The rain is a steak and kidney pie

The rain today is more like air —
thick enough to slice,
a noose,
a steak and kidney pie served cold.
I pull the collar of my coat
to cover ears;
I pocket hands, shiver,
breathe beneath the weight of covered moon
as sound of sunsets breaks my heart.
The future is the same
as past,
a tense of boots on cobblestones.
It took a mushroom cloud to end it
once.

Lay beside me baby,
let’s pretend it’s yesterday
let’s pretend
it isn’t murder.

It’s said the sun will rise
tomorrow too,
but what if sorrow is a shroud that covers light?
If future is as hollow as my chest?
But I bend my back to papers,
to a hope
that in the end we matter more
than naught.

Atomic Cloud over Nagasaki

Atomic Cloud over Nagasaki

A poem about the future for Isadora at toads… sorry for not feeling more upbeat. But I thought I’d pay some tribute to Leonard Cohen at the same time.


December 1, 2016

15 responses to “The rain is a steak and kidney pie

  1. Sad words indeed. I do so hope we matter more than naught – it is up to us to make sure we do.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

  2. Bjorn, I really like where this prompt took you. The poem has a cohen feel in the sense that it is introspective and cleverly pointed. I also feel you surpassed Cohen here in how you start with the air, the cold kidney pie, and then the upping of a collar. I could live in this piece for a day or two and just ponder things. Well done and viva la!

  3. There’s a Cohenean vibe to this walk in cold rain, shoulders hunkered against the inevitable falling. How to resist that, to still love, still write, still give — and end with the conclusion that “we” matter more than “naught.” The two and the zero: maybe there’s hope beyond digital disruption.

  4. I find the voice here to be unique, yet with a kind of ubiquitous disenchantment which is so much a part of our now. Your comparisons are disparate enough to create a tension between what we know and what we must learn (rain as thick as cold steak and kidney pie!). I also love the way you interposed to snatch of conversation, which serves to heighten isolation rather than dispel it.

    An exceptional poem, Bjorn.

  5. What an amazing title, Björn, to introduce a poem with unique images and language. I have to say, I have never liked steak and kidney pie, especially not served cold, so that could be me pulling up my collar to cover my ears. I very much like the phrase ‘I pocket hands’ – almost as if they are not your own, as if you are sneak-thieving other people’s hands, cutting them of and putting them in your pockets – a sinister image, particularly when coupled with the previous image of a noose. And then comes the part that stamps on my heart:
    ‘a tense of boots on cobblestones.
    It took a mushroom cloud to end it
    once’.
    Such a dark thread runs through this poem that it’s a relief to have a ray of hope in the final lines.

  6. “Lay beside me baby,
    let’s pretend it’s yesterday
    let’s pretend
    it isn’t murder.” Love this line. I’m feeling a bit dark lately. Our country has gone down the rabbit hole and I am hoping there will be a ground surge of unity to pull us out of it.

  7. You’re on a roll, Björn. Another epically brilliant piece with some incredible lines: “what if sorrow is a shroud that covers light?” … a world of pain captured – reverberatingly – in a question. You did channel a bit of Cohen, here but, if I didn’t know and had to guess, I would have put my money on you. It seems to me that you look around more than he did … at least in your lyrics. Smiles.

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