The silent roses


The pavement blooms in
Paris, Moscow, Dhaka
and in Copenhagen,
a fragrance not of spring
a sick perfume of sorrow
a worm inside my chest,
a sickness in the rose’s core.
Silenced in the smothered voice.

When swords have spoken,
and zealous men have left.
bereft we stare
and with the silent roses we remain.

At gunpoint we are forced to choose
the censorship to hide ourselves,
when lashes of the tyranny
eradicate a middle way;
when thorns of pavement roses sting
we sing in pain the memories;
of those who dared to speak.

From Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimedia Commons

Today at dVerse Poetics Abhra is manning our new red bar-room and invites us to write poetry against the world today when outspoken people are being killed on the street. This past week have seen the death of Avijit Roy in Dhaka and Boris Nemtsov in Moscow. Whatever reasons that might exist, whatever disagreement we might have, we shall sing against all violence and hate at the pub tonight.

March 3, 2015

40 responses to “The silent roses

  1. its a sad state of affairs where we have to think and censor ourselves before speaking. Rational voices being smothered. Sad, indeed.

  2. That is indeed sad, how those who dare to speak are silenced. A powerful poem, Bjorn, commenting on how it really is, how our freedoms are compromised and how we still live in fear.
    -HA

  3. I tried writing earlier but my comment didnt go through. Your soulful narrative leaves me sad but tonight we speak up against terror together.

  4. censorship and hiding is not much of a choice now is it…deny yourself and you will be safe…its a sad reality…the image (feel) of that worm turning in the chest is a powerful one….

  5. It is a beautiful tribute to an ugly crisis. Where holding an opinion sentences you to death at the hands of reactionaries or shadowy government agents. Your words bite deep.

  6. A beautiful write about the darkness surrounding us ~ I specially admire this part:

    a fragrance not of spring
    a sick perfume of sorrow
    a worm inside my chest,
    a sickness in the rose’s core.
    Silenced in the smothered voice.

  7. I feel many chests are heavy and people cannot stand that ‘sick perfume of sorrow’ any more. Sadly it has also turned numerous ordinary people into stupid little fascists.

  8. Brilliant, I can see the stains posing as roses, Oh! When Swords speak I have hidden too. I wish I could be more like Jesus.

  9. “We sing in pain the memories of those who dared to speak.” Beautiful, Bjorn. It is a painful time. My old heart grows weary, but refuses to surrender hope.

  10. “The sick perfume of sorrow” hangs about this poem of terrorism and censorship…which is worse, i’m not certain. May the power of the poetic pen NOT be silenced!

  11. “We sing in pain the memories of those who dared to speak.” Those silent roses are powerful. May our voices be heard and comprehended in the hearts and minds of those who kill and hate.

  12. pavement roses sting – what an evocative image and an incredible layered metaphor (beautiful, abrasive, luring, repellant) all that which is imparted in words that stir the human heart.

  13. 20 years ago we could not shop in the mall as gang members with pants around their knees, 12 year old with Glocks, would “pop a cap in your ass” if they thought you had disrespected them with your stare. Now it is home-grown returnee terrorists descending on public places; gives us a taste of what life has always been in Israel; live in the moment for sure.

  14. That first line — The pavement blooms — brought to mind a picture of blood running on the pavement. You’ve captured the emotion of living in a world where terrorism seems to thrive so well. Peace, Linda

  15. The weeds of freedom make the love of freedom’s rose possible.. in a world where weeds are often trampled upon.. but the brave weed will spring up above the most concrete of rigid minds.. as weeds are here for a reason.. and they will be not be dismissed no matter how many times they are uprooted.. as there is always a part of the root left.. to be free again.. when roots of leaved weeds surpass pulling fields of concrete mind..:)

  16. It is also important to remember, and poetry and art are vital parts of it, that there is much beauty in the world and we experience more horrors because we live in a time of sensationalist media.

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