She waits among the fallen roses

Painting by Johannessen


All the roses fallen,

All their petals shed,

All the summer’s over,

All its perfume fled.


All the loving’s over,

The stars die in the sky,

All the leaves are turning,

Now you’ve said your last goodbye.


All the winds are north winds,

All the geese have flown,

All the songs have ended,

With the love I called my own.


I will wait for you in springtime,

When the buds swell on the rose,

When the geese fly from the northlands,

When the sun melts winter snows.


I will wait here by the river,

Where you said that you were mine,

I will wait for you forever,

Though the sun forgets to shine.


Though the rose forgets to open,

Though the bird forgets his song,

Though the wind forgets its stories,

I will wait my whole life long.


Black silk and white morning

Painting by Max Jensen


Only the blackest of silk will do
To wrap my sorrow in,
To line a wooden casket,
So none of it escapes.
I set it in the water,
Balanced on a wave tip,
Tide enfolds it in compassion,
Guides it gently over rock and reef.
I watch the box of sadness,
Slip into the darkness
That fills the sleeping world,
Beyond the wave-nipped horizon.
When the long watches of the night
Are over and the light of day returns,
The ink-dark sea is empty,
But the sky is all aflutter
With white gull wings,
Colour of morning, sea foam splendid,
Bearing hope out of the east.

The light of the morning



The light of the morning wakened me

And the song of the blackbird in the tree.

I close my eyes to the mocking beams

My ears to the song sung not for me.

I cannot bear the sweetness of the day

That fills with light the empty space

So full of passion until you left

Saying this could never be your place.

The morning breaks on broken dreams

And scattered fragments sharp as any thorn

For you have gone without a backward glance

The love I seeded in your heart stillborn.

You never heard the blackbird’s morning song

And never felt the flutter of my heart.

You never felt it sink into your own

Nor its grieving when you tore them both apart.

Short sharp sorrow

Trying to get the sadness out. A haiku, a short poem, and a tanka.


Grief pangs twist the heart
Wring tears from vague sentiment
A sea to drown in.

A child is dead
And another and another
All someone’s children
All my children
So many parents’ tears
A flood of heart’s blood
To quench the fires of hatred
But ideals do not listen
Fanatics need guns
Not children.

I did not know you
never held your hand in mine
or called out your name
but I grieve for your absence
the world is a darker place.

Poems by the bridge

When you’re sick of promotion write a poem or two.

Water under the bridge

Brown water
under the bridge
black laughter
in your eyes
grey misery
in the tight line of your mouth.


I saw a blackbird

I saw a blackbird hop
and run
across the path before me.
I saw a lizard dash
and slip
along the wall beside me.
I saw my love walk by
and smile
with another girl beside him.