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The Restless Darkness

I am a civilized woman, am I not?
A product of a state who never lets me go.
A product of millennia of development,
and paths that others had to go.

Then why does the darkness within remain?
The drive that makes me restless,
angry, fearful of myself
time and again?

Is this the best that I can be?

A clenching fist that never gets release –
a thousand angry thoughts
that no amount of words can ease –

A core of smoldering darkness
unseen within –
a hand stained red
with paint
from a canvas torn in anger
at my failure as a human being –

Why is that I can’t get to express
anything worthwhile to anyone –
the silence, the civility
it only feeds the darkness
it festers deep within
yet still remains unseen by everyone –

The breaking point –
I don’t know where it is
since I am weighed down by society –
all I do know
is that there is
such a thing as too much civility –

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The Restless Wind Rustles the Wheat

The restless wind rustles the wheat
today; sunshine – yesterday; sleet,
a sun that dares to show its face
for once
and deigns to filter through the branches’ lace –

A lazy tune that’s being hummed in vain
with nobody to hear it – save the grain –
a person moving slowly, lazily
for once
and taking in the ambiance and scenery –

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Just a Drop of Water

I am nothing unique, really –
I am a drop of water
in the river of society,
unsatisfied,
unfulfilled,
like any other.

We’re headed somewhere collectively
but that is not a place I wish to see –
the fear is always there;
being hidden in the stream of history,
drowned among the others and forgot
like so many – most –
who lived and shaped our lives today
but still, whose thoughts and names were lost.

I am nothing unique, really –
just another drop of water
that evaporates eventually,
meaningful,
unsuccessful,
like any other.

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Spring Burst Forth

The Spring announced itself today –
the 3rd of April –
with a flash of light
and an angry roar
it washed the winter off the ground
as it were –

And underneath the winter
suddenly the flowers, tough,
exploded from their hides
announcing: “We have had enough!”,
with birds in happy chorus chanting with them:
“Finally! Now we may live again!”

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Early Morning – Fog

Heavy dampness in the air,
whiteness everywhere –
muffled sounds from far away
as morning wakes to day –

Tentative light that tries to poke
its fingers through the fog of sleep –
the war of Spring on Winter
leaves everything to soak
in clouds it dragged down deep –

The sun fights with the whiteness
and wafts it gently by –
yet something still remains
to cloud my mind and eye –

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The Stone Circle In Progress

The stone circle in progress
hums quietly to you
as hills through the mist
drift back into view.

The faces on the stones
observe you quietly
as you bravely traverse
this piece of history.

The peat bog winks you closer
with blinking, dim blue light;
the vapour trails that linger
will not be swept aside.

The peaceful hills at rest
protect our ancestors –
guarding the few remains
that’s all they left for us.

Look not to these round hills
for peace or solace – ever –
look, touch, observe – then pass –
but they remain forever.

The hill where nothing lives
broods over its past
by the beach without waves;
silence at last.

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There’s Mist In the Valleys Between the Hills

There’s mist in the valleys
between the hills
and the sunset
sets it on fire.

There’s foam on the waves
rolling ashore
and breaking over
the pier.

There’s hazy birdsong
drifting down
towards us on the breeze.

There’s less than an hour
to a city
if you cannot handle such peace.

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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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SPREAD

1.

Does the cell think of the purpose of its existence as it wriggles its way around between its many brethren? Does it ever consider how small and fragile it is, or how and why it exists? No. It just exists. It moves around because that’s what it does. And that very action in inaction is the foundation of life. Thinking is disastrous on lower levels – it is a privilege of accumulated distance to one’s roots.

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On the Fjord

Early morning on the fjord. The fishing boat cutting slowly and surely through the still water. Only the humming of the engine to be heard. The mist trailing on the surface, swirling around the boat on both sides, making it difficult to see the buoys and the flags. Difficult finding the nets. But they have to be found or the fish will die for lack of food.
The sun not yet warming. The cold of the night still lingering. The moon’s sickle still visible above the horizon too, but hard to see through the mist. The splashing of the water.

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A Tale of Modern Paganism

There were days when the paganism of her ancestors came back to life inside her.
There were days when the cherry wine was a welcome friend.
But there were also days when it didn’t work as well as it ought to.
There were days when she didn’t need it at all – where she was one with the world around her, one with the permeating universal energy and felt the breath of the Universe itself in the wind and heard its voice in the rustling leaves, and let her body dissolve happily into the fabric it was a part of.
On those days she didn’t need the cherry wine.
But then there were other days.

Continue reading A Tale of Modern Paganism

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You Can’t Drown

The voice spoke loud and clear to me though no-one could have spoken it. No-one could have because my head was under water and it isn’t possible to speak down there. Your hearing is magnified but your speech vaporizes and comes out in practically voiceless bubbles if you are to attempt. It is such a relief. One of the bonuses of diving, at least for someone like me who isn’t much of a talker even on the best of days.
And yet this voice came and spoke to me underwater. I could hear the distant, rhythmic thumping of a boat motor, and the vague echo of the movements of the other divers, but apart from that all was still. And then it came. It was loud, it was clear, and it was decided. “You can’t drown!”

