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Away and Back

Anthem of the Beatles Day Born

It's been a hard day's night, and when the Beatles got their due
after a straining flight, our mothers were in labour, too.
And when they got off that plane and saw the town go insane,
it made them feel all right.

When we commenced to drool, the band that everyone debates
returned to Liverpool from their big tour around the States.
And when they heard someone say that they were stars from that day,
it made them feel real cool.

When you're born everything seems to be right,
when you're born, born on the Beatles' great night, night...


Frankness

To be Frank, I am unable
to comply with any norm
since my independent nature
wasn’t programmed to conform.

To be Frank, my views are steadfast
if not challenged logicwise
since my strong determined spirit
wasn’t made to compromise.

To be Frank, some things I utter
meet reactions unforeseen
since my unperceptive frontal
lobe expresses what I mean.


Harbour Train

The harbour train is calling,
the lonesome whistle blows,
and from the restless ocean
I’ll go where no one goes.

Across the grassy mainland
whose bovines take no heed
and past the vibrant cornfields
it rolls at heavy speed.

Its anxious engine pounding,
it jerks with every clack,
and halfway it abruptly
departs the beaten track.

To make our destination,
it steams ahead through green
forests, ravines and valleys
no one has ever seen.

The wheels race down the railway
with iron will and zeal,
and through the open window
I smell the sparking steel.

And when the ride is over,
beyond the final bend,
I’ll reach another ocean
upon my journey’s end.


The Blackboard Mind

My mind is like a student’s blackboard
for random topics that I chose,
containing all the information
I need for poems I compose.

And when at last my piece is written,
the board’s wiped clean of its entire
content, providing space for knowledge
my future project will require.


The Children of Lir

What kind of curse is that? To be
a swan, rambling from lake to lake,
seems more desirable to me
than being man of human make.

How often did I close my eyes
and wish I could be living on
the water under azure skies
and fly as deftly as a swan.


A Day Without Life

No places to go to, no people to meet,
no faces that know you and talk in the street,
no woman whose smile cuts your heart like a knife;
there's nothing as calm as a day without life.

No need to say sorry, no need to forgive:
a good day to die and a good day to live!
The flow of your time is too easy for strife;
there's nothing as bright as a day without life.


Essence

Gone are the days of the next-door horizon:
endless is everything, nothing important,
everything alters and nothing will change.

Watching the wheels or attempting to turn them
won't change their speed and won't change their direction:
with you, without you this world stays the same.

Nothing to wait for and nothing to fight for,
nothing to live for and nothing to die for;
still it is nice to be here.


The Strangeness of Being

The strangeness of being we fondly endure
by searching for systems, so simple and pure,
that every man jack, every fool and his wife
may manage to fathom the meaning of Life.

The quest for this meaning divides us from beast;
we feel we are chosen, to say but the least -
and why? We research. The result of our strife:
we're smarter for searching a meaning of Life.

The gods drink their nectar and water the land,
and what they created they don't understand;
like Beauty I never would question but see,
the strangeness of being is nectar to me.


The Evanescing Curse

The playful gods afflicted me
with many a waggish curse for fun
but spared me from the worst of all
they call the evanescing one.

There is a curse that makes you weird,
and one that never lets you win
at life, but there’s a curse that’s worse,
and that’s the curse of fitting in.

All the accursed ones have become
invisible, removed from view,
for none of them will change the world,
and none will fashion something new.

Thus for the life of me I can’t,
despite the trials through which I’ve been,
imagine anything that’s worse
than this: the curse of fitting in.


The Holy Grail

May the sun god hide the moon,
may the summer fail,
may you leave, I know I'll soon
find the Holy Grail.

May you grin and may you smile,
may you weep and wail,
may you laugh: I know that I'll
find the Holy Grail.

May the winter be my guest,
may the wine grow stale,
may we do what you suggest:
I shall find the Grail.

May you hear the church bells chime
when I'm old and pale,
may I die before my time:
I will find the Grail.


Prayer

The church bells are ringing, solemnly calling
the people to come to Mass for the masses.
The people are going, the people are list'ning,
and then they go home, child and husband and wife,
go home and continue the life they were living
as told by the priest.

