Wednesday, 19 December 2012

haiku (heart´s wish)

if i could exist
on just air, rain and sunshine
how happily i'd bloom

haiku for E.

almost three years old
sleeping on my chest tonight
my little baby

Ouse 1


http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poem/item/22707/auto/The-river-has-no-comfort-to-offer

Ouse 1
(response to Gro Dahle)

a weeping girl draws comfort
from the river
she hurries along
runs, runs, with a beating heart
it never leaves her
the river reflects the rain
at times sunrise, South Downs, and sky
it speaks with the salt tongue of the ocean

what is the river's comfort
the river has a woman who went into the water
behind the bend you went into the water
early in the morning
the river was your comfort, or are you still weeping
you are guiding the water past
past and past
run, run, little girl, weep

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

walking on frozen grass (sleeping in your arms)

grow, tonight, your arms around me
sink your roots,
the earth though frozen be
sink deeper,
grow:
the blood that runs
is warmer still
so you may grow,
around this pain
grow deeper, darker yet
the winter night's cold fingers touch
me not. light treads the morning,
walks on frozen blades of grass.
see how pale i have become

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

the raft

it is dark on this side of the water
dark and cold on this side
i got used to the demons who live here
fear is security, too, for this is what i know,
this is what i know –
in the dark i am gathering sticks,
sticks and branches,
ropes, and string
I WILL BUILD A RAFT
wondering when the day will come
i gather sticks and branches,
ropes and string
i do not know
how to build a raft, i do not know
i am afraid
it might sink–
and how am i to know when i will have enough
sticks and branches, how will i know how to make
an effort with my hands and feet, how will i know how
to reach the other shore, how do i know where –
on brighter days i can sometimes see
dreamlike images of the promised land
and i believe
the tales of others who say they have seen it, clearly
i believe there is another shore
beyond
the sea, i believe in the freedom of suffering –

as a child i used to see the other side of the water,
the other shore of the Fl. fjord, the sun cast its rays onto that foreign land
i used to dream of crossing over, swimming, i was a strong swimmer
still, invariably i was sucked under
by the demons of the shallow depths
to wake up frightened –

still i stand on this side of the water,
in the darkness i hold my sticks,
my fear is all i know
sometimes i dream
I WILL BUILD A RAFT

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

autumn

autumn was thorough and
stripped the trees
bare.

how is it that
not naked, nor unclothed
they stand
magnificently,
still.
how is it that
not cold, nor shivering
they stand
with dignity –

while even summer's foliage will never hide our shame

as the clouds break
branches beckon
the overwintering
bird.

Friday, 16 November 2012

walking at night

through the darkened streets
by the moonlight
hiding behind clouds
nobody sings
the wind's blown out the lanterns

Monday, 12 November 2012

hope

on the bare branches buds
promise next year's leaves
this morning
i put all my faith in this promise
all my dreams on this tree

Friday, 9 November 2012

untitled

she picks fading flowers from the grass
an ambulance speeds past

she looks at me and smiles

runs towards me, fading flowers in her fist:
they are for you, let us go home now

and we go
the siren's sound is fading, seagulls cry
i clutch the wilted clover and her hand

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

haiku

days without sunlight
but tonight frost, and the moon
falls through my window

Friday, 26 October 2012

Danton

(bowing to the genius of Georg Büchner)

I.
we have no time to loose
but time is losing us
Danton, we still put one foot in front of the other
and do not see
how this might ever change
we crawl into bed at night and in the morning, out.
it is sad.
during the sleepless nights we crawl deeper into darkness,
it is very sad.
all the millions before us and those who will come after
putting one foot in front of the other
we have no time to loose, Danton
dying, we become childish
putting one foot in front of the other
time is losing us

II.
for some thoughts there should be no ears
they should not cry at birth
like children

wishing not to think
if it speaks like this
crying at birth like children

speaking with lips of rocks and stones
your lips were full of eyes she said, and you had ears

and thoughts that cried at birth, like children,
cry, cry, child, no ears
rocks and stones

III.
such a poor instrument, one string, always the same note

(tomorrow, a broken fiddle, its melody is finished)

IV.
what do you want, Danton?
peace. peace is in nothingness; meditate upon something more
peaceful than nothingness, and if the highest peace is god, is
not nothingness god? but i'm an atheist. (that was your line,
but who would not want peace, but some people are afraid of
nothingness, and then the cursed sentence:) something cannot become nothing!
and i am something. (is that the problem, Danton?)
creation has spread so much, nothing is
empty it is swarming everywhere
(and how can this be peace?)