Continue reading You Can’t Drown

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Lysene på vandet

Jeg følger i deres kølvand –
søger deres hemmeligheder
mens jeg skjuler mine egne.
De lys derude kalder –
de kalder gennem tågen –
deres flakken afspejler
mit flyvske, urolige
hjertes ubestandige slag.
Jeg føler at de taler til mig.
Jeg føler at de er der.
Jeg vil ikke tro at de
er solens første, spæde stråler
der glitrer gennem tågen
der som en tyk dyne
svøber sig om båden –
nej,
der er nogen derude
som vil mig noget…
som vil mig…
Jeg følger efter,
lader båden drive
i den ikke-eksisterende brise
der ikke vil komme til min redning –
tågens tæthed gør det svært
at trække vejret –
stilheden
ringer for mine øren –
her et lys,
der et lys…
Jeg spejder.
Morgenen er dårligt begyndt
men noget er igangsat;
noget har taget forskud på dagen
eller
besluttet sig for
at forlænge natten –
for min skyld er det fint
hvis natten aldrig slutter;
jeg ønsker ikke at vågne –
jeg rækker armene ud
i det kolde, klamme mørke;
i den kvælende dis;
find mig!

Båden driver;
hjerteslaget runger
i takt med vandets skvulpen
i stilheden –
men lysene er der endnu
og mine øjne suger dem til sig –
er de liv eller død
er lige meget –
de er til…
Er de til?

Fjorden giver og fjorden tager –
med ét slår en døsig solstråle
tåge-gardinet til side
og blænder mig i døsig forundring.
Hvem er du?
Hvad laver du herude?
Jeg glipper med øjnene og spejder –
kun dette ene lys er tilbage.
De dunkle blink er sunket i dybet,
gledet bort i sikkerhed
for dagens komme.
Kun JEG er her endnu –
ikke i selskab med et længselsfuldt spøgelse,
ikke indhyllet i omklamrende dis,
ikke efterstræbt af bundens skibsvrag
eller et revs grådige slikken sig om munden –
ikke gået på grund,
stadig flydende –
men alene.

Og alt for
levende
til at forstå
hvad jeg så.

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Foranderlige fjord

Jeg står i vand til over hovedet –
men det er der ikke længere
(vandet) –
omkring mig breder sig en flade
af grønt, bølgende
græs –
der er ingen kontrast
til det bølgende vand –
kun diget adskiller –
jeg står på dette kunstige højdedrag,
landets højeste punkt,
og ser den bølgende grønne
og ser den bølgende blå
flade –
én til hvert øje…
Hvis jeg stiger ned kan jeg stå
hvor fjorden var –
stå i vand til over hovedet,
i vand som ikke længere
er vand –
det vand der VAR;
det fordrevne vand –
men kniber man øjnene sammen
ser græsset ud som bølger.

Øen er et skib
der hugger i bølgerne –
bølgerne skyller ind over dækket
nu og da,
nu som før –

Diget frarøvede havet
en stump af landet –
men landet er aldrig holdt op med
at bølge…
Horisonten er lige langt borte
til begge sider –
lige flad
og fjern –
kun solen flytter sig,
men der er intet til at kaste skygger.

Lavland,
Havland,
midlertidigt land
der vugger
sig selv
i søvn.

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Snespor

Hvidt støv suser over grå asfalt
snart dækket –
hvide fnug fyger,
skjuler horisonten –
jeg går uden at efterlade spor;
jeg kunne forsvinde,
lægge mig under en hvid dyne,
sove –
men verden ville finde mig
alligevel
før eller siden –

Jeg går uden at efterlade mig spor –
sneen er min ven
der skjuler mig
og bider i mine kinder
for trods alt at minde
om min eksistens –

Når sneen ikke falder
fures den af spor –
det vil jeg ikke se –
ikke se hvordan mennesker
roder i naturen –
ikke deltage,
ikke vide,
ikke findes –
viske spor ud bag mig
ét for ét –

Når det så
bliver varmere –
det hvide tæppe efterlader
et hulmønster
på græsset,
dråber
der stille dumper ned
fra træer,
tagskæg –

Jeg er tilbage i livet,
den farlige sportid
er forbi –
nu kan jeg igen gå trygt
uden at se bag over skulderen –
nu kan man forsvinde
i menneske-fygningen –

men lyset –
men stilheden –

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Lace

SPRING:
The buds that unfold and grow,
the dew that resumes at night,
droplets in beams of light,
dispersing remnants of snow.

SUMMER:
The skin on the back of your hand,
the sunshine through the trees,
the veins that pattern leaves,
footprints in the sand.

AUTUMN:
The wrinkes around your eye,
the dispersing remnants of mist,
the creepers that turn and twist,
cotton wool in the sky.

WINTER:
The dust in a beam of light,
the hoar frost on the leaves,
icicles hanging from trees,
your breath in a winter night.

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A Crooked Tree – I

A lonely being, standing at the crossroad,
abandoned by your family and friends –
the healthy, youthful lot who once stood by you,
now long gone – used as firewood by humans,
made into planks, tools, ornaments of unknown use to you –
and here you stand alone, grown old in years,
long having outgrown all the youthful fears
of feeling the steel-blade which all the others felt –
you know now that your shape protects therefrom,
you’re useless – and therefore you have been left alone,
have long since into full potential grown –
but rather than feel blessed, you ask, in all your solitude:
“Why live; when lonely, miserable – bereft of friends and youth?”