One life. One god. One spouse. If I had only
the gods of Homer, the wives of King Solomon,
and with them, Almighty, the spirit I have!!!


Calm & Passion

Lazing under midday heavens
lay the lion, hardly breathing;
now and then his eyes would open,
and he'd yawn against the desert.

He'd watch flamingoes at the river,
and, dozing off again, awaken
to see red roses in their flower,
to hear the love song of the sparrows.

He'd watch a graceful antelope
that stops to drink, and, getting up,
he'd focus on her slender shape,
and he'd be ready for the race.

With powerful paces he'd follow her track,
and, knowing he'd get her, his victim would run,
would run for a while, but the lion would win
and finally sink his sharp teeth in her throat.


Welcome To Your World

Just leave this place and smile and close the gate:
there's more to life than you will ever know,
and there's an unseen spirit where you go
who's guiding you - it never is too late.

Just leave this place and smile and close the gate:
there's fairies who will dance with you and show
you all the beauties of the streams that flow
where gardens full of dreams and daisies wait.

There is a world outside for everyone:
mine is a rose bed where fresh waters run
and heaven's azure banner flies unfurled.

There is a world outside for everyone,
and I will crown with moon and stars and sun
the goddess and creator of my world!


Solitude

When early in the morning
the sun is shining in,
my unrequired companion
will wake me with a grin.

Wherever I am going,
wherever I may be,
my unrequired companion
will spend the day with me.

When later in the evening
I look for company,
my unrequired companion
will have a drink with me.

After the pubs are closing
I dread the night when he,
my unrequired companion,
will go to bed with me.


Travel Companion

We all who are hiding her corpse in the cella
are temples of secrets too sacred to tell,
and those who were born with the Grey Arabella
will die with the Grey Arabella as well.

She teaches why man won’t be human nor clever,
why pleasures weren’t meant for disciples of her,
why only despair will be lasting forever,
while all of us listen without demur.

She gave us a backbone, a solid patella
and a bedridden spirit with whom we must dwell,
for those who were born with the Grey Arabella
will die with the Grey Arabella as well.

Phlegmatically chairing our minds’ torpid senate,
she always is with us – we still feel alone,
endure all the pains that are known to this planet
and make the world’s suff’rings our very own.

There’s no Before Midnight, still each Cinderella
must dance for the queens in the Ballroom of Hell,
and those who were born with the Grey Arabella
will die with the Grey Arabella as well.


Compassion

They didn’t mention it. We talked about
football and politics and Cheers before
Diane had left, and as the morning breaks
we rise, and I farewell them at the door.

‘What are friends for?’ they tell me as I thank
them for their kindness and their company.
Nobody said a word about it, still
they let me know how much they feel for me.


Angst

A roof above me, I await the morrow,
have clothes and food - I have a happy lot,
but pensively I hang my head in sorrow,
aware that there are billions who have not;

A malady affecting fools and sages,
and through my angst my pleasures must decline:
I've perished with the world for many ages,
I've tried to bear a weight that is not mine.

I should embrace my fate, be glad and merry,
just like the others turn my heart to stone
in Lethe, but like Atlas I must carry
the burden of my weltschmerz all alone.

The suff'rings of this planet are too many,
too heavy for a single man to bear:
I wish like those around me, blind and canny,
I could refuse to carry and to care.

Though men have changed, mankind has never altered
and swells my burden while I'm on the road.
The shoulders of my heart are weak; I faltered,
and once again I lift my heavy load.


The Tyre Change

I'm sitting by the roadside.
The driver is changing the tyre.
I don't want to be where I came from.
I don't want to be where I'm going to.
Why am I watching the tyre change
impatiently?

(Translation of Bertolt Brecht's Der Radwechsel)


Blessings

Am I not blessed that I can see
the wealth and beauty of this world?

Am I not blessed that I can walk
through Nature to be one with her?

Am I not blessed that I can write
to share my feelings and my thoughts?

With all these blessings I still muse:
why is it that I feel so cursed?