V.
it is so pretty to say good-bye,
i just have to close the door
so pretty
good-bye

über den tag

über den tag weine ich
über die rose die starb
bevor der nebel sie umgab
bevor der regen
sie benetzt
die tote blüte zuletzt
verloren die herbstzeitlosen auch
über den tag kahler strauch

Friday, 28 September 2012

bald fliegen auch die schwalben fort

ich kann den herbst mit händen
greifen und die gefallenen, die fall
äpfel auflesen aus dem gras, es ist feucht
am morgen, der morgen ist kalt, es ist
warm mittags wenn die sonne sie reift –
alles wartet müde auf die auf
lesenden hände und den abend
wenn auch die luft feucht
schmeckt, und ich halte in den händen
das schwindende licht lese auf
den duft fauler äpfel im gras

Thursday, 27 September 2012

waiting (to withdraw)

tears gathered on the the tired
grass the heart the earth
lie waiting to withdraw
the fruits have ripened now
and fall.

to live we must let go.
and disappear by noon

or wither silently and fall

or let ourselves be sweetened
by an early frost at night

come let us leave the
grass the heart the earth
the tired tears, leave
and withdraw

into the fading flowers
and the hardened shell

let go of earth of roots
of flowers fruits and tears
lie waiting now

withdraw

september takes all the gold

without a sound
the evening sun
& the dry leaf

fall. september takes all the gold

Thursday, 20 September 2012

klamme finger

kalt kalt aber die oleanderbüsche
die oleanderbüsche ja
die oleanderbüsche kalt
kalt blühen die oleanderbüsche
ja klamme finger weiss rosa
kastanien
braun rosa weiss klamme finger
brechen auf
kastanien ja rosa weiss
brechen auf klamme finger kalt kalt
aber die oleanderbüsche blühen ja

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

der tag wirft seine netze aus

tau tropfen spinnen
weben im grass

spinnen weben tau
tropfen im grass

weben tau tropfen
spinnen im grass

tropfen spinnen
tau weben im grass

wirft seine netze aus
der tag


Sunday, 16 September 2012

sonntag flussabwärts

der main ist schön
und die meisten bäume noch grün

er fängt den himmel
und den walnussbaum hinter der mauer

die sonne fällt schräg durch das fenster

unterm tisch die krümel von gestern
auf dem hocker eine fliege

sie summt nicht.

glockenläuten treibt flussabwärts


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

i spilt the moon

i spilt the moon across the sky,
the tall trees caught it
swiftly. light seeps into shifting
clouds. the softened shadows strike
the hour silently. i stir
my tea. the silver
spoon counts out the seconds,
measures sweetness. split
silence spills across my skin,
milk across the moon. seeps
into bone china. weeps,
shines, and breaks.
and sleeps. and wakes.
 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

twilight

the evening sun is casting evil spirits out
we hold our breath
the wind dies
(for a moment):
peace

until the demons of the night descend
let me hold hands
with you
(my dear):
life

is suspended in this twilight hour
light and darkness
sharing equally
(this moment):
truth

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

and now

and now
a cold wind howls
down the staircase
it chases
rain across the children's unmade beds
later
we find thunder and lightning
hiding under their blankets
while they flee from my lullabies
sleep gilds the broken clouds
when darkness gathers again
rain drops softly on my song
and i draw the leaves closer
at night
the clouds catch the city lights' pretence
but in the morning
dawn gleams in the watery gems
indiscriminately adorning fences
birches and empty beds

Friday, 17 August 2012

Monet (co co di)

le coq est
mort
le coq est

les coquelicots sont
rouges
les coquelicots sont

les coquelicots sont
rouges
la femme est
jeune
sa robe est
noir
et son fils

les coquelicots sont
morts
les coquelicots et
le coq:
morts

les coquelicots sont
rouges
la femme est
morte
le coq ne crira plus
co co di

co
co
da

we rain all day

summer slipped silently away
through the back door somebody kept
open, slipped into the tall grass
behind the hedgerows
noon bakes our daily bread
the grain has been cut
apples swell while we rain all day
and the blackberries ripen in the wind
who sharpens their thorns
we keep bleeding until we remember
bread, pies and crumble
the sunny hours

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

the grass is always
greener on the other side and
the sky
bluer on holiday and the sun
brighter on a sunday afternoon
when the world stands still
except
for the leaves' graceful dance
and the clouds
                            drifting

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

an elephant in my bed

there is an elephant in my bed
it hid under the blanket
unnoticed by my feet

he has been sleeping here
in this white jungle
since it escaped
from the zoo next door
on saturday morning

i am afraid we have to
send him back
to the lions and tigers
and the monkeys
who coaxed him here

Sunday, 12 August 2012

today i play for pleasure

taking the cello out of his case
today i play for pleasure
chair and music stand ready
resin for the bow
taking the cello between my legs
today i play for pleasure
he rests on my chest
i know his weight

today i play for pleasure
strings stretched
taut across the bridge
no it is not only agony
though the bow grips at them
today i play for pleasure
there is laughter, song and caresses
from my forefinger to the core
song and dance

today i play for pleasure
from the curves of my f-holes
this body resonates
this chord strikes
we climb the scales

from the depths
harmonies yield
d-
minor
pains

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

sommerflieder, schmetterling

die kühlere nacht berührt den morgen
seine kälteren finger den kürzeren tag
mitten am vormittag stürzt der sommerflieder
durch das geöffnete fenster
lila fällt er mir um den hals
er habe auf mich gewartet, sagt er
ich aber schließe das fenster
sein warmer kuss wächst wild an der mauer
er schenkt ihn nur den schmetterlingen
im zimmer schläft noch die kühlere nacht

