for (a daily), from said festival, out of fear that they might steal attention from the party’s own newspaper (a monthly pretty much only received by party members). It didn’t matter to them that the product was better, the texts better, the sales numbers infinitely better (if still small)… They just didn’t want competition. And that came right after issuing a statement in favor of collaboration.
Official party line vs. real life decision-making behind the scenes.

The pride of being a socialist waned. With that, the emotions for my boyfriend went out the window. It turned out that once I didn’t see him as a conquering hero whom I was fighting side by side with on the noble course of creating a stiflingly fixed “better” world for all, he was just a loser. A whiny teenager who didn’t have a single coherent thought in his head. Who really couldn’t fight to save his own life.
No, don’t get me wrong, he was a nice guy. He just wasn’t the one for me. Not at all. I grew up and my mind started working itself out – and he stayed in place. And stayed. And stayed. And never bothered starting to think for himself because, really, once you get used to letting other people make your decisions for you, learning to do it yourself is just too much bother…

The colour red evokes strong emotions in people. It is the colour of love, of passion, of war. For me, it is the colour defeat and loss as well. I love it because it still symbolizes my country, and also the ideals I was proud to share – even if they turned out to be no reflection of reality whatsoever in the long run – but it also makes me sad.
Going back to being what I really should have been all along – a social democrat – was a difficult decision. A more difficult decision than it should have been considering how right it was for me. But there was a lot of red haze to shake off. A lot of disillusion to overcome. A crazy high to come down from after having pledged one’s life to a cause that demanded so much – and going back to being an ordinary party member of an ordinary party that wasn’t populated by old people who desperately wanted some younger members to plan that impossible revolution they themselves must’ve long since realized that they were too old and frail and too out of touch to ever carry out themselves. What they never realized was that a revolution would never work in as stable and secure a country as Denmark anyway. Age is no guarantee for wisdom I suppose.

I was 15 when I joined. I was 16 when I left. It was less than a year but if felt like a lifetime. I wasn’t the same person going in as I was stepping out. And after that, it took a few years to clear my head enough to realize what I had taken with me from the experience, and how I could turn the chaos and confusion into something constructive.
I came out wiser and more composed. More at ease with myself. So all in all, it was good for something. But admittedly, I also felt kind of stupid.

I told myself that everybody makes mistakes. And that is true. And a hormone-drugged teenager who is even in love is all the more prone to such moves. But still… I should have known, on some level, that ideals are ideals exactly BECAUSE they aren’t real. If they were real they would’ve become reality at some point.

I know why I stayed those eight months after joining. Why I actually got caught up in the politics instead of just having it being secondary to my turbulent teenage love life. I know that beyond a doubt because I wrote a highly exultant poem about it about a month into this time-span: I felt that I belonged somewhere for the first time in my life. They made me feel that I fit in. They made me feel needed. They made me feel as if my life had a purpose, and they made me feel that they had the key I needed to attain said purpose. I didn’t feel like an outsider for the first time in my life. Getting a boyfriend inside the party was definitely a contributing factor to this as well, but they did groom me a good deal, and I was susceptible – for a time.
I would have done most everything to feel like I fit in. What teenager wouldn’t? And it wasn’t as if they asked for much in return except loyalty. It just so turned out that loyalty to a communist party is too much work to keep up once reality sets in.

Having to leave the communist party meant giving up my entire belief system and a good deal of my network. And surrender to fate. Throw in the towel. It was my luck that I met a Chinese guy just at the right time (oh, yes; the hormones were still raging) who was able to shed some light on the matter of communism in reality. His stories matched a lot better with my own observations than anything the comrades claimed it was all about. And when it came to it, you can feel like you belong in a relationship as well. You can feel a part of something bigger than yourself in a relationship as well. And it’s generally safer to look for it there than in politics.
Anyhow, that relationship granted me a respite in which I got to think everything through and definitively decide that communism wasn’t the way to go for me. That it was a beautiful ideal that didn’t work out in practice. That the communist parties were deliberately backstabbing their allies for “the greater good” and waiting for a revolution that would never come while jabbering about “class consciousness” as if it’s something that matters in the Western world in the 21st century where the working class is practically extinct… The more I read up on the subject, the more disillusioned I became. I’m glad I didn’t have to face it alone but had a citizen from a (so-called) communist country to support me through all this.

I have no regrets about any of the things I did. Neither joining or leaving. As I said; I learned a lot from the experience, and that is the most important part. The only things I regret is that I didn’t read Karl Popper earlier (it could have saved me all the trouble, really).

