To care in vain

The diamonds in the trickle
formed from icicles in spring
or silver sieved from moonlit lakes
is a poisoned potion served
in breakfast juice.
It’s a gradual decay.
It’s to care in vain.
It’s your timeglass turned at birth.
it’s the pain of flesh
and in the brittleness of bones,
it’s in the sunset and at dawn,
it’s the pain of leaving early
and in the tears of being left.
It’s about the coping
and the knowledge of unknowns.

Head on a stem by Odilon Redon

Head on a stem by Odilon Redon

A very challenging prompt from Brendan at toads made me write this in haste before heading to bed. The harrows and hallows, contrast between being alive and memento mori.

41 responses to “To care in vain

  1. I love this: “silver sieved from moonlit lakes” … all the opening imagery, actually, which sounds like some pretty incredible jewelry. I’m picturing this as an engagement ring dropped into a glass as a surprise. But then over time, it turns to poison in a way. By the end, I see a painful love … as when one partner walks through the aging process with someone who has developed dementia.

  2. “your timeglass turned at birth” You’ve captured the prompt perfectly, reflecting both the white and the charcoal of life’s cycle. Beautifully done (and I’m quite jealous you can write so well “in haste”!).

  3. The image of that “timeglass turned at birth” will stay with me for a while. So many thoughts… and they all take the mind towards the conclusion that we are born to dies. Which we are. But for some reason, the turning of the clock while the skin still glistens with birthing juices makes the in-between time less real.

  4. evidently you have a mine of words and images to be able to collect together at such short notice this harrowing beauty of reality – especially felt the sting of:
    “It’s your timeglass turned at birth.
    it’s the pain of flesh
    and in the brittleness of bones,”

  5. Paracelsus believed that moonlight was dangerous, that too much exposure to it deranged the mind, like vapors of lead … so too here there is an infection, a cold caught in the heart — call it the depressive harrows of winter, perhaps — that in spring we must wake from , or die.

  6. Wow! The poison is so clear here, served up at breakfast as the run-off of winter. Thankfully spring has antidotes if a broken-hearted person can stop eating at that table. it isn’t easy

  7. it’s the pain of leaving early
    and in the tears of being left

    To be left behind is indeed, harrowing. Leaving early… I can’t imagine (and really don’t want to be in that position).

    Your imagery, as always, is spellbinding.

  8. Your time glass turned at birth – a difficult truth indeed..highlighted by those fragile bones which will never outlive sparkling diamonds i suppose – although perhaps learning about those unknowns is a consolation..and if you’re lucky magic

  9. It’s about the coping
    and the knowledge of unknowns.

    Yes, and it puts to test what one holds dear to. There is always a way out so to speak!


  10. A deep pleasure to read this Bjorn–it slips like a waterfall from rock to rock of its shining phrases, and falls off the tongue so sweetly one almost misses what a cold, numbing force it carries. Very fine work.

  11. Discoveries. Just when we thought the end product is good, some not-so-good ones are discovered and/or unmasked. Dark poetry. Great.

  12. I was slowly moved into this poem as you wove the yin and yang….and such intriguing messages that also resonated for me…especially,

    ‘it’s the pain of leaving early
    and in the tears of being left.’

    Of life and death and all the unknowns…beautiful!

  13. You have captured it to perfection here, Bjorn. This is wonderful to read, your phrasing is so beautiful. I especially noted the pain of leaving early and the pain of being left. Wonderfully written!

  14. “It’s the gradual decline.” For some reason, that line really lingers. The slowness of it all… the creeping death. The inevitable, slow ending of things.

  15. the default pain of loss in our lives you have captured boldly in your poem Bjorn

    luv tht surreal image you teamed up with your poem

    Thanks for dropping in at my Sunday Lime and at my Verses

    much love..

  16. That you can write something with such powerful imagery and thought before you go to sleep is amazing. But actually, I know you can write any time.

  17. I love the ghostly, almost ethereal imagery you start off with and how it slides neatly into the meat of the poem, where you wrestle with a myriad of frailties of human existence.

  18. There are grey areas between life and death!! Thanks for iterating some of them and the consequential agonies suffered.

  19. Wow, Bjorn, I think this one is my new favourite piece of yours, I hope you don’t mind me sharing it on my social media and the lot, so I can remember it and read it often.
    I adore the rawness of the piece, the way it strikes at my heart, but I am still there, sorry if it makes little sense.

  20. So many words that mean pale or white. Used like sand in an hourglass to leave us with the white of color washed away rather than the usual meaning of goodness. That’s how I’m feeling lately, brittle, washed out, and tired.

  21. when we are tired we write without thought inhibiting our creative expression.
    The hourglass best explains the turning of this (or upending) upon itself.

  22. After reading this, I will be wary of my breakfast juice forevermore!

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