Nike of Samothrace

in the midst of a steady stream of visitors and their running
commentary to this famous place, its collected fragments of the past,
the myths of history

you

with your perfectly proportioned
body
(not limbs, because you lost your arms
somehow,
and your
head)
winged goddess of victory

sitting at your feet, i feel
the strength of your stride and the wind under your wings
from your breasts
energy centres around your navel and runs down the naked leg

only i blush seeing your perfection 
exposed 

people walking up and
down the stairs, a steady stream of lost
(faces
displaced
arms)
battles

at your feet, i pick up a feather from your left wing
(a plaster copy of the original right wing in ageless marble)
meet your gaze in the wind
for a fraction of eternity
victory is ours

Sunday, 5 August 2012

la nuit de temps

dans la nuit de temps
on était seul
sur l'arbre de la lumière
de sa lune

dans le bois de temps
la nuit était tombée
et les étoiles
du ciel

dans la nuit de temps
on était seul
dans ce tombe du ciel sombre

dans le bois noir de la lune
les étoiles sont ses arbres

la lumière de temps
était tombée
de sa nuit
seule

Friday, 3 August 2012

prayer to a goddess

she is a fierce goddess
who helps me
keep my vow
bearing this pain lightly
i bow

every
thing
is

as it should be
now

i offer you
this lamp and my
happiness

a tear in the corner of my heart
catches the light
for a moment

every 
thing
is

as it should be
now

you are a kind goddess
i bow

home from the seaside

back home from the seaside
sand runs through my fingers like

so

many

days

waves licking at my bare
feet:
ebb
and flow,
the tidal waters rise
and fall

contourless
we lie under the bluer sky
only the horizon draws
a line
between here
and there.

who makes the waves,
and the seagulls cry
and the wind in my hair
chasing clouds across
sky, marshland, your face & mine

back home from the seaside
sand running through my fingers

so many lives


Sunday, 29 July 2012

ಎಷ್ಟು ದಿನ

ಇಷ್ಟು ದಿನ ಆ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ...
ಎಷಟ್ು ದಿನ ಈ ಕವಿತೆ
ಎಷ್ಟು ದಿನ ಈ ಕನಸು
ಎಷಟು ದಿನ...

ಈ ವೈಕುಂಠ
ನಾನು ಮಾಡಿದ ಕಾರ್ಮವೇ

ಈ ಜೀವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಎಷ್ಟು ವೇಶ
ಈ ಆಟದಲ್ಲಿ ಎಷ್ಟು ಪದ್ಯ
ಇದು ಯಾರ ರಾಗ, ಯಾರ ಕುಣಿತ ಅದು
ಈ ಮಾಯ ಯಾರ ಕಥೆ

ಸುಖ-ದುಃಖದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದು ನನ್ನ ಜೇವನ
ಅಂತರಂಗದೊಳಗೆ ದೀಪ ಹಚ್ಚಿದೆ

Thursday, 26 July 2012

schattenlaub meiner träume

schattenlaub meiner träume
zittert im gras
warm
ist die
tagsommerrinde deiner bäume
gedankenverloren dunkelt
der abend
leise zittert
das schattenlaub meiner träume
auf deinem stamm

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

the next life may not come easy

i lead a sheltered existence
within these walls the cares are few
but my house was built close to the water
i harbour many tears
from the bottomless well i draw up
memories of forgotten existences

the world's suffering
existential desperation
anger and compassion

in this life 
how fortunate i have been
showered with blessings
really! life has been easy

idealism dried up unnoticed

tired i water my tiny patch
with existentialist despair
keep the beans on my own plate
and the cold winds out

strong roof solid walls
i tied myself to illusions

break
down

drop

kindness
spreading outwards
in circles ever widening
from a fearless centre

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

make-belief

i put kisses in make-belief bubbles
to hang by my children's beds
i tell them the kisses will be there all night
will be there in case they need them
will be there when they wake up from a dream
will be there when i am gone

i blow a kiss and a bubble
and send them to ride on the winds
ride through the night of the new moon
ride to the edge of my dreams
ride till they reach the morning
of my imaginary lover's lands

he'll find the kiss in the bubble
and hang it by his bed
he knows i will be there beside him
at night when he wakes from a dream

in my heart there is a bubble
and a make-belief kiss
and the moon
my imaginary heart

Monday, 23 July 2012

over night

over night the scent of our love-making
has gone cold on the bed and between
my legs you
have gone down to make
tea my breast
is warm where you rested your head
last night

sky blues

the sky has stolen its blue from the ocean
the salt in the wind betrays the thief
he carried foam from the waves through the night
to tease the sun with a cloud

[work in progress]

summer (double haiku)

finally sunshine
is here. summer holidays
and the children play

in the park the tree
tops catch the cold sea breeze
shadow leaves shiver

Sunday, 22 July 2012

sommermorgen

am morgen krieche ich schlaf
trunken aus dem feuchten gras der wiese
aus dem schatten der linden
tropften süße träume

morgendunstige wolken versickern lautlos
in frühes blau die eberesche bietet vogelbeeren feil
für die amsel blinzelnd
lehn ich am zaun