This is a powerless narrative. Those who wish to do what I did will disregard my words, and the rest will read in them whatever they want to read. But that doesn’t matter. I mostly wrote it for myself anyway. To admit what happened back then. To get the words out of my head and onto paper.
It’s funny all the same. When I re-tell the story it sounds like such a farce. Because that’s what it was. A farce. A political and sexual mish-mash comedy. But back then it was dead serious to me, and anybody who’d claimed otherwise would have had to answer for it.

But oh do I miss the high of believing in an all-encompassing worldview, and oh do I understand those who search for such a one and allow their whole lives to be entangled in it so that there’s nothing left besides it – whether it takes the form of politics or religion or anything else. I understand them. It so safe – floating in the fetal water of one all-encompassing comfort zone where everything is thought out for you so that you don’t have to do anything but allow yourself to surrender.
The only problem is – that life is not your own. It is owned by those who told you what to think and how to behave. Absolute truths are exactly what they are – absolutes. Nothing beyond and nothing besides. And no room for who you are outside of them.

The red haze has lifted. I still show up under red flags every once in a while at social democratic gatherings. But it is a world apart. It is the difference between being dictated to and accepting due to hormonal imbalances and a desperate desire to fit in; and having fruitful discussions amongst equals.

I can never go back. Nor do I want to. I grew up, I grew past it and I developed a brain that doesn’t take well to either making decisions based on emotions and hormones, or being told what to do.
But boy did I learn a lot.

I certainly did something constructive with my teenage years. Even if the thing I ultimately ended up doing wasn’t at all the thing I thought I was doing at the time.

It wasn’t the ultimate means to an ultimate end that I allowed myself to believe. It was an interlude. A red interlude that catapulted me from adolescence to young adulthood.

What a time.

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HER 1: Waiting for Her

I.

It was raining as usual. Since autumn set in the rain had been almost constant. She had hardly seen the sun in over three weeks.
All the same, the weather fit her mood.
She was waiting for the bus. It felt to her as if all she had ever done in her life was waiting. For the bus. For Her. For the bus again. Benching. Waiting for the bus. Waiting for Her. Benching. Waiting. For Her.
The rain weighed down her otherwise fluffy hair, and the drops on her glasses made it impossible for her to see. She took them off. Not that it helped in the least bit. It just made the world blurry instead of blotched.

Continue reading HER 1: Waiting for Her

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Jeg kunne drukne i de dér øjne

Jeg kunne drukne i de dér øjne
der brænder sig ind i min sjæl
og suger al kraft ud af mig
mens jeg hjælpeløs plasker omkring
i deres lyse malstrøm.

Mere blå end himlen –
mere blå end havet –
blå som is gennemskinnet
af Nordens kolde sol.

Din sjæl kalder på min
fra deres bundløse dybder,
og der er varme i deres
tilsyneladende kulde –
mit åndedræt stopper
for at besvare deres kalden.

Du suger livet ud af mig
med de øjne –
jeg gisper efter luft
som en fisk på land
mens det fine netværk af rynker
der som en mosaik
omkranser deres dybder
meddeler mig
din medviden.

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Til nogen

Du suger varme fra mig –
varme jeg har brug for –
du er en malstrøm
der opsluger mig –
de léende øjne,
den sitrende mund,
den hånd der griber efter mig –
de tanker jeg vikler omkring den.

Dit smil suger al energi,
dine øjnes skælmske smil
fortæller mig
at du ved
at du allerede er tilgivet.

Fjeldgrå hårstrå
vejer som uregerligt græs
i vinden der omslutter
os –
Isblå øjne smiler til mig;
suger al min kraft –
men en stærk hånd holdes frem
og et smil er et stående tilbud –
det bedste jeg har haft.

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Reminder

Confusion is a fact of life, and when my mind forgets,
my dreams continue to remind me of the life I had;
I see you, see your smile again, and hear your voice again,
I feel you touch me, feel your skin. I love you yet again.

And when I went to sleep last night I was supposed to dream
but I gained no such thing; I went to work within my sleep;
I wrote and wrote about you and I meant each word I wrote,
but everything was washed away the moment I awoke.

I know I love you, even though I don’t know how or why;
I can’t remember if I know; forget it when I try –
I’d like to just erase you, to move on and to forget,
but every time I sleep you still return to fill my head.

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Love, What Are You?

Achievements – what are they?
They’ll vanish when I’m gone,
and though my heart is young
my soul is ancient-old.

I’ve known sorrow, known pleasure,
and love is all I have to show,
a love impeding every chance to grow
and yet I seem to wish it so.

Love, what are you?
The dying breath of longing and desire
when you cause all that I admire
to fade into reality.

