Archive for July 28, 2013

Harbour men

Eyes that look dried up,
leathered skin faces
that are salted barriers,
hardened and silent:

Men near a harbour seem to look the same
where ever you are. Surrounded by seagulls.
Blue anchors on their arms,
and they smoke. Or they chew tobacco.

Sometimes they laugh about something
that happened a long time ago
that they tell each other every day
adding a bit to the story each time. To make it better.

One by one they don’t return in misty mornings,
one by one they are forgotten, but the story gets
better by the day, until they are whispered myths themselves
and the last harbour man walks away into damp.

Burning moths

Oh yes I remember that the nights were buzzing.
Cats opened one eye and slept on,
they were old but they waited to die later.
Though the street was a path, the road all gone,
a weeded way to my doorstep was all you needed.

I waited for you and listened while soft rain fell.
Meanwhile waves would bring in shell by shell on the beach.
As buzzing insects died in candle flames,
the cats slept on. Home was us both.
You said you found me by the track of shells.

I hated sound of rain and silence each,
the covering of crisp small deaths in light
that made me cry, before, unexpectedly at night,
the door went open wide and it was you once more.
No, I didn’t cry of you but over moths, I tell you now.

Years later when you lied here beside me
and rain was pouring, loud like always,
buzzing insects cried. You never heard them. You say
moths don’t burn in candle flames. The roof went leaking,
some cats died, children came and moved out.

The buzzing went on though, like your stay.
By then we had found reasons, as you told me
why the past was us, that we were like all seasons
and night owls had to die once, anyway.
You seemed to know why life was cruel.

Why did we keep the plates, knives and scissors, the love,
after eating, cutting food, paper, getting offspring –
because we might need all of it again, you said.
Because we can not do without.
But did we really need the candles?

And you would always look for good alternatives,
trying to find the reincarnations of moths in butterflies,
long after the longing, after the dining, the wine.
The children have their own breed now. Let’s save a night owl.
We need not burn the candles anymore.

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