Away

Away I must be from the mainland,
away to the turbulent sea,
for Fame rewards average people,
and Love's too expensive for me.

Away I shall sail from conversion,
get rid of the gag and the gyve:
away from the docks of existence,
away from the harbour of Life!

Away, away from this country,
away from the planet of speed,
away with the speediest vessel
from the place which has naught that I need!


The River

The river is me as he springs from the hill
and leaps through the valley in bends wild and still,
caressing the meadows with life-giving touch,
embracing the woods with his nourishing clutch.

The river is me as he rolls through the plains
in quest of the ocean, and nothing restrains
his powerful current, his light-hearted soul:
he knows of no aim but to roll, but to roll.

The river is me as he kisses the sea;
there, where he is strongest, he ceases to be.
He flows through this world, yet his waters run free:
as I am the river, the river is me.


Destiny

One thing leads to another, and
we cannot change the plot;
some of the things that we have planned
work out while some do not.

We may lie back, awaiting Fate,
or follow an idea;
it's not too early nor too late
for all things that appear.

Whatever comes, it's good to know
I have to seize the day,
to know, wherever I may go:
there's been no other way!


The Homely Traveller

I cannot leave the places
I love, and I can't stay,
I live with untied laces,
remain and walk away.

To know a place a life is not sufficient,
to see them all an aeon not enough,
and if I had the lantern of Aladdin
I'd be in every place at every time.

Unless the skies unravel
the secrets of the day:
forever I will travel,
forever I will stay.


Wrung Hearts

Wrung hearts are passed from hand to hand
which drain their energy,
and every time they are convinced
they found their destiny.

Wrung hearts pray for the morning dew,
and full of hope they greet
their temptress; then, too dry for tears,
they muse on their defeat.

Wrung hearts will not believe in man
nor in a god above,
but still they trust in every vow
of everlasting love.

Wrung hearts seem sapless like a rose
that withers on the stem,
but there will always be some life
you can squeeze out of them!


Evening Prayer

Shut the day! I'll have no more;
lest the dragons should return
and their sacrifices burn -
shut the day, I'll have no more!

Call the night! My only friend
waited for the sun to drown
in the ocean of my frown -
call the night, my only friend!

Leave the dreams! For they are mine;
I will close my eyes and live
what the day refused to give -
leave the dreams, for they are mine!


I Haven't Always Been

I haven't always been a virgin,
no matter what the others say:
I've been a goat as well, and searching
for liberty I lost my way.

And though the others spread those rumours:
I haven't always been this young,
for I have suffered global tumours,
and in my mouth I felt Death's tongue.

I haven't always been a minor
with naught to say and naught to touch:
I've always been my fate's designer
and delegated far too much!


Treasure Hunt

Golden coaches of the High King,
chasing fast through snow and frost,
pulled by hundred wingèd horses,
cannot bring what I have lost.

Western winds with breaths of iron,
of their gentleness bereft,
wildly blowing through the country,
cannot bring what I have left.

Spirits of the past and future
who can visit every spot
that there ever was or will be
cannot bring what I forgot.


Clenched Hearts

Clenched hearts can not be seen but in the eye
of those who wouldn't hurt a living creature,
those who are dwelling under the illusion
no human soul could be completely evil,
that there is something true in every claim
and every accusation that is made
and that the other ones are always right.
Bullied by classmates, teachers, priests and parents
they grow to be calm pleasers with clenched hearts -
clenched hearts, anxious to strike a fatal blow
but too afraid that they might miss their aim.
They walk the streets like everybody else;
but watch them closer and you'll realise
they're shyly making way for all the others,
and they apologise to anyone who
bumps into them. They patiently await
the prize Life has to offer for the righteous,
but when the cows come home they will discover
they didn't even make it to the shortlist.
That day they will decide to change their life...


The Plant of Progress

There are seeds in the winds of the planet
of a plant that could alter its face,
but on reaching their own destination
very few find a suitable place.

Some are crushed on the spot where they landed
till the life disappears from their germs,
and instead of providing a harvest
they provide a dessert for the worms.

