You smelled of wind


I hear the waves contained 
   in shell-shocked-grey
   in calcite walls, concrete
a smothered voice.

“You can never catch me”
your hair was wings
you smelled of wind.

You were fading footsteps in the sand
      eaten by the waves.

… and now
the sea is tears, it’s kelp
     entwined, it’s sealed
     within,

… and now
the sea is calm, a rainbow sheen
“You can never catch me, 
      like the waves
      did”

George Tooker, selfportrait

George Tooker, selfportrait


Linked to Magpie Tales.

37 responses to “You smelled of wind

  1. I saw the art…I suspect he did more than paint. I wonder if he helped the horrified expressions along.

  2. striking, melancholy, beautiful. It speaks of an old grief that has become part of one’s design, at least that’s what it says to me.

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  3. This poem reads just like the feeling of grasping air. You know? Like when we reach for someone, but they are too fast… and our fingers lose them. The speaker sees it all happening, hears it happening… and once the subject is gone… there is only the salt of loss.

  4. My mind went in the direction of: someone caught in an epic event (or situation) – not of their own choosing. The scene is set and the forces unleashed, only to be abandoned in “fading footsteps in the sand eaten by the waves” – as he struggles to exert control over these forces (metaphorically: the nautical elements). Anyway (ha!) that’s where my mind went!

  5. Excellent piece, Björn. This picture gave rise to many amazing poems but I think this is my favourite.

  6. hmmmm….so much that is predatory here: the hair taking flight, the sand devouring footprints and of course, the beckoning of the prey, that being chased. I like how that chase knocked this pastural piece a little askew (and to me in its favor). Well done and viva la.

  7. Plus, I LOVE the title! There’s a woodsy and wild smell my cat brought in on his fur on cold nights. My daughter and I used to fight to grab him first and sink our noses into his coat!

  8. Ah – siren call of love lost to the sea’s waves … movingly melancholy .. wonderfully haunting … a masterpiece of a write.

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