Island of your words unsaid

On oily doldrums, in the silent sea
an island lies. It’s filled with crosses and
on craggy shores are rotting carcasses
of moored intentions and the words unsaid
are feeding vultures of what’s common sense.

You reach it through the belt of tempest,
through the roaring waters and on waves
of good intentions. You reach it after hope
have died and when your sleepless sails are torn.
You reach it with a mouth of salt, ambitions
dwindling in relentless sun, your tongue
is useless flesh, and breath is shallow

When after days at sea you see its shore
in indigo, a shadow, a mirage. Relieved
at first you hope to quench your thirst, but
the island is a corpse, regrets and tears.
And on its sandy beach, you rest, to
listen to the words of strangers, songs
of shipwrecked souls; your voice now strong
will join their choir of senseless syllables.

To the island of your words unsaid, there
is a ship arriving every month, to feed
the stranded lepers useless dreams. On
flat-screen monitors, they feed you sense
of what you could have done, with voices
from your lovers lost, in mockery of hope
you stand there being lured to trust, but
just as your are ready to repent, the ship,
and hope has left, and once again in
vain you sing the words you never said.

Untitled by Zdislav Beksinski

Untitled by Zdislav Beksinski


Today at toads Brendan tells of the old Irish tales of islands, that work also works as metaphors…to collect “an immrama, a book of voyages which any saint worth his salt would burn as too wild for belief. A ocean wilderness of wonders may come into view, even if we haven’t left our little pond.”

I hope my little poem makes sense. I will also link this to Poetry Pantry tomorrow.

January 9, 2015

44 responses to “Island of your words unsaid

  1. Amazing! Bojorn I so enjoyed your poem…especially the title and this line:

    “and the words unsaid
    are feeding vultures of what’s common sense.”

    Wonderful and intriguing!

  2. To be honest, I felt that by your title alone, you would set the bar very high for this challenge. I didn’t dare read before I wrote my own, and now that I have read it, I cannot imagine anything that could describe the sense of isolation in the world as well as this poem. Your use of second person is inspired, and I felt like I have been dragged into your terrible scene, with a mouth full of salt, and words dying on my lips.

  3. Such a haunted, desperate place we have all been to and through, though some part of us remains to sing in the chorus. I love the ghostly ghastliness of the sour (dead?) intimate, where longing and desire get smashed and shipwrecked on the lee side of love. You crafted this well, took your time, allowed the rhythm to carry us through all the places and confusions and bitter conclusions. Very nice (though feral) ending lines.

  4. I could feel those craggy shorelines..real and metaphorical…also made me think of The Tempest – as ever a pitch perfect title which unfolds a real treat of thought and imagery

  5. stunning imagery, and i liked how you write the poem in the second person.
    i think it makes sense to me, it’s about what should have been said, but didn’t. 🙂

  6. “You reach it with a mouth of salt..” so many great lines in this Bjorn, and what is more isolating than regret for the unsaid, the undone, when one is washed up on that corpse-shore of what might have been–the imagination’s desert island where we starve in the middle of plenty–plenty of nothing. The Beksinski is a perfect illustration. Really an excellent, sorrowful and skillful take on the challenge.

  7. This makes perfect sense….I really enjoyed the imagery and metaphors throughout as you lead us on to this island…..especially loved…

    ‘You reach it through the belt of tempest,
    through the roaring waters and on waves
    of good intentions. You reach it after hope
    have died and when your sleepless sails are torn.
    You reach it with a mouth of salt, ambitions
    dwindling in relentless sun, your tongue
    is useless flesh, and breath is shallow’

    You show us the way…perhaps we can heed this…perhaps.

  8. “. . . rotting carcasses
    of moored intentions and the words unsaid
    are feeding vultures of what’s common sense.”

    The progression of this “waste land” tragedy blows my mind into sadder and sadder space. It is so, and it is allegory–if only there were only one mythic location that absorbed these lost souls. I get the sense that we who don’t help to redirect the course are responsible for this dead end.

  9. Wow! Pretty impressive….words unsaid. You are captured the feeling, the regret, of words unsaid….still there is the ‘knowing.’ I loved you so….

  10. This is a new favorite of mine, and has left some startling, evocative images. And, I can’t help rolling around in my head that great alliteration, “senseless syllables.” Wonderful!

  11. ah yes; this should also be tagged ‘sustainable environment planning or not’
    This is a profound and classic poem; my first favourite for year 2016

    Thanks for dropping in at the Sunday Lime

    much love…

  12. Well, I found this captivating the mystery of the sea and the island of isolation…riding on the waves of good intentions only to find that the tide has changed. An island of regrets and tears left in the sands of time.

  13. mouth of salt…senseless syllables…so bleak but yet… once again in
    vain you sing the words you never said….still the words continue to be sung. Maybe some hope is still alive.

  14. “oily doll drums” … hilarious … my eyes also draw out “doilies”

    “rotting carcasses of moored intentions” … Ouch. You DO have a way with words, my friend. But perhaps “moored” is code for “more’d,” meaning that the intentions are for “more.”

    “You reach it through the belt of tempest” … Very clever double meaning here.

    I love this: “You reach it with a mouth of salt, ambitions”

    “your tongue is useless flesh” … LOL. Either she’s dying/dead, or she’s overused it. Talking too much, or …

    I’d like to get in on some of this action: “choir of senseless syllables”

    Love this: “there
    is a ship arriving every month, to feed
    the stranded lepers useless dreams”

    And this: “in vain you sing the words you never said” … I think it’s easier to sing to no one than to sing to an audience. Plus, I think you sing the truth when you’re only singing to yourself; when others are listening, you make stuff up to throw them off your trail or to make sure they can’t truly get inside your head.

  15. An epic allegorical tale that explores the cruel pain to be found in this world (bad luck, bad choices, stupidity, regret) to an ill-fated sea voyage. An awesome, mystical piece of writing.

  16. “in mockery of hope
    you stand there being lured to trust,”

    What a terrible place to be in, to carry around… This must be someone’s hell: a place bubbling with all what could’ve been, if s/he had only done this, said that, held on…

  17. Oh, I love this poem, sounds like legend..enchanted,magical, love the style very much…my only concern was by the words ‘ and breath is shallow’ …while I understand how it’s hard to reach the island…but if we assumed that we’re dreaming, then I’d say our breath will be deep…almost like in meditation…. to be able to see images and dreams…

  18. Dear poet you have reached my depths, heard my cries, pierced my constructed daily reality with your words that billow about me carrying me to my place of all places.

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