Friday, 20 July 2012

haiku 1

I've always had a fascination for haikus and might work on them again for a bit, so here's a clumsy attempt. This one has a 7-5-7 syllable structure but I'll be working towards counting in morae which is more accurate to the Japanese tradition.

on my window the raindrops
knock softly. summer
is here and weeping roses.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

translating

i twist words
i wrestle
with authors
dead or alive

this is a contact sport, dangerous for both sides

the "original" stays on the page
laughing at me and taunting
approximations of meaning tumble
from the dictionary
my best friend

putting the words into a bag i give them a good shake and then take a lucky!
dip, to re-arrange them on a new page
or stare at the same sentence until my eyes water waiting for divine
inspiration
until both
source and target language
(mother! tongue)
blur into meaninglessness

sometimes the practised routines fall apart
slipping into someone else's skin i begin
to see the world through the eyes of their words
for a moment, i paint with someone else's colours
sing with someone else's voice...

(work in progress. just to express some feelings i had while working)

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

everyday song

my neighbours' music is the soundtrack
of my children's early years
next door, some
body sometimes sings with abandon
& out of tune
like the ice-cream vans' melody
halfway through a rainy summer

you splash in the puddles
your faces all sunny
childhood summers and ice-cream are still synonymous
as you sing with abandon ancient songs
worlds gone by
i am glad none of us has perfect pitch

Monday, 16 July 2012

before you go

before you go
turn the lights down
draw the curtains and

close
the door

take today's food with you
and the flowers
take my favourite tune
take the sun the moon and the stars if you must
take a black bangle

take one last look at me
sleeping

leave me
a poem a melody a smell and
a memory

leave me
a smile on my face as i dream

turn the lights down and
close the door

Thursday, 12 July 2012

for Kamala Das

it was one of those
accidental discoveries that
strike like
lightning

i never knew you, Kamala,
did not know someone like you
existed, lived, loved,
and wrote poetry
i read,
i see the blue sea, and the beaches,
i swim with you, Kamala, and you talk to me about love,
about men (did your husband ever read your poems?), and like so many times before, i wish i had
black hair and a
dravidian face like you when you were my age but still my hair is wheaten, my skin
milky and cold, i was born in a country where coconuts do not grow
you passed like rain

you take my hand and you look into my eyes
and you see fright and shame and you tell me what
it means: to be a woman, and i
see, i feel, i
know. now. your bold words, so many uncharted territories
you bring a mirror and it shows the beauty
of what is and what might be

[Kamala Das was from Kerala, wrote poetry in English and prose in Malayalam. She was born in 1934 and died in 2009. Some of her poems can be found here: http://www.poemhunter.com/kamala-das/]

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

evening after rain

rain
water
collects
slowly
on the leaves
the setting sun
all we have today
caught in each drop
a golden gem
shines for a
moment
on the
edge

then gone. fallen from a height. for a
moment
it is darker, then the next drop
forms, catches the sunlight until it, too,
drops
and again until the sun sets behind the wall
and i gather
the days riches



pieces of me

give me a sharp knife and and i will cut myself into pieces
i am sure they can exist independently
one can be wife and mother
one can be a cellist
one can be a dancer
one can be a poet
one can be a translator
one can be a scholar
one can follow the spiritual path

where we will be your friend
your lover, and the blue sky inside
the warm earth

wholeness
is a loaf of bread
give me a sharp knife

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

vision

we are a thousand golden buddhas floating in the sky
radiating mindfulness
lotus seated suns
we are a thousand golden buddhas


Monday, 9 July 2012

vulnerability

within boundaries i try to keep
myself
within walls i have erected
behind veils i have chosen
i try to play safe

the defences are not strong
enough
not thick enough the thorny hedges
and the guards are not vigilant
enough

opening my eyes my inside spills
out
i look at you and there is nothing
between us
my self all bare and nowhere to hide
the passion
it is always like this

how embarrassing!
my heart pounding a hasty retreat i stumble into the thorns, i am held up by the door-keepers, there is no room inside, the wind blows the veil away, i have said too much already, next time i will keep silent and
contain myself
within



Sunday, 8 July 2012

bedtime story

when i was little, i often had trouble falling asleep, i used to lay awake for what felt like a very long time until finally sleep came; sometimes i sang songs to myself & in summer, i lay awake listening to the birdsong. when the nightingale came to the tree where the brook passed under the rail tracks, i tried to stay awake on purpose not to miss a single note of her song & sometimes i gathered rose petals from the wild roses in the hedges near the brook to sleep on during those nights.
on other nights, i imagined stories; one favourite was to imagine myself living on a small cloud travelling across the sky; i would lie in the soft cloud as if in the shelter of a bed, wanting nothing, light as a feather & seen by no-one, i could look down at the beautiful earth.
nobody can touch me there on the cloud & i am touched by nothing, the wind takes me into any direction the earth's currents move: sea, land, forests, rivers, mountains; the sun throws blankets over me in different hues of gold, amber, flames &  the stars, the moon, the vast skies night & day –
i can just watch everything... pass ... even if i want to linger, the cloud moves on, the picture changes, the surface of the earth, around me only softness, the warmth of day & the cold of night; nothing to hold... on to ... it is still up here on my cloud, the sounds are muted, too –
and i sleep... and sleep... wake me up only when the sun shines & the skies are pretty & the roses flower & the nightingale sings (she no longer comes there, and this bird has flown)
i am so tired &
there is going to be rain