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A Crooked Tree – II

I’ve wished that I was beautiful,
spent years pining therefore –
I thought myself to be sorrowful
without admiring glances,
and wasted years by dreaming me
into something that I couldn’t be –
just this I am; a crooked tree;
the only beauty found in me
sounds through my crooked branches;
the wind’s cheerful melody

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A City Seen From a Plane

An absurd, pulsing flower –
a nerve-cell throbbing with life,
pulses of light moving swiftly through the night
in yellowish bursts as I observe here
elevated in the skies –

What could be beautiful
is a parasite on the face of the Earth,
pulsing with life – the life of fungi,
the life of death, of bacteria consuming,
devouring its own matter of life.

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North Sea

Do you remember me, restless sea?
Do you remember the girl you’d have swallowed
if by some miracle unknown to me
I hadn’t been saved while I in you wallowed.
Do you remember the deed you near did
and would have finished if given the chance?
Do you remember – I always did!
I’ll always remember the breathless dance
of waves you sent to fetch my soul
there; breathless child in knee-deep water
where I stood, alone and cold.
North Sea, I’ll never forget you
though I’ve never seen you since –
even when my way has brought me
close to you my eyes have been diverted
from the place where I was left deserted
by phantom-figures; brought to bathe at sea –
the phantom-wave arose from out of you
and I no longer know how I escaped,
but one good thing came of the experience too;
I learned back then a wise respect for waves.

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“You Can’t Drown”

There is a voice which calls to me:
“You Can’t Drown” – water-borne
I drift around within this sea,
was I not too of water born?
So much has moved beyond my reach
as I seethe in this sea of reality,
so much is lost to those who seek;
“the tide lifts all boats” is the saying of the beach,
a prayer of hope for us who in this sea
has long since lost all trace of what it is we seek.

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The Road Into the Wilderness

What do you know
about the road
into the wilderness –
framed by the pines
in silent lines
of endless loneliness

The road, the road
which trails its track
through miles of forest-land,
without a destination,
void of end, beginning
and of any plan

The only travelers
traversing this way
are the likes of me –
they are the ones who stray
out of the beaten track
wishing to truly BE!

And when they reach
this almost-empty road
they know what there’s to know;
the world is void,
the meaning’s gone;
there’s nothing left to know

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Oak

On a riverbank I sat
resting my feet,
my back against a steadfast
reliable oak tree;
if I could be as patient
what might I not achieve?
I’d grow into the heavens
if I dared to believe.
But those qualities I lack,
I’m too impatient; too distraught;
never to accomplish anything
seems to be my goal.
All this restless hurry
drains my energy –
I wish to flow like the river
and grow steadily like the tree.

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Fingers

Fingers stretch out everywhere
to reach, to grab and tear

to drag life out of its hiding place,
the withering flowers,
the branches of the leafless trees –
nature’s now-barren bowers
with their beauty-spreading powers
shielding emptiness

to grab hold of meaning and essence,
to tear at the roots of existence –
the fingers of the brittle stars,
the fingers of pollen,
fingers reaching, spreading out
in nature’s feeding- and reproduction war

to reach for death or grasp for life,
to seek out darkness, seek out light –
the ivy clinging to the wall,
the blind mole digging underground,
the seagull for the shoreline bound

and your own hands, digging in dirt
for means of existence,
your own, shallow words
naming plants and animals, and needs and wants
with different names
though they’re all the same –
just fingers grabbing hold
of some means of existence;
reaching, grabbing, tearing
and holding on to everything

holding everything together –
keeping everything in place

in this place

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Soft Breeze

I smell wet grass
and mosses from
your hair as you pass
by my door,
soft breeze who plays
with the sun’s rays
and dances on
forevermore

Restless, joyous
in your movements,
not constrained by worries
like my world.
On you dance, forgetful
on you dance, so joyful
with no constraints
you swirl

Curls of smoke adorns
your hair and
shoulders, old and worn
but lively young,
twinkling drops of moisture
smelling of green pastures
shines in your eyes
and to your lashes cling

Fresh breeze – my dear
I present you
with a solemn tear
of thankfulness
for your tranquil beauty
and for your sensitivity
when gently you
my cheek caress

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Sunbeam

A ray of sunlight escapes the clouds
illuminating everything in its path;
the red, yellow, brown autumn foliage
is set ablaze
as the withering leaves sponge up, consume
the heat – the foliage turns luminous,
sending incendiary sparks with miraculous
mind-healing powers to you.

With an air of the utmost defiance
the sunlight illuminates the hindrance
in its way,
and turns the clouds yellow, orange, pink instead of grey
as the sun’s golden orb, overflowing with light
kindles fiery beauty in nature
on its endless venture
to prove to the world its might.

The sunbeam, interwoven with the plants
seems to subtly, casually dance
and as it hits the dust with flares
the world is chaos
of overflowing beauty encircling every living thing,
but then the clouds get envious
and close in to destroy the tempestuous
joy, which sunshine to the world’s mind brings.

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Green, Gold

The grass alights with stripes of green and gold
as sunlight filters through the trees,
and light and shadow divides the ground beneath
in asymmetric patterns – green, gold, green, gold –
of stripes, triangles and an occasional circle,
disappearing and re-appearing with the clouds
which thoughtlessly roll ever on above,
not giving a care to the beauty they periodically
destroy,
green, gold – darkness – green, gold –
darkness. The dualism of tears and joy.