Some are starting to grow in a garden
or a field with the soil that they need,
just to find themselves extirpated
by the folk who consider them weed.

Some are trimmed on a regular basis,
and they’re questioned, ‘Why can’t you just grow
like the other sweet flowers around you,
with a beautiful blossom to show?’

While they may be abhorred or accepted,
they are never expected to thrive:
they’re regarded as plants with no purpose
which rely on largesse to survive.

One or two in a thousand may manage
to grow free into autism trees,
standing tall in the middle of nowhere
as convention’s revered escapees.

Each of these bears a fruit which is different
from all fruits that have yet been defined,
and their boughs dangle heavy and laden
as they benefit all of mankind.


The Manual

The curious young man was standing
at Nature’s workbench, made of pine,
as she described her many duties
and showed him an assembly line.

‘This is where I, without cessation,
produce the standard human brain
which I deliver with the body
and a short manual to explain.

‘But one in ten must be created
by hand, and that’s when I explore
new ways and try out new connections
that I have never tried before.

‘These function on a different level,
the brains with individual sights,
producing scientists and artists
and those who fight for human rights.’

‘Is there a manual for these then?’
the man enquired about her craft.
‘A manual?’ Nature snorted roughly
and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.


The Nerds’ Paean

If you’re a nerd and know the fact,
rejoice and hold your head up high,
because the way you think and act
is but your own, and you don’t try
to be like others and fit in
where nothing fits you in the least:
you don’t compete nor care to win
to see your own prestige increased.
You do not fit on any shelf
as others say you ought,
because you’re thinking for yourself
and not the way you’re taught.

Like no one else you know your stuff,
and nothing leads your mind astray;
sometimes it’s tough to be a buff,
but that’s a price you gladly pay.
Your train of thought will always run
outside the mainstream rails and take
you out to places others shun
or never dreamed of while awake.
Attempts to put you on their shelf
are vigorously fought,
because you’re thinking for yourself
and not the way you’re taught.

You do not follow, you don’t lead,
and you despise it when you’re told
what you should do, and you don’t heed
attempts to squeeze you in a mould.
While others see you as a creep,
you find their arguments absurd;
others appear to you as sheep,
and you know well you won’t be herd.
The likes of you don’t need a shelf
to find the place you sought
because you’re thinking for yourself
and not the way you’re taught.


Asperger’s Wall

When my granny died I suffered,
having lost my only friend,
and I went upon a journey
- one that met a sudden end -
to my deepest inner feelings.
Something said, ‘You’ll carry through;
she is dead and gone forever,
there is nothing you can do.
Leave it be, or you will suffer
even more.’ – I saw a tall
wall that barred my way and calmly
read the writing on the wall,
‘For your sanity and reason,
stay away! You must avoid
thoughts that’d tear your heart asunder:
Turn or be destroyed!’

Once I met an older lady
with a spirit far from damp
who recounted all the horrors
of the concentration camp
where her children had been tortured,
starved and murdered in her sight
while she slaved for IG Farben
and got raped most every night.
As I listened to her story,
I was shaken to the core;
soon my world went into turmoil,
and I faced the wall once more,
‘For your sanity and reason,
stay away! You must avoid
thoughts that’d tear your heart asunder:
Turn or be destroyed!’

I have also seen the children
in the city of Bombay:
mutilated for the purpose
of arousing pity, they
roam the streets and beg for money
which their owners will collect
while a lot of these young children
die from hunger and neglect.
As my stomach kept on turning
I felt guilty being free;
close to tears, I felt like crying,
but the wall reminded me,
‘For your sanity and reason,
stay away! You must avoid
thoughts that’d tear your heart asunder:
Turn or be destroyed!’

Oft I think about the victims
of our wars and hold my breath,
starving and dismembered children,
men and women stoned to death,
people killed for their convictions,
the convictions of their kin,
for their lifestyle or their gender,
for the colour of their skin,
humans sacrificed to profit,
slaves who’ll never break their chain,
and I find myself, as always,
standing at the wall again,
‘For your sanity and reason,
stay away! You must avoid
thoughts that’d tear your heart asunder:
Turn or be destroyed!’