remembering Dilip Chitre

sunday morning. grey skies. picking up a book
(contemporary indian poetry) opening it with excitement
i see your name
there
and i remember, sun shine,
tübingen 2003

then, too, i did not know where to go
from there

flipping through to the back of the book
(black cover, night rain) notes on the authors
your name again, born 1938
and died
why did nobody tell me
where was i
december 2009

where

nobody told me

but who would remember those days
when we sat there, alte aula
after your talk, i think you came twice
in between you went to other places
die liebe katrin
stirred, disturbed, questioned by your words
i had just graduated as an indologist
an indian omlet
your phrase

your smile was there in the old walls above the river
so many have written about it
i remember your hat
it was the year your son died
and i never made it to pune
my work became a poetic scramble, bells on toes
this poem is for you, Dilip
i never saw you again
(but maybe we will) says Tuka


Hyson Green

wheelie bins, dog poo and concrete roses
in the back
yards and clothes lines
kurtas and shalwar kameez
dripping with last nights showers
jasmine trailing over the front
fences
brick villas, hyson green

Saturday, 7 July 2012

now

this breath is
the only moment
that is
now

even the greatest pain
but memory
not me

this very moment

softly softly softly

softly softly softly the rain is falling
on the leaves gathering
in puddles in the shade by
their feet barely
visible the raindrops fall softly
softly softly
a cloud has descended
inseparable
dusk

Thursday, 5 July 2012

pretending

softly rising
the moon
kisses her ear

touches the milky breasts:
a flower
quietly opening

for a moment of sweetness

pretending
to be a white lotus
rising from the mud

touched her body
bleeds
wild honey


true love

rain drops grains of
sand salt
crystals cobble
stones
summer
breeze bare
skin
deep blue sea
sun set moon light

falling star
catch!
me
(at the end of the rainbow a pot of gold)

my summer's tree


the leaves on my summer's tree
throw shadows
thickly 
and light back into the blue

the leaves on my summer's tree
grow neatly
layer upon layer
tiles on my roof

taking shelter here
planting my
feet next to the strong roots hoping
to find food
here

until the leaves fall and the birds leave and the rain
comes hold
me
my summer's tree

Monday, 2 July 2012

das leben ist eine reise im flugzeug

das leben ist eine reise in einem flugzeug; wenn man geboren wird, hebt es ab, und solange man lebt, bleiben die türen geschlossen, man muss darinnen bleiben; meistens sind die fenster klein und unter einem nur wolken, wenn man überhaupt einen fensterplatz zugewiesen bekommen hat, manchmal ist es tag und manchmal ist es nacht und die leselampen funktionieren nicht immer; man weiss nur vage, wo es hingehen könnte, man kommt ohnehin nur heraus, wenn das flugzeug ab-
       
     stürzt
______
aber vielleicht gibt es auch ein ankommen, wenn man

     stirbt  


Friday, 29 June 2012

midsummer


midsummer
polished leaves.
grass grown tall.
SUN
SHINE
throws shade
gathered thickly

the poppies say “red red red”

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

colours

the world changes. colours
under the skylarks
all day long

sings the summer
my heart. flowers
till night falls

with feathers skyblue

where

1.
you never told me
where my place would be
when you moved into that
space
i had kept vacant
see, i am taking you everywhere
wandering aimlessly

2.
where do i go now

head in clouds
feet in cherry blossoms
a little girl on the swings

where
is the ground beneath
those feet now

hands will pick cherries soon

3.
don´t tell me
where
i do not want to know

empty space
aimless fruit

hanging
from an old tree
this flower learns

to be

Friday, 22 June 2012

a carefully guarded secret

she wraps her tears in a blank piece of paper
and pushes jasmine between the silence

of a gap in the wall of some ancient
temple or maybe just a broken 
piece of rock

flaming letters
fall unnoticed from the champaka
your name

already grew here

Thursday, 21 June 2012

how can i ever know you

how can i ever know you

the rose in my heart
the moon in your hair

the stars falling from my eyes

will they shine
or will the moon grow dark
and the rose whither

will they stop falling
when
will they stop falling

i cannot smell the rose
i cannot grasp the moon

how
can i ever know you

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

a poem by Emmy Ball-Hennings in English

Emmy Ball-Hennings was born in Flensburg, where I grew up. She´s been a great inspiration to me. This is from her poetry collection "letzte freude" (last joy). She dedicated this poem to Ferdinand Hardekopf.