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waves

wave after wave come rushing in,
in slow-motion I watch the stream
of sunshine’s glittering gold reflected
on their perky tops, erected
over the following hills and dales
streaming silently over the shoals
until they finally reach their goals;
murmuring over the sand before my feet

every time a wave comes in –
each tiny little, harmless being –
I hear it speaking softly to me
like all my life I’ve heard them speak,
but never understood I quite
the language of their silent speech,
so what it is they wish to say
remains a riddle today as yesterday

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The Sun Is Floating in a Sea of Mist

The sun is floating in a sea of mist
with two pale cloud-boats in its wake,
and all the sky irradiates as it emits
its golden light to mist and clouds alike

Then sinking in the sea of its own home
it dips its redding globe in the horizon
where silhouettes of trees, instead of foam,
await to drown what others let arise

And for a while two lonely clouds float on
lit up from underneath by fading embers
until the red fades from them too and they are gone;
only this poor rendition now remembers

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Moist

landscape lost
in a humid cloud
of nebulous mist
that moist descends
upon us

dispersing white
mist, seesawing –
what a sight
to behold
before us

fog twirling around
pale smokestacks,
we are found
within this world,
swirling around

droplets condensing
on your cheek and brow
now start flowing
further down
moistening your clothes

moisture becomes vapour
as the nebula disperses,
the air clean and pure
washed, surely greets us
welcome home

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Hanging on its Stalk

glistening petals, pearly skin
as white and rosy as a memory
of fairytales told to me long ago –
but somehow they don’t seem to be
the lasting objects of veneration
that I have sought, (that I came here to see);
they droop as if caught up
in some sad moment’s melancholy,
and from the silky petals fall
two pearly drops – signaling fatefully
the doom of yet another worshipped object;
the fate of each and every thing of beauty

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The Rise and the Fall

Out of the ocean rises it, transparent in its beauty,
cocks head in joyful majesty and marvels at its power,
then bends its neck when nearing land, in curiosity –
consumes itself in foam and then
collapses on the sand;
retracted to the sea by subtle strings it disappears –
and re-appears and disappears; and yet and yet again

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Sunset at Sea

On such a pleasant evening I rejoice
in the ocean’s waves’ ancient-old voice
as they their thuds against the ship let sound
amidst the vast, blue realm which us surround

These waves, these North Sea hills and vales
which I was taught to fear
from childhood days through songs and tales;
but now they seem so dear

And the beauty is quite overwhelming
as blue sky and ocean blur the horizon
so the sunset’s golden stripe, glimmering,
remains to separate them alone

How odd it seems to muse today
over this stripe of gold
that only ever points my way
with beauty manifold

As centre of the Universe I feel
when seeing this arrow point to me
with never-faltering constancy and zeal
over much-less-constant deep, blue sea

I near forget my destination
as this I observe;
and feelings of emancipation
eases quite my nerve

But even now, in the back of my mind
I know with certaintu
that the freedom and openness I find
on the sea; lives only out at sea

The coast that comes in sight
soon takes it all from me
so that the sunset’s golden light
alone will linger – in my memory

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Descending Moon

Thin whirling veils of pink and gold
are intertwined across the sky and dance
in slow and graceful motion ‘round
a perfect half-sphere, cold and white and drenched
in mist that makes it wobble slightly to our eyes
as it descends through wisps of pink and gold;
the ribbons killing off its final, fading light,
to let the golden sunlight oversweep the world

Oh, whereto do you wind
behind the ribbons of the rosy mist,
the vapour veils that twist in wind
obscuring you, by moisture kissed?

When they shall fade, so shall you too;
you, misty silver half-moon cold
whose fading glow now only woo
your own scarred face, your memories of old.

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Rainy Night

Luminescent night-air,
walking in the dirzzling rain.
There’s no light yet there is light
and rain like mist
with silence in its noise.

Mid-autumn leaves cannot decide
on letting go or holding on.
No wind is there to help them choose
just steady, weightless rain.

Drenched in the water
and the sunless flooding light.
Another quiet, airy,
bright and rainy night.

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Silhouette

In curls and ringlets, dark
yet vividly expressed like broken brushstrokes
it bends and stretches out
across a piece of sky
that blotched in turquoise, purple, pink and orange
bids the day: “goodbye”;
this oak tree, curled as if asleep already
and yet stretched out too
as if it’s waking, stretching, yawning,
anticipating dawns that shall be coming.

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The Thunderstorm’s Approach

The pressure in the air is full of birdsong.
The heat declares its presence everywhere.

The faintest smell of apple blossoms and of grass
comes greeting through the window on the swell.

The cooling breeze comes to caress my hair,
to lighten up the air and tensions ease.

We’re waiting for the thunderstorm’s approach;
it let’s us wait – uncaring for reproach.

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Autumn

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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Spring Coronet I

Come and remove this crown from my head;
a laurel crown whose leaves are dead
and replace it with a circle of flowerets
with spring’s brightest colours and shapeliest shapes
which your timeworn hands over my hair shall drape –
a life-reaffirming Spring-coronet

Let’s go out together through the forest green,
pluck the prettiest flowers human eyes have seen –
daisies, cornflowers, buttercups –
while we take in the birdsong greeting us through
the twigs over our heads, the Spring-birds will woo
us till our hearts burst, soaring to the highest tops

And let’s dance there together under the trees
to the sound of the birds’ soulful melodies –
it is Springtime, how life-reaffirming the word,
let us praise it together in song and dance
with an air of unmistaken romance
aided by sweet-smelling flowers and a wooing bird

And when the long, joyful day comes to an end
we’ll gather the flowers we plucked and descend
from our private Heaven to a humbler abode
with the coronet glowing with pride on my hair
waving in the warm, sweet-scented Spring air
as the sky darkens, and the birds now sing in Aeolian mode

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Spring Coronet II

The light has faded over our days of victory
and in my hands I hold the only remnant left to see:
My well-beloved, faded Spring-coronet
wrought with loving hands by someone dear,
and placed on my head with a joy so sheer
on the day we danced. Oh, sweet flowerets!

