Towards the forest

The forest reeks tonight
of sulfur vapors
and his hands are black.
When deep among the trees
the bite of
what has passed.
what wasn’t asked
and time that never died
but just was swallowed by the mire.
She left him for the nothingness
her hair a reckless butterfly
expanding with its lazy wings
in the dressless nights
when summer still was bright.

Towards the Forest by Edward Munck

Towards the Forest by Edward Munck

Today it’s open Link at dVerse and I am hosting.Bring a poem and join us at 3PM EST.

June 4, 2015

48 responses to “Towards the forest

  1. Dark with a venom’s bite ~ I like how you painted her character with:
    She left him for the nothingness
    her hair a reckless butterfly

    Happy OLN Bjorn ~

  2. The poem, fun, fetching, clever, seems to be the perfect take on the Edward Munck painting; not a poem you found an image to head it. Is that the case? Did you use the painting as Muse, your own prompt? Cool lines, nice fantasy piece.

  3. The black heart fires of the soulless raven know no
    tears of forest trees.. the green is black.. the
    earth is scorched.. but a leave of of hope
    comes to take the
    spirit alive..:)

  4. in the dressless nights
    when summer still was bright…..These last two lines are outstanding. The whole poem is full of darkness, maybe some regret, destruction but the last line says it all. This was such a vivid read, I didn’t even look at the image until the second reading. Gothic without being overly dramatic.

  5. I was caught by the line: she left him for the nothingness, as it felt like he lived in a bit of nothingness. Though perhaps that is a product of her leaving as well. There is a story here.

  6. An image of the forest that would have sparked some tales yesteryear, had this been written a century or two ago…dark, dark, as the summer lightens

  7. Superb Björn, just love your words. Love your description of her hair. Leonard Cohen wrote of ‘…your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm’ in the lyrics of “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” and those beautiful descriptive words have always stuck with me. I have now some new wonderful hair words to remember!
    Anna :o]

  8. “swallowed by the mire. / She left him.” Left me wondering if she left him because she was swallowed by the mire, or if he was swallowed by the mire because she left him. Or perhaps it was both. So sad. You’ve nicely captured the picture. Peace, Linda

  9. This is a mystery. Why the black hands and the smell of vapor?
    Great imagery!
    “her hair a reckless butterfly
    expanding with its lazy wings”
    visual enough not to need an accompanying image – but a picture always does something to enhance the poem for me.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. “the bite of
    what has passed.
    what wasn’t asked”

    “She left him for the nothingness
    her hair a reckless …
    expanding …
    in the dressless night”

    Summer will never stop being bright.

  11. Hey Bjorn, I just read through the comments to see if anyone ventured to guess or even hint that they knew what your poem meant or was hinting at — but none of that. So I will guess. This seems like a death scene — the woman leave behind much and takes on a new form through the darkness, the fumes and all — into bright dressless summer nights — free!

    I will follow comments for a bit to see if you let us know.

    • Actually I thought mostly about infidelity… written from the Point of the betrayed man. The long midsummer nights we have here in Sweden is what I saw in the picture, and I tried to bring that sadness of what the trysts of summer nights mean.

      • Well, I guess I was right about a transition.
        But I knew I was stretching it.

        Now, reading your poem in light of infidelity from the perspective of a betrayed man, the poem reads really cool, deep, thoughtful to me.

        Without that, it is vague, and meaningless and not memorable. I had my good friend read it too (she was sitting next to me when I read it) and she did not get it either — nor enjoy it. But she is not into poetry — and I am a poetic idiot.

        But I read the comments, and I wager no one understood. But maybe just reading for floating images, fun use of words and such is what people enjoy about poetry.

        I won’t quote them here, but the first three quotes in my side bar (“resonating quotes”) speaks to this phenomena — why I think most people don’t like poetry.

        My vote: If somehow you had let us know what you just told me — in the title, or more in the poem or something, I think many more people would love the poem. But I know there are many schools of thought that love the vague — “vague” is cool, deep, and open. However, I think that school of thought only exists for some of the folks who consider themselves poets — almost none of us dullards [nonPoets or us Poetry hacks] feel that way.

        Thanx for engaging, hope you don’t regret it.

    • To me, it felt like a gypsy poem ~ more like she was leaving him for freedom, air, space, and trees rather than another person.

      • You see, now that C.J. knows what the poem is about — unlike previous readers perhaps, a fun dialogue in the comments can occur: it is less about pretty words, cool phrases and mood — some content and thought actually jumps in for the ride too!

  12. Foreboding, like Munck’s painting…i think the guy is dangerous, perhaps a vampire (?) and fair maiden is fatally bitten and spirit flutters away! i love how poems and paintings may be interpreted differently…

  13. Rather creepy painting, very different from my own favourite painting of a couple. But then, this is Munch and the darkness of the Nordic soul…;-) You’ve captured the ambiguity and darkness of the image very well in your poem.

  14. expanding with its lazy wings
    in the dressless nights
    when summer still was bright

    It appears she took a gamble with others and blew it. And she was still trying her best for more as there are opportunities of bright summer nights!


  15. Interesting that you started with the painting. “She left him for the nothingness” – I had wondered about infidelity, mainly because of the last lines, but was not too certain. I enjoyed reading the comments too.

  16. And after reading all of the comments and knowing from what you have said that the context is infidelity, I am wondering if the ‘she’ in the poem is the wife at home or the woman with whom the man is having a summer fling. I wonder, if it is the woman with whom she has had a fling, why she left him, after succumbing in the first place. I do agree with Sabio that sometime a little bit of context helps those who want to make meaningful comments.

  17. beautifully written, great metaphor and imagery! I loved these lines

    “her hair a reckless butterfly
    expanding with its lazy wings
    in the dressless nights”

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