POEMS

 

 

I used to write a lot of poetry in Icelandic. I don’t anymore. It probably has to do with language and the fact that I use my mother’s tongue a lot less than I should these days. I’ve dabbled a little with writing poetry in English, but it’s only recently that I feel REMOTELY like I have the skill to use English words in a way that might constitute poetry. Most of the poems below are translated from Icelandic. Some are written in English, and one or two may even have been published on this blog before.

I would also like to say that these poems may make me sound like a dull, depressed woman. I am far from that, but somehow poetry tends to spring up when normal words fail a little and so the poetry sometimes becomes a bit dark. There is a poem or two in this collection of 13 poems, though, that hopefully will put a smile on your face.

SEASONAL BIOPOLARITY

Winter
Want nothing more than the heat,
and to see small children in shorts
playing in the sand,
while I sit underneath a tree
in a skirt,
reading Borges.

I never wear skirts.

Spring
Light
Just want to sit in the sun
absorbing its rays.
Like a Forget-me-not in a quiet place.
I just want to enjoy and live and be.

As long as the light doesn’t interrupt my sleep,
at night I pull down the drapes,
Sneer and sneeze.

I never used to be allergic to Spring.

Summer
Savouring.
Limitless joy,
hardly sleep a wink
see Balder in everyone,
hear poems in the wind.

I miss the melancholia of darkness.

Fall
Longing for the movability of the dark
want to love in rhythm to its rawness
want to hear myself,
listen to the breath of silence
listen to the rain on the window.

I move in rhythm,
And I dance with the light… the joy
And I dance with the darkness.

 

SHADOW OF CONSCIOUSNESS

I never screamed as loudly
without making any sound.
Never before has my heart turned silent,
shouting: ‘I never lived, never promised.’

Screams in the deep,
deep in the shadows of a soul
that sleeps.

Voices in darkness
Darkness so warm
and soft
like my consciousness.

Then I drive the screams away,
the noise and the voices,
and everything turns silent,
so my consciousness can have peace to live.

 

BORROWED TIME

The clouds sail seductively over the sky,
like they are welcoming you:
“Welcome to this foreign place,”
but it changes nothing.

This horror sneaks inside,
sneaks into the weekday
and threatens to stay forever.

Threatens to become a part of me
I try not to act differently
I don’t want you to notice,
but the shouts within suffocate the thoughts.
And the feeling that I belong nowhere,
belong to no-one, overwhelms me.
The screams they numb the mind
and scatter the consciousness.

But eventually I have to make do,
settle in the thought
that I am here only temporarily
I only borrow the humdrum of every day
until it is finally time to numb the mind for good.

 

RAIN IN THE DARKNESS

Rain in the dark
Heavy it drops
The moon has fallen
The stars all sank in the sand
The sun forever darkened
The mind shows me bloody images
Of people suffocating,
Drowning in the boiling lava.

Show me images of the sun and summer
Or the May rain,
Let me smell of the birch leaves
The smell was always so divine.

The smell of Brimstone overpowers everything
Gets stuck in your senses and suffocates,
I hear the cries of anguish,
but I only see the white dove.
She is sitting on a branch,
Waiting.

 

ANXIETY

It arrives like a tidal wave
except there is no water,
only these feelings inside,
turning you into a wide-eyed zombie.

And what do you do with feelings anyway?
Breath, they say, breath,
because that’s all you can do.
Breath, whatever it is,
just breath.

I see birds
made of stainless steel
flying away into the blue.

I see trees,
forming a wall around me
protecting me from the world,
protecting the world from me.

I see a moat
surrounding me
the water is blood red
not blue.

I hear a voice whispering,
sometimes I think its calling me names,
until I realise it’s you.

And you’re calling out my name,
I see the moon in your eyes
and roses instead of mouth.

It’s pretty, but has thorns,
that you are unaware of.

Then I hear the words that bring me back,
‘Listen on the inside’ she says,
‘And when you hear that whisper of joy
turn it up’.

So that’s what I do.
I wait, watching the bluebirds,
and mosquitoes made of barbed wire,
and I listen for that whisper of joy.

 

DEPRESSION

Nidhugg lies in my innards,
while grey-haired imps in suits
with red ties and horns to match
foolhardily roam around
in the vestibule of my soul.

The worm hardly moves
is still and waits its turn.

When darkness falls
like a jealous lover seeking revenge
it strikes down
and bites my heart.

And the cerulean tears fall down the cheeks,
until I can again feel your arms around me,
then the worm is stilled again.
It lies and doesn’t move,
and while it is ever so still
the imps starve.