The Detached

We learned as children our emotions do
not matter, so we learned to switch them off,
we learned to live with others’ scorn and scoff
which causes hurt, but which we don’t let through.

We can’t read faces, gestures, nor between
the lines. We take what people say as fact:
until we find out elsewise we expect
what people say to be what people mean.

Sometimes we do not know how we’re supposed
to act, and so we just act weird: we’re far
removed from others’ mindsets, and they are
to us as we to them a book that’s closed.

We’re awkward when approaching others, thus,
while socialising on occasions, we
prefer to keep our selfown company,
avoiding any gaffes and any fuss.

When someone is romantically enthralled
by us we will not notice it, and if
they point it out to us we are so stiff
and clumsy that advances soon are stalled.

When someone dies who’s close to us, we feel
a sombre sense of loss but not the grief
and sorrow others feel with no relief
for months or years, and which they say won’t heal.

Should someone careless relocate or take
a thing to which we thoughtfully assigned
its place, our sovereignty is undermined,
our world turned upside down through their mistake.

We like things done a certain way because
routine provides security and saves
us from embarrassments while change just paves
the way to new ones, pointing out our flaws.

Our memories are kept behind a door
that's locked by keys we constantly misplace,
and so we may not recognise the face
of someone we admired the day before.

We live just for the present, for the past
is done and dealt with, and the future holds
no promise for our people and unfolds
uncertainty and change that, too, won’t last.

And when we talk, we often can not find
the word we need, and even though we keep
racking our brains, it's buried far too deep
somewhere in the abysses of our mind.

We get annoyed at trifles others slight
or do not even notice any more
but that offend our senses to the core
and make our head explode like dynamite.

We find it difficult to focus on
a random topic that does not excite
our minds while that which keeps our interest might
still be remembered when the rest is gone.

And in some cases we become so good
at one thing that we are considered pros
and masters in the field we freely chose
and where our minds are working as they should.

We do not see the purpose to compete
just to be disappointed or to leave
the others disappointed and achieve
some kind of satisfaction or a treat.

We’re daunted by responsibility,
aware of everything that can go wrong,
but you can trust us with your lives as long
as we accept the burden willingly.

Society leaves us confused and lost
with rituals to which one must submit:
in some small way we'd really like to fit
into your world, but not at any cost.


The Autistic Children’s Plight

Oh Mummy, please don’t bleach my anus
to break my spirit and enforce
your way of thinking and your murky
society’s unwritten laws.
Just give me freedom, space and choices,
explain the things I have to do,
and you will find that I am open
to reason once you’re getting through.

Mum, please don’t train me like a doggy
and make me fetch the sticks you throw
and pat me on the back whenever
I have performed like in a show.
Just treat me as a real person
whose agony you can relieve,
and don’t discourage me, no matter
what others think I can achieve.

Mum, please don’t let me die of measles
because you heard a quack who blames
vaccines for every sort of ailment
or other long refuted claims.
Just try to make your world transparent
and understand my point of view
and listen to the things I tell you:
work with me, and I’ll work with you!


Going Shopping with Mum and Sensory Overload

Voices, noises all around me
put my mind in such a spin
that it feels that they have drowned me
in a pool of sticks and tin.

Humming tremors from the freezer,
drumming fingers on the shelves
and the ringing tills are teaser
cacophonies in themselves.

People talking to each other,
people talking on the phone
and the background music smother
all my thoughts and things I’ve known.

Different smells of different persons
and of different brands incite
all my senses, and it worsens
with the fluorescent light.

While these stimuli affect me,
you complain I don’t obey;
how the hell do you expect me
to discern a word you say?


The Autist's Reception

Columbus left for Asia and was given
a letter to the ruling khan which had
been written by the ruling Spanish monarchs
but sailed to the Americas instead;
the king and queen impatiently awaited
the khan’s response and thought they’d been denied:
you see, the khan had not received their message,
or else he’d have replied.