Lonely straying through the nights I think of you.
Sometimes I see a coat similar to yours.
And then I call you softly by your name.
My heart stops with grief.
Tired, I lean against the wall and close my eyes.
Many tears flow slowly to the ground.
The world stays far behind.
I am blown through white clouds into open arms.
A rain of roses falls after me and cools my sick eyes.
Everything is so white and gentle.
Oh how sweet.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

a lullaby

ಬಾ ಮಗ, ನನ್ನ ಮಡಿಲಲ್ಲಿ ಮಲ್ಕೋ,
ಬಾ, ನಿನ್ನನ್ನು ಮಲಗಿಸುವುದು ಪದ್ಯ ಹೇಳುತ್ತೇನೆ,

ಸುಮ್ಮನಿರೋ
ಕಣ್ಣ್ಮುಚ್ಕೋ

ಕೇಳು ನನ್ನ ಪದ್ಯ:
ಜೋ… ಜೋ…
ಅದು ಅಕ್ಕನ ಪದ್ಯ
ಬರಲ್ಲ ನನಗೆ

ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಕೇಳು, ಮಗನೇ
ಅಮ್ಮನ ಪದ್ಯ (ಚಂದ್ರ)
ಅಜ್ಜನ ಪದ್ಯ (ಹೂ)

ಕೋನೆಗೂ
ನನ್ನ  ಎಳೆ  ಎದೆಯ
ಕನಸಿನ ಹಾಡು, ಪ್ರೀತಿಯ ಹಾಡು
ಒಂಟಿತನದ ಹಾಡು ಕೇಳೋ

ಸುಮ್ಮನಿರೋ
ಕಣ್ಣ್ಮುಚ್ಕೋ

ಈ ಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಹೂವಿನ ಕಣ್ಣೀರು
ನಕ್ಷತ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ತಿಳಿಯುತ್ತೆ

ಬಾ ಮಗ, ಚಳಿಯಾಗುತ್ತೆ. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

melancholy

sad skies
rain rose petals
false jasmine
sweetens the sleepless night

teach me

teach me your language, teach me the magic
of your words, teach me
the song of the solitary bird

teach me
the fragrance of the forest flower, teach me the melody
of the raindrops, the dripping leaves
the trees hiding in the mist outstretched arms

teach me the sweetness of the wet rock
the butterflies' dances
teach me

the sweetness of your voice
i do not understand
your words

blindfolded
poetry drops from my ears

a lullaby from the heart

Sunday, 17 June 2012

a glimpse of who i might be

now, at this age, she finally saw herself in the mirror, and with eyes closed, she saw from within that she had become a woman after all and the little girl was no more and that those round breasts, the reasonably slender figure, her long, slightly wavy, golden hair (no grey yet), her brown eyes and well-shaped mouth might after all be attractive. after the years of marriage and two children, she finally saw the woman she might be and she blushed in embarrassment that she should have thought of herself as a little girl for so long despite all that had happened and all the years. she had never thought of herself as beautiful and had not noticed mens' gaze on her, and maybe she had thus, by denying herself the blossoming of her femininity allowed it to grow sheltered, within... now she felt the "rare beauty" someone had seen not so long ago. after all those years she suddenly understood how, when the first signs of becoming a woman manifested on her, she had become scared at the thought of becoming desirable to men even though she seems to have always known that she desired this, too, and so the denial began, the desperate efforts to starve her womanhood, and later, the half-hearted concessions as her body needed warmth, caresses, and bearing children...
still scared, she chooses to dance... still scared...

flights of fancy

a quiet moment
the heart smiles
staying here it follows
the feeling
still there
oh linger only a little
present in the moment
i chose to
fly

Friday, 8 June 2012

happiness

1.
happiness is
within

sometimes

there is nothing
there

I
 f
  a
   l
    l

there is no
boundary
within

2.
happiness is
within
you
are
within

frightened
i turn away

this is not me this is not my self
this is
happiness
still

3.
happiness is
inside
myself

but what about
the pleasures of the ear
smell taste
touch

i still have a body
the mind still knows
love






searching

leaving the children to play with their father
i dive into the water
pushing off from the side of the pool
the water against my skin makes me
feel my whole body
fingertips to toes
and it feels good

effortlessly i find a rhythm
movement, breath
without thinking
push stretch pull turn
trying to find an equally easy rhythm
to poem about happiness
i go faster
faster, faster
only to feel the water's resistance
stronger
faster
faster

exhausted i return without words
the children are playing happily

Friday, 1 June 2012

Wenn

Es braucht ein ganzes Leben

um all' das zu tun
was gern ich noch täte
mit Dir

braucht es zwei

doch ich habe nur eins
und das schenke
gibst du mir Deins

ich Dir

(von 2003)

Thursday, 31 May 2012

the linden tree

sweetness hangs heavily from the linden trees in
heart-shaped leaves and fragile blossoms
am Brunnen vor dem Tore
the pigeons coo softly, Schubert,
many a sweet dream in your shade

i dreamed

tender kisses
raindrops
cool heart
da hab ich
noch im Dunkeln
die Augen zugemacht




Monday, 28 May 2012

desire/rejection

1.
come to me
when I have taken off
all the costumes
my brave face
the fake flowers

this trembling body
is all there is

2.
don't come to me like that
don't come to me with the moon in your hair
don't look at me like that
don't get your fingers caught in my hair
don't make me feel so naked

