Amputated (Dream)

 

You can’t do that! I cry out in fear,

watching the woman laid bare on the bed.

A blade presses gently against her arm, 

trailing an invisible line across her skin. 

And then once more further down, 

across the thigh above the knee.

It is diseased, you say. 

All between the lines you see.

There is no other way. 

 

I cry, I fear, I panic and think

that woman will die.

For how could she not?

 

You listen not to me.

Your hand is steady, 

you cut and reshape

the flesh that remains. 

 

It is with great relief I see

the woman stand

alive and free of pain,

free of all that was. 

So much, cut away, 

she’s now no taller than a child

but still alive.

 

Yes, I see her walking.

Through painful loss,

and frightful aid,

a brand new life.

Before they are gone (Dream)

 

I am awake.

How long I have slept, I can’t tell. 

Rising from bed I come to face a mirror.

Tracks across my bare skin, I see them there. 

 

Footprints, paw prints, bird prints, 

prints of unknown beasts.

With a careful finger I follow the tracks, 

trying to make sense of what can not be. 

 

More, there is more. 

Pictures emerging, figures and faces, 

beings of this world and the next.

I marvel at the sight.

 

Fading, they are fading quick. 

Record them, photograph them,

commit them to memory

before they are gone. 

A Cleansing

 

snowy skies

 

 

In rainwater soak

Leaves of birch chopped fine

Into it coarse salt pour and

Mix with almond oil

 

 

Strip down bare

Even if cold

Leave not a thread

Even if cold

 

 

As thorough as ever then

Wash your limbs

Wash your body

Wash your hair

Rinse in running water

 

 

With salted birch and oil you then

Scrub your limbs

Scrub your body

Scrub your hair

Rinse in running water

 

 

Afterwards

Clean new clothes

Chamomile and honey tea

Sleep and be reborn

 

 

snowy skies

 

 

 

Precious Lady

 

Heralding Her arrival, there came a single kitten.

Its dark grey, almost black fur, all unkempt and uneven.

Its bright eyes green and piercingly aware.

‘Look’, it seemed to say without a voice.

‘Look, for here She comes.’

 

And there She was.

In bird form She came,

a hunting bird with

feathers of gold and

a terrifying beak.

 

Before my eyes, bird-form fell and

She came forth.

Not in youthful splendor but

old and grey,

a wrinkled beauty with eyes of

clearest crystal.

 

So I saw Her.

Freya, most precious Lady.

May Her hall forever stand.

 

 

Strange verses

When I was a child, I was told that my father wrote poetry. Strange poetry, my mother said, that no one can understand. He’s not very good, she said. It’s all just very strange.

I never really knew my father. I never read his poetry.

Yet here I am, writing strange verses. They aren’t very good, I am sure my mother would say. Because it is all very strange, and no one understands them.

What it looks like

Yesterday I pulled a couple of poems out of my bag, and actually showed them to someone.

 

She stared at the words on paper, stared and slowly nodded.

“This… sure looks like poetry to me,” she said. ” I mean I don’t know anything about poetry, but this looks like it.”

 

Hardly high praise, but it’s enough. Considering what pieces I chose a perfectly valid response could have been “This is gibberish” or “What have you been smoking?”, so that it’s even recognizable as poetry is a bit of a victory.

The words fall short, though. To call the pieces ‘poems’ feels entirely inadequate. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that few would understand them either, though a sad fact it is. Regardless of what you think of the result, I need to keep writing.

 

Words of mine, though not my own. They are important.