The angry boss looks at my desk and shudders
and shouts at me, ‘Just look at this big mess,’
and so I look at it and then continue
my work. As he returns (enraged, I guess)
he screams, ‘How come that still you haven’t tidied
your desk as you were told? I’ll have your hide!’
You see, I may not have received his message,
or else I’d have replied.

With an affectionate smile you sit beside me,
ask my opinion of this little joint,
you ask about my interests and my background:
I answer truthfully and to the point
like in an interview. You give up, thinking
I brush your subtle overtures aside:
you see, I may not have received your message,
or else I’d have replied.


Why We Oppose ‘Person First Language’

We guess you mean well when you call us 'a person
with autism'. Frankly, we don’t want to whinge,
but if someone would call you a person with maleness
or femaleness, wouldn’t you shudder and cringe?

Did you ever call someone a ‘person with blackness’
or a ‘person with left-handedness’? Surely not;
it conveys the idea something’s wrong with that person
and their feature, and you’d be rebuked on the spot.

To separate us from our trait is demeaning
and futile. You’re putting the person first?
Our personalities are autistic,
now let your old bubble eventually burst.

When parents of autists expect you to call them
‘a person with autism’ just as they do
while autists would like to be simply called autists,
then who is it you should be listening to?


The Autistic Poet Reads from His Works

Although the days are gone when I’d stand frozen
before the audience and clench my sheet,
afraid my hands and voice might start to tremble,
reciting still remains a taxing feat.

First I remind myself to take it easy,
because the listeners appreciate
a poem that’s not rushed while I am tempted
to get it over with at any rate.

So I start reading from my compositions,
afraid I’ll get my tongue in quite a twist,
which I will anyway. And when that happens,
I read the line more clearly and persist.

A truck drives past; due to its booming engine
I can not hear myself and speculate
whether the others do. ‘Would it be better
to read the verse again?’ I self-debate.

I pause and think, ‘Should this not be a plural?’
My eyes scan back to see if it was wrong
to use the singular and find it wasn’t;
relief! - I hope I didn’t pause too long.

Somebody whispers. Would it be related
to my recital? Did he take offence
at something, did I mispronounce a certain
word, or did what I’ve read fail to make sense?

Again I hesitate, this time reflecting
on whether I have missed a beat when I
composed the poem, so I count the stresses
and see I got them right; this cup passed by.

‘He built a little hut where he was hiding;’
have I explained the reason why he hid?
I check the poem’s first and second stanza,
and soon I’m satisfied to find I did.

The air conditioning comes on. Its buzzing
makes it a challenge not to lose the plot;
not knowing how the others feel, I wonder
whether to subtly raise my voice or not.

‘The heir was shot point-blank;’ I read and ponder
what ‘point-blank’ means, for clearly the tycoon
had not been shot with blanks, so I decide to
look up the source of this expression soon.

After my turn I do my best to listen
to those performing after me that night,
but think, ‘Have I made one complete and utter
fool of myself or did it go all right?’


The Chipmunk’s Rest

In the dead of the year with its dim sombre skies
that clothe us with blankets of wind laced with rain
we cling to the cold barren earth that denies
us the bounties it rendered before on the plain.

And the sun veils itself in a tenebrous robe;
he allows his disciples no glimpse nor a glance
and refuses to generate life on this globe,
and everything happens tomorrow, perchance.

And I’m like the chipmunk who hides underground
where he fears not the frost nor the eagle’s dark wing,
where he lies for the winter and cannot be found,
and nobody knows if he’ll rise in the spring.


Memorabilia

Forget not the moments of passion,
the hunger that once has been stilled,
fulfilling your lovers' obsession
to have your obsession fulfilled.

Forget not the moments of pleasure,
the moon and the boardwalk above,
the moments when Time had no measure,
forget not the moments of love.

Forget not the moments of thunder,
the sound of the bellowing seas,
forget not the moments of wonder,
forget not the moments of peace.

Forget not the days of excitement,
the beauty and danger of Troy,
preceding Elation's indictment -
forget not the moments of joy!

And now, in my spirit's December,
I think of those moments of yore,
for all I can do is remember
and hope that there might be some more.


