Some conversations linger in the room
when spoken words already disappeared
through cracks in walls and floors,
hiding in layers of wallpaper, in carpets.
The air is thicker, the silence too loud.
If you would enter the room now
the uncomfortable is obvious
but the reason beyond your knowledge.
You open a window to let in fresh air
or you put the heater on higher.
Some conversations are felt by those
not part of it, air still trembling anger.
I watch you as you are sleeping
so soon after we made love
during the early morning hours
while the sun slowly enters the room.
Outside black birds are making nests now,
above us I can hear last years couple,
or so we think they are,
as they chose the same place on the roof
where a cat killed their earlier offspring
and with each flutter
your breathing alters,
after every song they sing,
you moan a bit.
Later you will tell me
that you dreamt of flying
and that you heard your mother
sing a lullaby while you felt
her hand on your face
and in tears you will try
and find an explanation.
I’ll know it was the sound
of black birds making nests
and that the hand
was mine when I tried
to make you part
of a moment of mine
but I agree that it means
you are safe now
so you can sleep on
through all the beauty of the day.
I lie beside you with open eyes
knowing that in the garden
the cat is waiting as well.
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Often houses keep the shape they were built in,
although over the years some extensions are added.
After centuries of exposure,
they lean a bit to one side,
their walls become cracked,
and so it is with old friendships.
A gentle hand on a shoulder trembles,
years have gone by and much is forgotten
but the foundations of their childhood still stand.
Every walk to the graveyard
the cortege becomes shorter.
Often the shape of a friendship is kept,
leaning a bit to one side.
Imagine to be able to give
a sign to those left behind
after you are dead,
a shiver, a whisper,
a signal from the afterlife you say.
That must be magnificent.
But would it not be better
to call on others
whilst you are alive? I say.
I do not understand this craving
for ruling from the grave,
to be a ghost behind wallpaper
and live on, unseen, but noticed
by the sensitive quiet third cousin
who was scared of you when you were alive;
I would rather be decently dead
than haunting people in darkness,
than denying my departure,
than watching how others
go through my belongings, now theirs,
try on my clothes, my rings,
walk over my floors,
read my private letters,
as they move on to the light
without care, not knowing yet,
as I would do by then,
what it is they have to find out.
Watching you eat meat makes me wonder,
what would you not eat?
Things of plastic maybe,
spiders, sand, wood, concrete,
oysters, feathers, toys.
I don’t think you would put
any of that in your mouth.
But you do eat a piece of animal.
Would you eat human flesh
if you were hungry enough?
Why not, you will say.
I try a bit of bloody cow
and again it tastes of decay.
You say the carrots had feelings too.
Did they not have a life as well?
We can’t eat anything
without destroying the living.
An inconvenient truth.
That is why death
takes revenge by means of our rot.
Where you were before birth,
you ask, watching me fry an egg.
‘Where do I go when I am dead?’
while we plant a tree
in the dark raw earth.
I can not tell you.
You play with a worm
and I don’t want you to know
how skeletons are made.
Why chickens lay eggs.
For now the mystery stays
with every run in the field,
new life emerging from nothing.
Hope is a breeze and so easily
you dream at nights of magic.
In your world is no greater pain
than a fall on the knee,
a bump on the head, a bleeding nose
and your tears
are soon kissed away.
One day you will see the belly
of the woman in the supermarket
and you will understand
that she is carrying a baby, ask
how it got there.
But for now she is just fat to you.
One day you will dig up the cat
that was buried before you were born
and you will understand
that worms ate the flesh.
But for now you know nothing.
But for now you know all.
The walls of this house keep us together
while shadows are stalking every movement
and doors close with infinite bangs and draught.
Sunlight is fighting your silhouette on the floor,
we know there are some flowers already blooming.
Are you really afraid we might lose each other?
I open a window and see, a stray cat enters,
we can’t keep the world out of our house
and the walls can’t keep us from moving.
There are sailors who panick in the middle of oceans
where life seems small and insignificant.
No birds anymore to remind them of solid ground.
The horizon never gets nearer.
There are sailors going mad when they realize
the bottoms of ships are just a few inches thick.
Beneath them is darkness well beyond measure deep into the Earth,
above them with staring blackness the whole universe watching.
Some even jump ship because there is no greater fear
than being lost on a rolling vessel never to reach port.
The only way to escape is the embrace of the waves,
to feel part of the world minutes before drowning.