When translucent gold is gone

Like water flows my dreams are caught,
between your sky and soil,
but on a sunbeam lost for wings:
as chrysalises turn to silt.

When my translucent gold is gone,
as butterflies and moths —
when hands without a sorcerer’s wand
still shivers — cold as moss.

I linger, waiting by the sea,
my mouth is stiff with salt.
Above the gulls admit my sins,
and promise end of wait.

Untethered yet again by night
in silvered light, my hands
can find the scattered sequins: lost
repainting hues of ends.

The Chrysalis of Death by Robert Williams

The Chrysalis of Death by Robert Williams

Sometimes my poetry is more ambiguous than I expect, there are some ideas in this poem, but there are others that just appears as I read it myself. This is my contribution to the Open Link at dVerse, where I am hosting. Welcome, the bar opens at 3 PM EST.

August 20, 2015

45 responses to “When translucent gold is gone

  1. Always a joy to hear y0ur recitation. I wonder sometimes, since I have recited over 500 of my poems for the blog, how many folks actually listen to them; it does add more dimension to the experience–smile. You had me at /on a sunbeam lost for wings/. As I’ve noted before, the strength, vitality, meaning, & depth of your poetics keeps increasing. Small correction, perhaps in stanza 2 /hands shiver/ but I love the lines
    /when hands without a sorcerer’s wand/still shiver–cold as moss/.

  2. Secure Connection Failed…. hahah…i honestly thought – wow – what a close to that poem..quite a modern approach and then realized that it is an error for the soundcloud coneection that probably just i see
    very cool feel and rhymes in this one björn

  3. Ha. I wonder if the narrator is not a bit crazy. The restringing of the beeds and perhaps counting them as well feels a bit like trying to put life back together. And the mouth rimmed in salt makes me feel he has been there a while.

  4. This does ebb and flow in waves, like the landscape you’ve used as your backdrop. I really like the abstract feeling woven throughout.

  5. “Like water flows my dreams are caught, / between your sky and soil” – I love how these lines draw us into the poem as they make me wonder why ‘your’ sky and soil and not ‘mine’.

  6. I do like the mesmerizing flow of this, as I read it. I don’t see it so much as ambiguous as I do with it having the sense of mono no aware…the sensitivity to the changes of self, surroundings, circumstance. Interesting and intriguing imagery in this. The salt rimmed mouth – an odd visual but quite descriptive. I’ve seen how by the ocean, the wind takes the spray and scatters it and things become dimmed or rimmed with salt. The second stanza totally awed me and drew me.

  7. This is much more haunting in your voice, with your accent and slow cadence, than it was in my head. I like it better in your voice (not that it was a bad poem at any rate). Peace, Linda

  8. Oh wow, Bjorn. Beautiful reading that translates into such an almost dreary, haunting mood. You show how well performance can add to the message. I’m kind of shivering now! Somehow it made me think of the novel “Rebecca.”

  9. Bjorn, I like this poem very much. This is a personal thing with me–that is beginning a poem with a simile when a metaphor packs so much more punch. I myself try to use the “like’ issue as little as I can. A metaphor takes more work but is so much more effective and can lead to other things. >KB

    • Oh I definitely agree with you.. the simile is often so much weaker than the metaphor.. in this case I thought it would overdo it a little as the whole poem is a metaphor… but I would think about it.

  10. “when hands … still shivers” It takes a special pair to steady the shaking she.

    I see the speaker as being the hidden mouth of a seaside cave; with masculine overtures, he watches the broken, lonely woman wandering the waterline at night, wishing his immobile essence into hands that might stroke and soothe her sorrow. He thinks she doesn’t know he’s there, desperate to touch her; she thinks he’s unaware that her billowing brown hair has befriended the head of a ghost — though both mated stones know the other’s secret, they can not tell.

  11. Untethered yet again by night
    in silvered light, my hands
    can find the scattered sequins: lost
    repainting hues of ends.

    An occurrence day and night without let-up, nature’s privilege. One however is only to wait and venture out later. Good one Bjorn!


  12. Yeah, lots of images, but no coherence for me — just trippy. Kind of your own private trip though. In the comments someone mentions Kate Tempest — loved her emphasis of:

    Tempest insisted that in either field, poetry should be more about the audience than the performer. “That’s an opinion that ruffles a lot of feathers because poets have got quite high opinions of themselves in certain circles,” she said.

    “Intellectual snobbery is rife in lots of artforms. What’s exciting about performance is it takes it back to an ancient time when it wasn’t about how clever, important or educated you were. It was about how well you could communicate.”

    Also, whippery affected poetry is very hard for me to enjoy.

      • Oh, there can always be coherence for the writer (in their head), that is easy. But building coherence for the reader is a skill. It is easy to do free-association.

        And of course everything is a matter of taste — of course I know that. My comment is not telling you what is right, what you should do, or any such thing. It is telling you one reader’s impression.

  13. ^^^
    Ironic Karmic
    LOVE IT..
    and no
    my comments
    are never approved
    there butt..
    But anyway..
    that are shallow
    are fun but deep
    is whEre i Love to
    go MOST.. as Deepest
    Oceans house the most
    eclectic electric creatures
    and you Bjorn..IN this way..
    often take me tHere my kind
    friend.. when i too see deeper
    with yoUr eyes that we all can
    potentiAlly attempt to share..
    but anyway.. back to your
    Poem.. yes.. Life.. a
    road.. a long road
    to end.. a means
    establishing so
    far to meet
    an end..
    but truly
    the eyes of a child
    not yet captured by
    a culture that ends

  14. I think I didn’t read this one – i.e. I read the one you linked before and to be honest it has some ambiguity for me – a lot of mystery around ups and downs – but yes I enjoy that ambiance.

  15. There is a mesmerising music in this one – especially the first two stanzas…like a dreamscape flying high and then, there is an Icarus fall to gathering gold dust.

  16. The images are beautiful, Bjorn. The translucency of gold, the chrysalis…though I haven’t been able to fathom the idea totally, but jewel grey’s interpretation above sounds lovely.

  17. Some awesome lines in this. “when hands without a sorcerer’s wand still shivers” . . . Whew! There’s a lot of gold to mine in those eight words.

  18. A lot of art is ambiguous to readers and even the writers. Often times it means something quite different or relates in another way to the reader than the writer. Nice…

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