Dreams of Awakening (DOA)

In dreams of my awakening
I hear the mission bell
of Love and Freedom; with its ring
it breaks the torpid spell.

I taste the sun, I smell the rain
after the clouds have passed:
I feel the joy, I feel the pain,
I feel myself at last!

The Bird of Promise starts to sing,
rewarding thus my strife:
in dreams of my awakening
I even get a life!

I watch the Rose of Heaven grow
and bloom for me, but when
I come to life, a voice says No,
and I wake up again.


Xiphias sylvanus

He was a swordfish who lived in the wood -
he couldn't sing or hunt mice
or do anything that the others could,
but with his long snout he could slice
the others' portions; each evening they stood
around him and shared which was nice.

And oft he would talk of this magical place
where he just like all others could be,
and where he'd be moving with ease and with grace
in his element, cheerful and free;
the others would sneer, or they'd tell him to face
the stern reality.

And oft he would stand on the cliffs at the shore,
and he'd watch the wide ocean and pause,
but his sylvan friends would know the score
and hold him back with their claws,
'Don't jump! There's so much worth living for,'
but they'd never reveal what it was.


The Account

He crumpled up his statement. For years on end
he’s lived on just the bare necessities
and put each penny he could spare
into his bank account, providing for
the future; now he has to realise
his waste of time and money - the charges are
considerably higher than
the meagre interest, and the piggy bank
would certainly have left him a richer man.

And his account with Life? He rises from his chair,
restlessly walking up and down.
There were some bonfires and some apple blossoms,
some roses (were there roses?) and the sea,
some smiles and some shy rays of sunshine
that lit dark nights and longer winters...
But are those sweets Existence has to offer
worth all the input and the trouble?

He lingers at the open window and decides
to close his account.


We Blackboys

Waiting for the lightning,
without a blossom or a leaf,
the blackboy stands: a tree among the trees.
He seems to bear no life,
nor any beauty may he call his own;
no food to squirrels and no home for birds,
not seen by men - he stands just there,
waiting for the lightning.

And thunder comes and storm and lightning,
and soon the world around him is on fire -
the colours of the flowers fade away,
the flames destroy the beauties of the forest,
the trunks of mighty trees are burnt to ashes:
the wood is gone, deserted lies the land.

But now the blackboy stands amidst the desert
like God once stood amidst the chaos,
in fullest bloom, in most outstanding beauty,
in gracefulness and glory never known,
and spreads his seeds among the others' ashes.


Finale

And has this planet room for two?
We watch the darkness as it glows;
in everything we say or do
we see the velvet curtain close.

And yet, and yet we must abide
within our world, just you and me:
we must be moving with the tide
of a perennial galaxy.

Only one of the prophecies
can ever be fulfilled, and so
the birds are singing in the trees,
and one of us will have to go.


Civilisation

I'd love to live in a civilised country
which doesn't enslave its male citizens in an army,
which doesn't 'defend' itself outside its borders,
which doesn't discriminate, not even against men,
which doesn't place their government's interests over the lives of civilians,
which doesn't allow its mothers to kill their children,
which doesn't dispose of its residents, however beastly their crimes:
a country in which man comes first.

But this is not the time for civilisation.

Nor the place.

Nor the planet.


Turns

Seven times out of ten when I am hiking
I miss a turn and keep on walking, long
before I ever notice I am wrong,
but deem the random outcome just as striking.

And at my unintended new location
I’d marvel at the scenery I found
by getting lost but wonder all around
what it would be like at my destination.

I have matured (at least I have grown older),
appreciating where I am today;
sometimes I turn around to view the way
I’ve come so far with the eye of the beholder.

But oftentimes I pause, reflect and yearn
to know how often I have missed a turn
in life.


Status Update

‘And are you happy now?’ they asked me after
I had embraced my self, and I replied,
taking a silent moment of reflection,
‘Not really happy, but I’m satisfied.’

For even if I had all things I fancy
and all the knowledge of the world belonged
to me, how could I possibly be happy
as long as anywhere a child is wronged?


Reminder

On this brand new day arrives
the remainder of our lives.


© Frank L. Ludwig