tell the eager summer, linger
quite the opposite, so bitter
at the finish after all
when the mist grows slick
can the mist melt
Side by side finds you,
Though I seem to be completing some NaPoWriMo prompts out of order (and some not at all) I was intrigued by one I saw today. It asked us to find a poem written in a language not our own, and to ‘translate’ it into English based on the look and sound of the foreign words.
I chose a poet from Norway, named Ingrid Storholmen. You can have a look at her other work here, but here is the poem upon which I based my piece.
Jeg venter her til du ikke ser meg lenger kutter deg opp i så små biter at du finnes over alt jeg kan miste deg slik kan jeg miste meg
You are the destination,
but I wasn’t there for the journey-
working backwards through a treasure map,
I gather people’s stories of you
like a magpie-
all the shining moments from your childhood,
the dark spots of your adolescence.
I compare each discovery
to you as I see you now,
I hold the jigsaw pieces up to the light,
squinting to see where they fit.
I circle you, impatient as a child,
trying to view all sides simultaneously.
But I stand too close,
can’t see you all at once,
can’t hold you in my field of vision.
I scrapbook your stories together,
stand silently at the edge of the narrative
and read your history like a novel.
You are the protagonist
I will always be searching to understand;
the leading man
who will always leave me
Today I went put on a limb
and found, to my surprise, that it held.
Though my heart is beating hard
and it will take some time to find my balance,
the view from here
may just change all my perspectives.
In the Autumn afternoon
we salvaged decaying treasures
from the forgotten sheds
behind our meagre rented house.
We dusted off cans of paint,
cracked the lids to find- surprise!-
the colors hidden inside.
We sanded and painted,
bringing to life raised garden beds
and recycled works of art,
and with sunbeams and leaves falling around us,
we took what once was discarded
and gave it new life.
What would Marilyn do?
Would she hide behind dark glasses,
a silk scarf tied around wayward platinum curls,
and slip into the back row of the theatre,
Would she sit silent,
nibble nervously on her bottom lip,
hands fighting themselves in her lap
as the enraptured audience
devoured her shimmering performance?
Would she know herself
under the makeup
through the costumes
past the dialogue?
Would she leave before the final scene
and hurry, head bowed,
back to her car
to be driven home to a house
but for the house keeper?
Would she climb into bed fully clothed,
makeup smearing across the pillow,
pull the phone up under her chin
and lie awake for hours,
waiting for someone
And in that deafening silence
would she wonder
when it was?
Would she struggle
to identify the moment
that she disappeared?
Where is it that the words go
when they refuse to be pinned to my page?
Perhaps they move on
to a more dedicated poet-
someone who paid attention today,
someone who sat in observant contemplation
took extra hot showers,
played politically incorrect board games
and laughed until my sides ached.
perhaps I shall catch some words
to pin down
You coax melodies from the guitar in your lap
as easily as confessions from a child.
Out they spill, the notes trickling over themselves
into stories fully formed,
awaiting only the finality of your lyrics.
I sit silent and transfixed,
staring hard to try to glimpse the source,
as though this were some sleight of hand
rather than the gift it is.
I strain to hear
the muse’s voice as she breathes
into your ear, but I hear no whispers;
still the melodies, they come.
Oh! To behold this private magic,
For it is you, who are the conduit.
You, who form the bridge
and the rest of us.
we are calling in the muses,
setting their stage-
wooing them with white wine
warming honey mead to placate them,
to soothe their fickle constitutions.
These long months past?
they have been courting,
(for they have years of collaboration ahead)
leaving us bereft of inspiration-
but tonight we lay in wait.
We are ready,
pens and guitars in hand,
to translate their gossamer whispers
Into poetry made real.