My hands grasp it tightly, then suddenly let go
and watch as the coronet above the world flows,
then I lay myself down in the grass
and breathe a breath of pain, then of relief,
at last relieved of hope, fear, happiness and grief,
and in the church they light the candles for the
midnight mass.

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Birdsong

Warble birds your sweet, sweet song.
Never stop. Go on. Go on.
My heart’s heavy, my song’s spent.
My head’s heavy, earthward bent.

Sing a song of sweet delight,
send it upwards to the light
while I wander in the shade
waiting for my song to fade.

Warble birds – it’s soothing balm,
warble and instill some calm
to the evening I pass by
from your hiding in the sky.

But don’t ask for sing-along,
I have lost all joy in song;
My song’s spent, my head hangs low –
My love went; where did she go?

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The Island 1.

I.

Out where the ocean meets the land,
the land some dots spread in the sea,
remote and distant is the land
cut off from where it used to be –

The surging tides they push and pull,
raise and lower fishing boats
some near empty, some near full
with freshly caught, still-living loads

An island kingdom of its own –
the mainland just a distant shade
on the horizon’s ocean’s foam
where heat of day will make it fade

 

II.

Clusters of flowers on the dike,
boats are nearly out of sight,
calm and peaceful summer day
nothing getting in the sun’s way,
heat disturbs the mainland shade,
children in the ebb tide wade
out to gather mussel shells
while their mother impatient yells;
lunchtime’s rapid on approach,
but I; I am not in the mood –
stretched out on the dike I see
my homeland’s old scenery –
clusters of flowers on the dike,
boats are nearly out of sight,
mainland summits nearly gone,
I drift off but life goes on…

 

III.

a church bell tolls
on Sunday morning,
almost noon
the sun is warm,
a lone cloud circles
round its sphere
then passes on
elsewhere,
the bell tolls on
then silences,
nobody’s out
the heat alone
is quite enough
to keep them in their homes
till evening –
then they stream out
filling the bars
filling the restaurant
and the beach where
I sit and stare
out over the sea
in the shade of a tree,
a lone majesty
facing the sea

 

IV.

you carve the path
lone majesty,
you direct the currents
of the sea
alone in your
singularity
out here where no one
seemingly
challenges your
superiority –
you protrude from
the sea floor, bold,
you dignified
your head uphold –
but know this;
you’re on borrowed time,
the sea creeps in,
it counts your time –
when you erode
over the years
and dissipate
piece by piece
into the hungry sea –
who will recall the island when
the sea has called it home again?

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Insel des Einzelgänger 1.

Monologue: Where I Stand Now.

“I walk alone, remember not
a time when this was not my lot;
I walk alone, my melody
the roaring of surrounding sea;
I walk alone, my song is this,
be left alone my only wish.”

“I am a loner, this is true,
supported by the rain and dew,
by wind and sea, by summer rain
that makes me sprout with this year’s grain.”

“A voice, a voice in distance heard,
it says my name; speaks dreadful words;
but should I heed it’s message, take
for granted this prophecy I hear,
or hope that none of what I fear
shall ever cause me to awake?”

THE PROPHECY:
The day shall come when you whose ship
with arrogance parts currents now
shall either be deluged or be
just swept away; revenge of the sea –
slowly perhaps, or perhaps fast
you shall be gone; you cannot last.

She walked along the street, singing,
heard nobody else speaking and heeded nobody’s greetings:

“Such a weather as today,
such a day!
All I wish is to be swept away!

My native ocean
where are you now?
Where are the waves
where do you flow?
Where is my ship (if it still is)?
Carry me off
to the horizon
where I glimpse in the far-off distance

some summits I can’t recognize.

I shall explore and I shall find.

At least I’ll try and should the wind
Impertinent carry me off
away off course

way into distant unknown lands
then what?

As long as I’m alone as long as I am free

I shall not care what I shall get to see.

Where is my ship
– it’s silver keel,
it’s silky sails
full with the wind,
let’s go tomorrow is too late,

I feel a sense of haste
I know not why,
I have to go, I have to run, I am compelled –
I know not why.”

But still she waited, slowed her speed, stood still
awaiting someone who wasn’t coming –

“I want to travel, travel far away
today,
tomorrow is too late –
but not alone,”

awaiting answer she went quiet, but no answer came

“I want to travel, travel, travel
onwards, finding
new horizons
beyond the constraints of the map
but not alone?

I need someone, someone who will
accompany my search –
I cannot go alone then I might just
as well stay here –
oh, what’s the use – when no-one cares?”

“Loneliness is
an empty hand – another hand that slips
out of your grasp,
and disappears –

Loneliness is
the distance separating hearts,
the veil that covers scars
and silence in itself –

Loneliness is
the emptiness dispersing when
two hearts are in accord,
but comes to choke you when
nobody’s there to see you –

Loneliness is
not finding reason to cry,
since no one hears or cares –
and never crying means never to care –”

“As in the grass I rested on the dike,
I never felt alone, not for a second –
I was alone, but people near,
I heard their voices, knew their presence,
so I didn’t care I was alone.