 

WINTER DARKNESS

Rosy Red Sun throws away her rays,
puts on a yellow flower dress
and writes “On vacation,” on a post-it and puts it on her door.

She does this every year,
the dear heart,
and she thinks nobody notices.

The rosy red rays warm you for a while
but then they come
the frost roses paint the windows
blue and cold.

I blow in my hands,
rip the post-it from the door,
and argue with myself
about the darkness.

 

 

BAD CONSCIENCE

I am your conscience and your awareness
woven together.
I am faceless,
but still I reflect in your mirror image,
like two sides
of the same dice
number one
and number six.
And you are somewhere
in between,
Bewildered.
THE WIFE OF THE GRIM REAPER

We were friends,
Death and I,
we were lovers,
we used to travel the land
like a man and his shadow
until shadows drew over our friendship.

It became dark.

Now I sit here all alone
and I wait my turn
in a rocking chair with a shawl
amongst fire and brimstone.
It’s warm and cozy
something other than the snowy heaths,
and the wet graves,
that he leaves behind.

And now I am hoping
that he will return home one day
kiss my cheek,
after a goods day’s work.
and I wait,
and I wait,
and I may wait forever
with the bitter dagger
in my hand.

And when he finally returns
and kisses my cheek
telling me what a good day he has had
he will feel the bitter taste in his mouth
and the sting in his side
and who will then come for his reaping?

That I want to know.

 

 

IMAGES OF HAPPINESS

Happiness is a cat
sitting in a crystal bowl
chasing its own tail.

Happiness is a child
that looks up
grabs its toes, falls back and laughs.

Happiness is a mother
putting her child to rest
patiently.

Is happiness a man
running after his bus at seven in the morning
late for work already?

Or is it a teenager sitting over her books,
studying. Impatiently waiting
for adulthood?

It is an elder,
drinking wine from a tall glass
looking into his wives eyes.

Or is happiness a young woman,
childless at thirty,
running around the streets of society searching
for everything her peers never got to have?

Or is happiness
just a human being
smiling over the rawness
and the greyness
of every day life?
THE POETRY DRAGON

I have a dragon living in the attic
it feeds on verse
and very big words.

Honorificabilitudinitatibu
is its favorite
the dragon slurped and swallowed
the word lasted a week.

Have you ever seen a dragon slaughter words?

It is a beastly sight
when it rams its teeth deep into the letters
tearing them apart from one another.

Afterwards it chews the cud for a long time
until there is nothing left.
The letters melt, like a lump of sugar
in the mouth of a child.

When it starts to devour poetry
there is nothing that can stop it.
roaring, it attacks
starting with the props and the head-staves
then it gnaws through the rhyme
and the verbs, the nouns and the adjectives
until nothing is left
but the dot at the end.

 

 

MAYBE I SHOULD BECOME LIKE CHARLES BUKOWSKI

Maybe I should become like Charles Bukowski.
I would write self satisifed poetry,
like a drunk who knows better how to put one word after the other
than how to put one foot infront of the other.
I would built degenerate sandcastles and be happy with where I was
even in the mud
in the puddles
on the street.

Maybe I should become like Charles Bukowski.
Drink sangria in a topless bar
just to feel the taste of the beach
in the gutter.

Maybe I should become like Charles Bukowski
be pissed of at Camus and love Kafka only for his filth.
Maybe I should change and become a shovenist with an attitude
and do nothing but write, drink and lay.
Maybe I should become like Charles Bukowski
and see the soul in everyman
no matter their mask.

Maybe I should
but you know that I won’t.
Maybe I should
but the part that has it in me
dies thousand deaths each time I read him.

 

And the raisin at the end of the Sausage: (Yes, that is an Icelandic saying!) but instead of reading this last one I would like to redirect you to this place on biit.space instead, where you can listen to me read the below poem with the beautiful musical piece THE ROAD by Michael Marshall Smith playing in the background. The poem isn’t the same, I think, without the music. I will, none the less, write the words below for those of you who are too lazy to click the link:

 

THE ROAD

The mountains are dark,
the peaks smooth and impossible,
obsidian.

They surround me on my journey,
I see rivers,
and floods,
and the waves of an ocean crashing violently on the shore,
colliding with the rocks
and my conscious mind.

The desert is dark,
the sand smooth and warm and black.
I watch the icebergs floating in the lake,
small flowers in the myst.

And I see you suddenly,
standing on the other side of the lake,
you smile,
forever that smile.

The howls come from all around us,
these unknown screams
of monsters prowling the earth,
or just birds in distress.

I look away,
I can see your agony,
but there is no way to cross this body of water
and now I can’t remember why I stopped.

I should be on my way,
I should be on the road.

 

 

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