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YOU

to the girl

YOU
are streams of music, tones of rain
and moisturizing breaths you share,

YOU
are a song that comes and goes –
unnoticed though by most –
that follows me asleep, awake,
and lives inside my palms

YOU
breathe out tenderness and contours,
breathe in life and dance
and paint a life with nothing
that has meaning

YOU,
your…
yours…
your…

curls of heat that stir the air
on a hot summer’s day
and fuses floral scents
with everything, everywhere

YOU
are everything I see –
you are in flowers, are in trees,
are in valleys, are in hills,
in the earth and in the sea

a breath of freshness
yet to be renewed
in waves that lap these
strands of welcoming seas

and a continuous harmony
playing its soulful airs
of tension between sea and sands

and YOU
as you recline and you observe
the ordered mayhem you create –
that is created from you –
spiraling outward from you
in its warm, entangling curls

a softness like the finest silk,
a moisture like the thickest mist,
a penetrating scent of life and light

and YOU
who just perpetuate –
who just persist –

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My Ocean v2

You are my ocean,
no grander destination do I have
than to rest in your bosom

Your currents take me
far asea until the coast is lost to sight
and deluded I believe to be free

Your waves rock my life
my life, the rickety boat that carries me
through your eternities

Your voice brings comfort
and peace to my wandering mind
as I seek the luxury of truth

You are boundless
you speak speechlessly, whisper in my ears
till I drift to sleep

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Roam

Let us roam the Earth together
with no plan or destination,
travel inwards with eachother
with no fear of deviation.

Volatile and agile in our pursuit
of every height and elevation,
entwined by dreams we will endure
and go beyond our own cognition.

Order and chaos are rendered senseless
as we approach a new distinction,
the world for me is rendered worthless:
To me You alone are the crown of creation.

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I Watch You Sleep

With golden strings inwoven
like tiny light-beams,
with sunshine interwoven
in your hair, you rest in dreams,
your head upon my chest
with the golden hair cloven
into two braids of mild unrest

With eyelids flickering
observing your dreams,
you lay quivering,
uneasy, so it seems,
in my adoring arms
as I keep gently whispering
your name, oh, how it warms!

With regret I await
the moment you arise
and thereby close the gate
you opened to the skies
when your head rested,
here on my chest
for an hour truly blessed

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Nykteri 2.

I call you Nykteri
because you are by night
more than by day a sight,
a touch, intoxicating;
a whiff of your perfume,
a drink of your soft lips
and I am drunk with love
as we our cocktails sip
beneath the colourful bark of trees
endemic not to our home;
eucalyptus, cypress, tamarisk,
araucaria and yet more unknown

Nykteri, night-wine, feel the breeze
which from the ocean finds you here
and plays with your golden hair
while I, quite bothered, you, at ease
leave the bar to take a stroll
along the beach, acrpss the lava sand –
(I wish to lay you down but know I can’t) –
Nykteri – look, the cactus is in bloom;
unlike us it is here quite at home
and flourishing in heat which we
can hardly survive by day,
and therefore instead by night
venture, as now, outside
to see the barren landscape
formed long ago by volcanoes
where little grow and each plant seems a treasure;
each flower a source of endless pleasure

Nykteri – I am drunk with you,
as you say goodnight, disappear
behind your door – in there
where I can’t reach you anymore.
As I walk home in darkest night
where not a bird is heard,
with a striped cat as only company,
I feel it might be both
a blessing and a curse indeed
to love you;
nothing is ever clearly black or white
when drunk with you, Nykteri

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Continuation

I know that I must live on just
to praise how I remember you;
who else would do the same
or just remember you as I do?

I must live on, if I cease to be
no worthy praise you’d get,
so even if you won’t listen to me
I’ll have to continue the serenade,

continue, repeat and repeat myself
memorizing the features I’d forget
if only I could – long forgotten they’d be
if I paused to consider what’s best for me.

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New Poem: “The Weight of Love”

I am heavier than other people
as if someone tied weights around my ankles –
I think heavy thoughts that I cannot lighten.

I live my life as if I am constantly
being driven into a lake
and dragged down by my own weight.

She was sitting on my desk – smiling shyly and looking down at her feet – dressed in nothing but a veil –
But that was a dream.

I was walking through a field of ripe corn cobs – I picked a few and roasted them with butter over a bonfire –
But that was a dream.

She came walking through the field – she smiled at me – her hair and skin were a lovely warm bronze like the earth –
But that was a dream.

Her hand slipped from mine as she danced out onto the ice as graceful as a figure skater – but without the skates –
But that was a dream.

A lightning struck close by – and she disappeared – and I looked for traces of her everywhere and never found a thing –
Not a dream – just a metaphor.

I would rather dream again.