Listening to shadows


I listen to my shadow, spelling words
of moon, a certain taste in songs, the grass
beside the path we used to walk where birds
were flutes and taste of secret books. “It’s passed”
your voice is painted red with weight of lead.
You touch me softly, but I hear just glass
the coldness of perfumes unsmelled, what’s dead
between a sense of skins. Your hair’s a veil
a shadow spelling words of sins that’s fed
and sacrificed for syllables gone stale.
Absence taste like beer, smells like cigarettes,
with hues of drumbeats in December gales.
I leave the meadows where we were beset
by honeysuckled sweetness I’ve forgot.

Shadow by Andy Warhol

Shadow by Andy Warhol


Today Victoria wants us to use ”synesthesia” in poetry–where you mix up sensory sensations such as “tasting a rainbow”. I have tried to do this in a little heavily enjambed terza-rima sonnet. Please come and join us. The pub opens at 3 PM EST.
December 3, 2015

21 responses to “Listening to shadows

  1. Some good lines here! I like ‘absence tastes like beer, smells like cigarettes.’ <—-very metaphoric way to describe the unpleasantness of absence. And the ending with the forgotten sweetness, but ah – it seems you have remembered. Smiles.

  2. The memories and moods change as quickly as the manifesting tastes and colors. I love all the flavors of your rich, metaphorical writing, Bjorn.

  3. The line “Absence taste like beer, smells like cigarettes” really grabbed me. I can just picture some heart-broken person spilling his woes to anyone who will listen, as he sits by the bar…a cigarette smoldering in one hand, and a half empty bottle in the other…

  4. A nearly perfect rendering, both sonnet, rife with enjambment, whirling with synesthesia. Like Marty & Bryan, I singled out the beer & cigarettes line. My poem is out there too; had fun with it.

  5. Superb imagery, Bjorn, that expresses just the right feeling.One of the ones that really got to me was the beer and cigarette line. Just such a sense of emptiness (unless, of course, the beer has just been poured into a frosted glass!) Gayle is right, the emotions flow all over the place.

  6. What a lovely sonnet Bjorn, filled with love’s absence ~ I specially admire this part:

    You touch me softly, but I hear just glass
    the coldness of perfumes unsmelled, what’s dead
    between a sense of skins.

  7. This is one incredible poem. Absence smelling of cigarettes and beer (and I picture a tiny dive I frequented during my university days full of sad folk) The last two lines are especially poignant.

  8. Bjorn, I really liked the way this all worked so well especially the ending,”Absence taste like beer, smells like cigarettes,
    with hues of drumbeats in December gales.
    I leave the meadows where we were beset
    by honeysuckled sweetness I’ve forgot.” Smiles…>KB

  9. To start, love the ‘taste of secret books’…and the ‘honeysuckle sweetness’ forgotten..whew…I’d say the scar has healed over if one can write about it, but, ouch!

  10. Yes, I understand that association with the scent of cigarette smoke. It’s very strong connection with people and places. Nicely done.

  11. This is a very interesting prompt. I may just give it a go, one of these days. “Absence taste like beer, smells like cigarettes,
    with hues of drumbeats in December gales.” Wow! An awesome line of poetry!

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