Like the itch that lingers after shortcuts
taken through growth of stinging nettles,
or the reek of bar-smoke on a jacket collar
forgotten in my wardrobe
or being brought from sleep
to calls from reclusive foghorns,
that solitary letter
at the bottom of my mailbox
with my name and address scribbled
by a hand, I’d known, a hand I’d held,
brought back scenes of sunsets
sitting side by side, silent, sensing
that whatever has begun will also end.

Today Ingrid is asking us to write a poem using only concrete nouns, subject matter and imagery at dVerse. Not sure if I got it right, but at least I tried.

November 2, 2021

30 responses to “Nettles

  1. I really like your concrete images here, Björn: I can really feel the sting of the nettles and smell the reek of the bar smoke! Wrapping it all up in a letter with a reflection on life is very powerful.

  2. This is wonderfully vivid and potent, Bjorn! I love the image of “being brought from sleep to calls from reclusive foghorns,” and “that solitary letter at the bottom of my mailbox,”.. the poem in its entirety is solid and works well to leave the reader breathless 💝💝

  3. Each image painted as a portrait in itself, setting us up for the bittersweet end of a love affair remembered. Beautifully (concretely) done!

  4. Clever wordplay with “shortcuts”, Bjorn. In itself, this word described the bittersweetness of good memories that came through for me. I love the expression “reclusive foghorns” too, it gave rise to that feeling of something slowly dawning and surfacing to the consciousness. A lovely tease of the senses 🙂

  5. Oh, you got it right, alright, Bjorn. The opening six lines, before you even mention the letter, make the letter just that much more concrete. Bravo!

  6. Your words conveyed so much mood, emotion, such a good way of writing, with the emotive abstract fat trimmed off…

    • Hello, I can not comment directly on your blog, so I leave my comment here instead. Loved the approach you took, the form of a haibun is always concrete but I love how you managed to weave a deeper metaphysical meaning in the journey turning meaningless…

  7. You’ve managed to express nothing but strong emotion here using only symbol and description. Loss, yearning, the sting of life and its lingering stink that won’t let us have real peace..and of course, that journey of the heart that so few of us seem able to make. An excellent poem on its own, and a perfect capture of the challenge as well.

  8. This is like a movie about an event we know already so well: There’s no mystery in the conclusion, so the devil’s in freshened details: We know well the maul of nettles, but to find them in details of waking and the scent of bar-smoke on a jacket and finally a letter rings all the bells afresh. Well done!

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