The oak and I


The oak agreed to lend its soul,
its massive trunk took me across
the river wild to reach my goal:
your hand in mine, and for the gloss
of polished bronze, a wedding gift
adorned your arms, to tie our bands
of man and wife. So when I lift
the heavy stone and with my hands
I carve that image from my mind
that day of joy before you died,
and now we cry, we’re left behind.
The oak and I, have lost our bride.

Petroglyph from Tanumshede

Petroglyph from Tanumshede


Today Abhra have Poetics at dVerse, and he want us to take a piece of art from history (for instance from our part of the word). My piece of art is from the world heritage of Tanumhede, of prehistoric petroglyphs. These were made during the bronze age but there is all type of speculation of why they where made, maybe just to be able to tell stories of things that have happened. Maybe they were used to relate stories of what had happened, and maybe stories where told and sung to those pictures.

August 11, 2015

23 responses to “The oak and I

  1. I like that you found the story within the painting. Gave life to the two people on the boat and gave them reason. A time when man worked with nature, and borrowed its soul – and turned to it when tragedy struck – would not be a bad time in my opinion.

  2. It takes a poet to read the back story of an ancient artefact. I really admire the musicality of this piece.

  3. A Petroglyph tale,wow, brother, you really got out there with this gem. I admire how much your can change your poetic voice, how you leap from form to form, emotion to emotion. Your talent humbles & inspires me. Perhaps we could use glyphs as image prompts for a future MTB?

  4. Artwork that I sadly know too little about (compared to the more widespread Lascaux and other cave paintings) – so thank you for this wonderful introduction to them! There is such a feel of Orpheus and Eurydice about your poem – and that haunting gap in the middle of that ‘boat’ in the petroglyph.

  5. I appreciate the symbolism of the oak & story of the early tribes ~ The losing of the bride, for me, also meant the loss of the history & souls of those early civilization ~ An excellent response Bjorn ~

  6. Interesting the different petroglyphs in the different parts of the world. When in university, several times we did field work in the American west, at Mesa Verde. I however, thought of the ancient Greeks in this, the story of Orpheus and Eurydice – him going to claim her from the Underworld but failing. Always such a sad story to me. This was a most interesting response to the prompt and an excellent telling.

  7. This really spoke to me … it reads like an epic love story with the oak at the center: a symbol, an evocative mnemonic, a muse, the keeper of the story, a gravestone … it occupies a mystical role in the poem. A very special piece, Björn.

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