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
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.
"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, hopeless. 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)
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.
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.
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
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.