I knew when I no longer wanted solitude
I had the option to go and join their games –
not having the option makes the difference,
that’s what makes you feel alone.”

“Back on my island, proudly in the sea
protruding, stretching up to meet the sun
defying waves and tide with constancy
(seemingly), there I never felt alone.
I was a part of all, and all a part of me –
the island and the sea and me a part of all,
the sky, the sea that joined at the horizon
was all the world, and I could hear the hum
of life in every movement around me –
and all was part of me, and I was part of all
and loneliness was not an option, not a thought
that I could think – I did not know of it,
for I was all and all was me –
and all I heard the sound of sea
of wind of seabirds; quite a symphony
was played for me each day, and I was free,
alive and whole; ALONE, but never lonely.”

“But here – this cold, unfeeling place
where nature cannot show its face
and no one cries and no one cares –
the rhythm is a curse, it’s not a cure –
and loneliness the symptom of disease,
you cannot be alone, but can be lonely
among these crowds of people – that’s the irony!
No, for companion give me clouds and sea –
and give me sky and sun and rustling grass,
and when I watch the fishing boats return
I shall forget that I’m alone, and then again
I’ll just be me, a part of all and all a part of me –
an entity in its own right, facing the sea –”

“Loneliness is the eyes that wander,
never meeting yours.
Loneliness the voice that staggers
to find footing
but is never heard.
Loneliness the sound of people passing
without stopping.
Loneliness is watching people live,
but not feeling alive yourself.

Lonely –
the condition forced upon you
by yourself,
by not living the way you wish (but
not knowing what it is you wish), and
therefore slowly corroding
your happiness, by living
a life without life – loneliness
is the symptom of a disease
which disappears the instant
you are actually ALONE.”

“I left my island, left behind
the place
how unwise –

now I’m left in a no-man’s-land
marooned in crowds –

I’ve been deluded, been deceived,
I thought myself free, but in reality
I haven’t been myself since leaving home,
I want my island…

(where’s my ship gone off to?)

but now I know that I cannot return alone,
the time has passed,
and I have changed beyond bounds –
I used to be at peace
but after meeting people I
have lost trace of
my starting point, my sails are hanging down
empty of the breeze that carried me here…

my island!
how I long for you!
but can you
accept it if I bring
somebody else to see you?

my island! part of me, and I a part of all…

can I accept
the necessity
of showing you off to an outsider’s eyes,
the disbelieving, disapproving gaze
of someone unacquainted with our vows?

and who would sail with me?
who’d risk the trip aboard my ship

(if I can find it)

other than myself? who would, and why?

I never should have left my island,
never should have boarded ship,
I never should have set my sails
at any other destination,
now I have become what I’ve become
and what I am, no longer me…

can I go home – I cannot go alone –
who will accompany me on the trip…?

with what intentions, what designs –
and what transpire then when we arrive…?”

“The prophecy came true, the one
I heard of spoken as a child –
strange rumors, that I for one
not used to heed, but now…”

The prophecy came true, I didn’t know
I’d met it till too late and I was stuck,
the prophecy – the unclear wording, metaphorically
has trapped me unknowingly, and I do not know now
how to escape – for who would follow me?
My self’s been whisked away and I cannot return alone,
nor find my ship unless someone should vow to
follow me –
I am marooned in other words –
I never shall be free.”

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Insel des Einzelgänger 2.

Inner Monologue: What I’d Have Liked to Say if I Could

 

I. Times Pass

Dreamy eyes, lost in the mist
of times, where did you go?
The moon is out, it’s time to dream
but something stopped the flow
of dreams, it dried out long ago.

Will it recover over time
and re-open the submerged gates
to make the waters flow
downstream to unearthly dwellings
where they used to go?

 

II. Pantanal

Pantanal –
so like my physical being,
a place where giant waterlily leaves
rise from the depths
to protect the hidden secrets
of the waters
and if you wish to know the truth
you must look deeper, look beyond
the visible self
and reach the watersource
far far away
in the mountains
where the dreams
can finally
reach into the clouds
and turn to rain
like the tears
of a being long lost
in the mist

 

III. Upstream

Now I float towards
the end of the line
of goals reached or lost
when I abandoned the flow
to swim upstream
looking for answers
to unspoken words,
for words to heal
what silence hurt
long ago
when I was composed
of nothing but mind

 

V. Hunger

I am hungry for this feeling
projected from your hands,
will you quench my thirst
with the waters in your heart –
I am addicted
to the never-ending search
for something indescribable
which I feel
in the vibe
of electricity from your eyes –
you, strange being
with questions fully unfurled
how did you manage to
enter my world?

 

VI. Sanctuary

a place for me
to rejuvenate my energy
when the load is heavy
and the world seems inane –
I find a sanctuary
from all the dreary
hidden underneath your skin
and in your healing hands
when the sands of time
grind to a halt
and all I hear
comes from within your breast;
the sound of a lonely bird
looking for its nest

 

VII. The Hidden

sometimes in dreams
I follow the stream
of your inner river
searching for its source
but I fear maybe it’s hidden
in the clouds
just like your head
where I can never reach
and thus your secrets remain
hidden to me in your
veil of shadows
and starry eyes
and yet I keep searching
for the hidden source
that you will never let me find
eventually blinded by despair
over this restless search
leading nowhere

 

VIII. In the Lee of Dreams

softly resting
in the lee of dreams
where nothing can reach
except for a thought
invisible, wrapped up
in metaphors
of beautiful things
you think you want
but truly on your mind
in the lee of dreams
you can only think
of following the stream
that leads
to a closed heart

