Thank you for all the gifts
The ones that I asked for, the ones I didn’t ask for
The ones I didn’t even know were there

That cup of cocoa
That night train across the mountains
That uncontrollable anger 

Those boxes under the Christmas tree
The dark butterflies of helplessness in my stomach
Those uplifting words just when I needed them

Those crushing words that still resonate in me
You were doing your best, I know

I received them all
Bound as we were by this
Unbroken chain of transmission

I worried

As the sun rises, the forest wakes up. There’s movement and bird chatter and the wind picks up. Although the sun is now shining through the trees, shadows still reign all around. It’s as if sunshine were confined to a narrow channel that does not allow it to spread around. The yellow summer flowers are slowly moving in the morning breeze.

In a corner of my mind, there’s the beginning of a poem I read months ago. At first, I cannot make much out of it. Just like everything else, it remains in the shadows. It stays there and takes its time to percolate to the surface. Then it dawns on me.

Facing the morning sun (Germany, 2020)
"I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang."

(Mary Oliver - I Worried)

Hard wall

Do you remember?

There used to be a door here
Its frame is etched in my brain
My hands retain the memory of opening it
Over and over again

There used to be a door here
A way of letting light in
A way of letting myself out
The air on the other side smelled of summer cherries

With eyes closed
My hands search for the slightest crack
For signs that would reveal the hidden frame
But there are none

In my dreams
I can still find that door
I smell the summer cherries
But I cannot see

What's on the other side anymore.

Go Back

In the end
We always go back to what we are
And every time
What we are is different from what we used to be

Sooner or later
The scaffolding of our self-story comes tumbling down
Revealing us, raw and unscripted
If only for a moment

The stories live their life and then they die
The Love becomes the love
Then becomes a love
And then it fades into the dark well of the past

The delusions live their life and then they die
The Hurt becomes a hurt
A hurt becomes a blessing
And then it fades into the dark well of the past

Sooner or later
We always go back to what we are
Raw and unscripted, if only for a moment.

I first published this poem on Luna’s blog. I’ve photographed the poppies in the wheatfield before the pandemic, and before many other things happened. It feels like a different life.

Keep on dancing

I've been watching you dance
you move as if you're making love to the world
quick quick slow

we've been dancing
you're light as a feather, fluid like the ocean
whirlwind of emotion sucking everything in

you shapeshifter
always in control and always escaping control
are you staring at me or through me?

it doesn't matter
as long as we keep on dancing

Letter never sent

I write this letter that I will never send you
in reply to the letter I never received from you
an eye for an eye, an absence for an absence

I remember lying among summer flowers
both of us naked in the dark
I remember walking alongside you
the forest path opening to infinity

I remember the contour of your hips in the dark
the feel of your crushed lips
the dizziness from navigating your deep salty waters

I remember countless arguments
crumpled faces, empty eyes
you being you and me being me
over and over, to exhaustion

I remember how your eyes lit up sometimes
looking at me

The other night I dreamt of you
We were two strangers in a room full of people
At last.

This poem was originally published on Luna’s blog. I am a photographer and prose writer rather than a poet, but there are moods and moments that lend themselves better to poetry. For me, they are mostly soul-crushing moments and I usually try to get through them quietly.

I took the photo after sunset, at the North Sea.