My weight in night


Its weight — my burden, heavy boots
still unploughed: the frozen fields, the clay, your ash;
a frown of crescent moons: your jealous eye
closing like the clams; a woman of anemic nights.

Beneath my skin, a pulse like kelp, stitched to brine;
dancing, drained, submitting to its blood.

The rain came late with fluorescent sense
footsteps cloaked in mist; its scent a sickle sickness
faceless thieves, sedated with sensations.
I must remain undone; at this muted birth of night.

Today Grace are challenging us to write poetry inspired by the poems by Wole Soyinka at toads. I have used phrases and words from his poem Night. I will also link up this to PU tomorrow.
March 7, 2015

45 responses to “My weight in night

  1. I felt the burden of the night and these lines are beautifully sketched:

    Beneath my skin, a pulse like kelp, stitched to brine;
    dancing, drained, submitting to its blood.

    Thanks for linking up with Real Toads and wishing you Happy Weekend ~

  2. a pulse like kelp….nice
    the flourescence sense and sickle sickness are nice touches as well bjorn…

    nice progression from the weight of it to being undone there in the end…

  3. I like the last line, which makes me contemplate the coming of night & how it is so often muted in its arrival….but yet fluorescent. A very sense-filled write, Grace.

  4. This poem itself has a pulse which I felt while reading it………I love every line but maybe most the “woman of anemic nights”. Great write, Bjorn!

  5. A heavy night, cold and wet and so much undone! Too much to plow in to do much sleeping, I’ll wager. Beautiful images.

  6. the weight – heavy boots to beneath the skin – the rain with fluorescent sense… that is a cool progression and gives a feel for the birth of night

  7. Those heavy boots really scream the weight…the alliteration and imagery so rich..and that sense of waiting out the night…

  8. African poetry tends to show strong links to the earth, the relationship between man and the source of his subsistence. I think you have conveyed this so well from the viewpoint of one very far from Africa where the fields are frozen – the human condition strongly felt as a thread which connects us all together.

    • I think also Nordic poetry can have the connection to Nature… But maybe more other ways.. Maybe frozen soil and less of draught.. Strangely enough many in Sweden still feel very rooted to the landscape and the woods, even after we have become urban…

  9. i agree with everyones comments. you conveyed the dark of night, the trudging of weighted boots but i really enjoyed…beneath my skin, a pulse like kelp, stitched to brine, dancing, drained, submitting to its blood. wonderful

    gracias Bjorn

  10. This poem does have its own heartbeat. That middle stanza reads like electricity, maybe a jolt to the heart. Something like that. 🙂

  11. You wrote a very atmospheric poem, Björn. I am not sure about African writers, but I agree that Nordic writers and artists in general (I am thinking of some watercolor painters) have a strong connection with Nature.

  12. I know little of African writers, but I know southern writers have this own sense of nature, of darkness, light. Brooding but still electric. Excellent write. I need to check out the Toads and read some of the entries there for this prompt. Interesting prompt.

  13. Wow, I could feel the heavy boots and the burden. It made me want a breath of air..I will have to wander over to Toads and see what the prompt was exactly.

  14. This is a good example of why it’s important we learn how the great ones sing, try out their singing-coats, flex our wings their way — Solyinka is like Neruda in how he can sing to woman like a fisherman at the edge of the sea. Nice job here of reaching so far out with language that gleams like kelp in moonlight.

  15. Its weight — my burden, heavy boots
    still unploughed

    These opening lines immediately create an immobility, both physical and emotional, and the struggle to overcome, stepping slowly towards hope.


  16. i like the form and structure of the poem, and how the first and last strophes end with “night”.
    i like the almost surreal images in the poem, but mostly it brings back memories of the night exercises during my army days. 🙂

  17. Ah, the night, a time when we can’t see what is going on. We had rain here all night last night and again all day so far.
    Your last verse reminds me of ‘a thief in the night’.
    Good job, Bjorn.

  18. Somehow I knew before reading the little note under the poem that this poem has undertones of Wole Soyinka. Well done, Bjorn. This is impressively crafted. 🙂

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