(Re)balancing my fluids

Pray, dear liver, fill my veins
with blood, deliver hope
dilute the phlegm that dulls
my breathing, brain and lungs.

Dearest blood
please fight the yellow bile
raging in my guts
the bitter gall that turns
my blessings into blades.

but most of all,
my darling blood
please rid me of the blackness
rising from my spleen,
the bitter bile that turns
my daylight into night
and silver into ash.

Pray, dear liver, let air be fresh
with songs of spring,
my rivers rich, my forest filled with joy,
please, let blood
flow warm, flow red.

The four temperaments as depicted in an 18th-century woodcut: phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine and melancholic.

I have never understood why anybody wanted to be anything but sanguine, and I imagine life being a fight between the blood and the other fluids. Today Amaya inspires us at dVerse to write about elements, or other way to rationalize our life or the way the world is. The theory of the four bodily fluids seems to still have an impact in our lives and therefore it felt natural to describe the battle we all face against laziness, anger and depression.

May 14, 2019

24 responses to “(Re)balancing my fluids

  1. I love this take on the prompt and I’m glad someone went a different route than a system mentioned in the prompt. Prayer works. When you can be still and ask your fluids and organs to work in harmony, then healing and health is all the more facilitated.

  2. We are a soul who has a body, a mere meat sack, an organic contraption, so it is creatively logical to to address our own organs, searching for balance and grace; I dig it. I like your likes /the bitter gall that turns my blessings into blades/.

  3. This is a brilliant take on the prompt. Qigong also subscribes to praying/cultivating health through cherishing one’s internal organs.

  4. Wow. This is so powerful — especially the last stanza. I really like the idea of praying to and loving your own insides, and healing yourself in so doing. Though I do read the closing as if wrists have been slit. I think that’s just my mind, though.

  5. What an intersting take Björn. I felt squeamish when I frst started reading, but I find the piece fascinating, and wholly original. Nice write!

  6. I agree a fascinating take on the prompt. I can’t imagine what it was like those earlier times, and even today, what it means to our health. I specially love the hopeful spring tone in the last stanza.

  7. Oh my…..well to show how effective your writing is here, I found myself grimacing through much of it in terms of bile etc. Well written….absolutely visceral!

  8. All those organs are wonderful in their function, keeping our blood red and flowing! I liked…
    please rid me of the blackness
    rising from my spleen,
    the bitter bile that turns
    my daylight into night
    and silver into ash.

  9. This was an ideology I struggled with while studying literature, Björn, but you have made it much more interesting. What an image:
    ‘please rid me of the blackness
    rising from my spleen,
    the bitter bile that turns
    my daylight into night
    and silver into ash’.

  10. And yet … mother whiskey callers, and my diet ignores the call, would that want, I cannot, such a challenge this poem, thank you Bjorn.

  11. An interesting route I think to much the same hoped for / wanted better things in our lives; our blood is a powerful metaphor and reality vehicle all in one – the last paragraph sealed it for me 🙂

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