Friday, 18 May 2012

ಮಳೆಯಿಲ್ಲದಲ್ಲಿ

ಮಳೆಯಿಲ್ಲದಲ್ಲಿ ನೆನಪುಗಳು ಹೇಗೆ ಉಳಿದಾವೆ?
ಮಳೆಯಿಲ್ಲದಲ್ಲಿಪ್ರೀತಿಹೇಗೆ ಉಳಿತ್ತೆ?
ನೆನಪುಗಳು...
ಆಕಾಶದಿಂದ ಬಿಟ್ಟಿದ ಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆ
ಆಕಾಶದಿಂದ ಬಿಟ್ಟಿದ ನಕ್ಷತ್ರಗಳು
ನೆನಪುಗಳು... ಮಳೆಯೂ...
ಮಳೆಯಿಲ್ಲದಲ್ಲಿಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆ  ಇಲ್ಲ
ಮಳೆಯಿಲ್ಲದ ರಾತ್ರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಕ್ಷತ್ರಗಳು
ನೆನಪುಗಳು...
ನಕ್ಷತ್ರವಿಲ್ಲದ ರಾತ್ರಿಯಲ್ಲೇ
ಅವನ ಹೇಗೆ ಮರೆಯುವುದೆ?



my first poem in Kannada :-)! please correct, kavijanare! first line from U.R. Anantha Murthy's short story 'suryana kudure'.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

beyond/pain

one day the
pain will stop
ಹೆಣ್ಣು ಮಕ್ಕಳು ನೋವು ತಿನ್ನಬೇಕಂತೆ
at dawn
ಬೆಳಕಾಯಿತು
her ankle bells will tingle
as she takes them off
and the silver toe rings
all shining like the moonlight
ಚಂದ್ರ ಮಾಮಾ ಬಾ ಬಾ
only a black bangle
remains
as she leaves
everything
behind

setting free her dear ones, her love, her dreams
ಮಂಗಳಂ ಜಯ ಮಂಗಳಂ

barefoot
she merges with the trees
the cold stones
the warm earth
the soft green grass

the blue sky

mapping the inner landscape

from its rocky shores the lake of sadness
appears not nearly as vast
as it seemed in the dark
not nearly as deep
as the crevices, that, too, are not
as bottomless
as they seemed to the anxious eye
that was searching for the bleeding cuts
to find only green hillsides, fields and flowers in the meadow
the virgin forest of pure joy
beckons beyond the storm-beaten trees
in the open
birdsong inscribed into the footpath
by the horizon
the sea of creativity receives the numerous rivers
of feeling and thought
pain and pleasure rising with the tide
the scattered dwellings are temporary but the fire is warm
this is fertile land


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

der blaue himmel in deinen augen

der blaue himmel in deinen augen mein kind
und sonnenschein in deinen blonden
haaren warum
sind deine augen himmelblau
mein kind
wo doch deines vaters augen
graugrünbraun
unentschlossen unter dem dunklen schopf
und auch nicht
mein dunkler blick
in deinen augen blau
möge dir der himmel bleiben
mein kind

Friday, 27 April 2012

stranger

only the fingers dancing
on the keyboard bare
feet
in shoes

and this language, too,
is different
this world,
mother,
a stranger


this is an English version of a German poem i wrote many years ago, and rewrote now, as its sentiments still ring true

Fremde

in schuhen laufen
ist nicht bar
fuss tanzen
und diese sprache
eine andere
auch diese welt,
Mutter,
eine Fremde

दिन
रात
सुबह
: कल
मिलेंगे हम
फिर
आप चलते हैं

शाम आ गया
: अकेला

Monday, 23 April 2012

verliebt

jedes jahr
liebe ich das junge laub
aber es ist nicht treu
zu schnell kommt der sommer
herbst winter frühling
schon wieder bin ich verliebt
in die buchen

Saturday, 21 April 2012

abend

selbst der fluss liegt spiegel
glatt und die
wolken warten über
den baumwipfeln


(yes, i do write poetry in German sometimes)

waiting

the rain that
was coming down in sheets
stopped
waiting
the warm sun on my back
the train passes
under the rainbow
i continue my journey

here

this is (not)
where i belong
only the birds´ song is familiar

still the same tunes
at dawn upon waking

after the rain of an evening
the same melodies

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

relativity theory

time and distance
measurable dimensions
relative to the position
of the observer and the object and
relative to the material circumstances
thus effectively
felt dimensions

love, too,
though immeasurable is
relative

to the object of desire
relative to the circumstances
a felt dimension

experience teaches us
to anticipate windchill

Monday, 16 April 2012

when the bud bursts
leaf or flower
frost passes through the woods

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

rain at night

in the darkness
raindrops fall
like pebbles on my face

nobody

she is not
she has
no 
body
sunlight filters
through her air
and her water
flows gently

no form
no body
that is hers

no body

death
is
no
body

earth
water
fire
air

only the elements
are selfless

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

afterwards

afterwards
we gather the fruits of our love from the blanket
afterwards
I give you my hand


I must have written this when I was 19. a bit disappointing to see that at 33 I still write poems about hands...