 

IX. Dimensions

I want to rest
my hand on your chest
to sink into the dimension
where dreams seem more real
than reality
while darkness swallows
our fragile forms
and we vanish
like dew in the sun,
forgotten in bliss
on the wings of
semi-conscious sleep

 

X. Non-being

wordless
invisible and secret
urges
fill the void
of nothingness
where worlds meet
and the thin screen
of impossible dreams
is ripped apart

there is a sense
of yielding strength
in your non-being
existence

 

XI. Emerge

darkness descends
upon a soul
filled with secrets untold
retracting whenever
disturbed,
swimming to safer waters

unheard
unseen
like a creature from a dream
you emerge
from your darkness
in your search
for the lightness of being
you so greatly miss

 

XII. Blue Screens

the flame
succumbs
to the dewdrops
and a veil of mist
a smokescreen
hiding the mind
will separate
you from me
till our eyes are freed
and we can see again
just long enough
to realize
our disguise
of desires
projected
on blue screens
when the world dreams

 

XIII. Yonder

when did you
see the wonder
in the hidden
yonder
the broken
the infinite borderline
where bells can’t ring
and birds don’t sing
when the rain
falls on the soul
and the secrets
of the boldest mind
will come to light –
a lightning storm
will sweep across the empty room
of eternity –
infinity broken
open
the doors to the unseen
the unknown
in-between realities
shatter like glass
when you lift your voice
in praise
in silence

 

XIV. Ivory

“In the mirror she sees a face;
ivory carved to a perfect shape,
twin pools of swirling water
translucent, bottomless pits of melancholic
wisdom from a time long forgotten

On the heart imprinted a mark
in contrast to the exterior stark,
it clouds her eyes when waves rise
and the ivory sculpture melts
to reveal the broken dam beneath her shell

You, fragile dualistic goddess of melancholy;
stonefaced, hidden in your cloak of irony,
there’s so much hidden in your eyes
pointed down though upwards you strive
in your glittering icicle disguise.”

 

XV. Evasive

Oh, you evaded me
mysterious dream;
you lured me with your silent chant
of what might be,
but you deluded me
led me to believe
that the dream was real
and reality a dream,
and when the dream evaporated
and evaded me,
reality stunned me
and caught me with its solitude;
why did you leave me,
how could you disappear
like a black cat in the darkness –
your illusions have vanished,
are invisible to my eyes –
in your failed attempt at setting me free
you left me wounded and powerless,
dodging your shadow

 

XVI. Conclusion

“What does it matter now?
The past is fixed, it cannot be perfected anyhow.
I’m heading home through winter storms
and spring rain and the summer’s heat
and autumn’s steadily falling leaves –
whichever way I want it there’s just that one way to go;
my island is at hand and yet it’s never within reach –
I’m standing at the mainland shore and spying for my native beach,
it’s waiting for me out there, this I know;
but how to get there – how to get there after all this time?
And even if I got there I am no longer the same.
What does it matter? Nothing matters now –
before the sea that separates us we’re all bound to bow.”

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THE ISLAND 2.

I.

They come and go, the waves,
they rush to and fro –
along the coast there’s caves,
some hidden underwater,
some high up on the rock –
accessible to climbers or to divers,
very few accessible to all,
the island and the sea alike at one thing;
protecting secrets; at this they’re excelling!

 

II.

Deep down there, underneath the sea
linked together, out of reach
and therefore safe from our tendency
to destruction (to a certain degree) –
the links that tie together everything,
the continents, the islands, pillars in the sea
arising from the seafloor –
pinnacles arise majestically,
taller than the eye could see
(if they could see),
columns of rock, cascades of water
exploding at the surface level
in a million rainbow-sparking droplets,
amidst cries of seabirds and the sound
of surfs, of flapping wings, of life –
But deep down there, down in the deep
where our eyes can’t see
are linked together everything,
vast plains that rest in darkness in the deep,
vast stretches, deep ravines, mountainous isles –
a landscape unknown to the surface dwellers
who are therefore bound to see distinctions,
separation, and destruction in the sea,
and not this pure, encapsulated safety,
resting as it does, rocked back and forth
just like a child who’s being lulled to sleep,
between the continents who hold it tightly
in their arms and slowly sway it to the tune
of night-time’s serenading moon –

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THE ISLAND 3.

The archipelago, dazed in the sun,
glazed with the colours of the plants,
steam rising from the heated ground,
the shoals around the islands turquoise,
dark-blue, green, in places can be seen
the seafloor vividly,
the glossy surface of the sea
that ripples softly in still air
is stirred and blur the image slightly here and there –
when standing on one island all the others seem so far,
when seen from the air they all seem so close,
when seen from the seafloor they’re all the same;
small mountains rising out of the conundrum
of the plains of sand and seaweed that remain
the final undiscovered place,
unseen, unheard, undreamt of from the islands
where we stand observing, and in dives
can only plough to some degree, and still
can’t fathom in its vast entirety –
why worry? know it’s there – know it supports
the water that is held in place to hide
from our disbelieving eyes the world
down there – a secret yet, a mystery –
to all but those who sense it in themselves.

The islands, small land-masses kept apart,
by an illusions that they’ve learned to fear –
the islands, one continuous mass of land,
part covered and part visible; the sea
the glorious, providential veil, the mist
that clouds our eyes, our minds and makes us wish
for something that we are – already are –
before we’re let to realize we are –

a part of all and all a part of us.

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Epilogue

After having attempted to write this collection several times and failed, writing an epilogue that should even remotely be able to detail the struggles I went through during the process of creation seems an insurmountable task.
I guess it suffices that you know the most basic facts about the collection. It is really not one collection; it is two. It is the distilled and purified essence of two poetry collections, carrying the name of the second. I incorporated my first poetry collection (“Whirlpool” from 2010) into “Insel des Einzelgänger” about half a year after writing the latter. I partly did so because I felt the collections were too short and didn’t stand well alone, and I partly did it because I felt that the two collections also dealt with the same theme – just in different ways. Therefore I decided to place the best poems from “Whirlpool” as a flashback in the middle of the present collection, since that is basically what they are in any case.

Concerning “Whirlpool”.

The poems I originally included in my “first” poetry collection “Whirlpool”, were written almost exclusively in late October 2010, and reflect the changes my life was undergoing at this time. I was 19, and due to be evicted from my apartment on the 1st of November. I wrote 15 of these poems (as well as the majority of the left-out ones) in the week leading up to this.
As you have undoubtedly noticed as you read the poems, I looked deeply inwards at the time – and most of the poems are indeed very personal. But I never kept them to myself – I literally threw them into the public realm from day one – possibly because I didn’t have any other achievements to boast of at the time, and possibly because they’re an important testimony to my state of mind at the time without actually revealing anything about my outward circumstances (which meant that showing these poems to my friends and family members was the only way I had of being honest with them, seeing as I felt that I had to keep everything else concerning my life at the time a secret).
I compiled the first version of the collection almost immediately (under the name “Whirlpool of this Soul” which was later changed to simply “Whirlpool” in the second edition because I removed the title poem and the title therefore didn’t make sense anymore). It lasted in this edition for about a year. Then I took out half of the poems because my increased experience told me that they were juvenile and unfit. Then it stayed that way for a short while until I published it in its third and (so I thought) final version on the internet in January 2013. However, then I wrote “Insel des Einzelgänger”… and the rest is history.
You are, as you already know, sitting with the result of the combination of these two collections.

Concerning the present version of “Insel des Einzelgänger”.

After combining the collections and thereby expanding the scope of the present version, it is clear to me that it could not have been presented in a better way. Something was lacking from “Insel des Einzelgänger”, and “Whirlpool” was juvenile and unfinished standing on its own. Neither was any good on their own in fact. Much like people when it comes to it – we also function better together than apart in most cases. It turns out that poetry sometimes works in exactly the same way.
All jokes aside, this simply goes to prove that writing and completing a poetry collection of any worth takes a considerable amount of time and energy – and thought – and testing. Keep that in mind if you ever plan on writing your own.

At last my work here is done, and that is something of a relief. It has taken over three years, and I am happy to finally see the end result. Now I can move on at long last – one thing has been taken off my mind. A couple of hundred to go – never mind, I’ll get to those in due time.

K-M Skalkenæs, 2. September 2013.

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I Left My Soul Up On the Beach

I left my soul up on the beach
as I dove in the sea of poetry
and as it lay there – out of reach –
it was grabbed by a wave and returned to the sea

And now I search – and mostly in vain –
for that which I once left behind,
and glimpse it momentarily now and then
when words of poems show for me to find

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The Poem: Water

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

“Water”:
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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in sunlight

on a hillside in the sunlight,
heated only on one side
while the other remains cold,
you stand, covering your eyes
with your hand, watching the skies
growing paler all the while
they approach the horizon

so dark and yet so bright,
so cold and yet so warm
you are in the sheer sunlight,
seemingly your body’s torn
into two different entities –
your one-side skin is painfully white
to view with the naked eye,
the other side coated with shades of grey

in sunlight your united being
seems torn from outside, not within,
but as I hold my breath
awaiting the death-awakening split
tearing you in two,
a lonely cloud with silver lining
floats before the sun, and you
then seem united with yourself again

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New Poem: “An Ode to Decay – the Life of Fungi”

Arising from the ground, outspreading careless waxy limbs
that’s merely periscopes that on its hidden body climbs,
unfolding innovative shapes that plants may envy but never copy,
unrolling laces or upbearing knots or plates, swift, carelessly,
with white eyes eying us out of its reddish head
from tree roots (where it feeds on those already dead),
unworldly and unwieldly, standing on its own
and though so carefully with all of nature interwoven;
fungi, you resourceful old recycler and renewer
you scare me, not because of fear of poison (though that too
might be sufficient reason to fear most of you)
but more than anything because I know some day
I’ll have to meet you in a most intimate way –
in death you’ll find me since you live by feeding on decay

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New Poem: “On the Road Between Copenhagen and Oslo”

Large blocks of rough-hewn rock
adorned with conifers and firs
which in the cooling breeze stirs;
one after the other, each solid block
in many tones of grey and pale brown shines
in tribute each to their adorning pines

Sunshine has struck
for short a while, then the cloudcover again
dims the bright light, and warns of coming rain

We’re midway to our destination
that’s Olso, from Copenhagen,
and driving somewhere midthrough Sweden
where we pass along
endless roads through forests of pine-trees
where trees and rocks and trees is all the eye sees

All sense of distance,
time and place seems to have left me,
I can no longer single out a singular tree
and as the clouds exchange
now with us plain the blessings of the rain,
I gently drift into a dreamless sleep again