Thursday, 5 April 2012

home

home is where my hands are

tearing salad leaves
wet from washing
kneading the dough
for bread
wiping noses
and the table after food
folding clothes
and tying my hair up

home is where
my hands are
these, too, are real:
the raindrops
the path
the trees
anemones
the blackbird
your hand in mine

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

days like this

on days like this
the blue sky is fragrant
with tender green leaves
cherry blossom and magnolia
shine from the garden
even the bees hum sweetness
when lovers kiss



Tuesday, 20 March 2012

lost

running my finger down the curved side
of the empty tea cup
a familiar cheek

on sunday morning
my mouth still tastes sweet
with dreams

Sunday, 18 March 2012

autumn song

[this is completely out of season, and an old one, too]

subdued is today
October´s gold
- fall colors falling
with autumn leaves
the apple has no sweetness
when the sky is grey

untitled

[this is another old one of mine i recently found]

i lost the laughter of childhood
some time when i was three

later the sunny days were few

clouds and rain abounded
but i wasn´t so cold yet

and would sometimes remember

am i still the same person
i was when i was three

cold now even though there are sunny days

laughing sometimes although i do not really remember

sitting

in the space between two breaths
i am

Thursday, 15 March 2012

spring is a maiden

spring
is a maiden
blushing
she knows

the seed
planted in her womb
no leaves to hide her joy
flowering in expectancy
her breasts

the fruits ripen
when the time comes
for milk and honey

questioning

I came across an old poem of mine today, written almost exactly 6 years ago, and decided to rework it.

questioning

what makes me
what I am
today - March, sunny, early spring
what where who
have I been
have I been at all

nothing shows
nothing shows, really, does it
a few lines on my face, maybe,
but that is just my age
where are the scars
but you won´t see me naked
and the hooks in the flesh where I failed

my eyes do not show
what they saw
but I lost my way in the dark
my hands do not tell
whom I´ve known
what I learned

Man is the sum of his sufferings
the rest is history
blind man´s buff
a blank page


winter after spring

winter is colder
after spring
and the branch barer
after flowering

the daffodils play sunshine in last year´s grass

in the morning mist
a magpie laughs at them
and the black cat

bonsai heart

clipped into a shape desired
this bonsai heart
trained meticulously
by an exacting eye
roots pruned regularly
to fit the pot
fed sparingly
the leaves stay small
but oh, the tenacity of the flowers!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

evening sky

when i draw the curtains in the evening when everything becomes quiet and the children are going to bed, i look into the evening sky over the little park and the houses below. it is spring and the sky at that time is not yet saturated with the darkness of night, only a dark veil has been drawn across; it is still translucent. and there are two stars which i have never seen like this before. they are just in the centre of the sky framed by the bedroom window. well above the clear-cut branches of the trees, bare still, they shine brightly, diamonds in the vastness. they are a little distance apart. one is a little smaller than the other, which is also a bit brighter. their light does not converge, they do not know of each other. their stillness is crystal clear. sometimes, the crescent moon is there too, a waxing moon, graceful and equally still. sometimes drafts of cloud catch the silver light. whose are these stars. as a draw in a breath of peacefulness, i feel cold and reach for my cardigan.

Friday, 2 March 2012

the size of my heart

this, then, is from a yoghurt pot that asked, "did you know your heart is the size of your fist?". while i don´t doubt the factual truth of this, it seems ridiculous to compare our hearts with a fist.

the size of my heart

how can my heart
on average be
the size of my fist
as it holds
the limitless skies
and the infinite number of beings

purifying my body
with open-handed generosity
my heart sets free
the limitless skies
and the infinite number of beings
to contain safely that
which has not attained
to peace

Thursday, 1 March 2012

now that the storm has died
sunshine is refracted by the crystal
in my heart

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

rhythm

these days, I run around thinking in poems. so very often, i find myself picking up some random piece of language and start working around that. like the tags on my yogi tea bags or the stupid messages on kids´ yoghurt pots. the result may be trivial, but i am working on it.
so here is "rhythm"

the beat of your heart
is the rhythm of your soul
the beat of your heart
is the rhythm of your soul
the rhythm of your soul
is the rhythm of my love

Sunday, 26 February 2012

memory II

I ask myself
whether I should do penance
to win another favour

but I keep telling myself
it will never be the same again it will never
be the same again it
will never
be
the same

this is my mantra now
my tapas

looking at a black bangle on my wrist
I remember the vow I made

it will never be the same again it will never
be the same again it 
will never
be
the same

I close my eyes
to see yours
my ears grope for your voice

and I fear the goddess's wrath







Wednesday, 22 February 2012

sweetness

now sleep came
and the clouds are floating across the window
over your face
veiled by the sky
your ivory face, how pale you are
asleep now

are you dreaming
now that you let go of what you were holding on to
is your mind letting go too
is it wandering with the clouds passing over your face
over the glass of the window

do you notice the clouds passing? –
do you know you are just a cloud passing

and sunshine in my heart

a woman´s work

it is good to be hanging up the washing

your clothes
my clothes
babies´ clothes

bodiless
referents to our selves
reality is the cool wet cloth between my fingers
a pair of jeans, single socks, the skirt bought in –
this is who I am

it is good to be hanging up the washing

memory

it was as if
the gods had granted me a boon
and we were
taken to a realm of magic

and then the time was up

yet the magic lingers
somewhere
in longing

with sadness
I wonder
if we will ever meet again

may the gods be gracious