When old ladies on the street
Greet you and put their faces close to yours
And want to tell you all about their grandchildren:
“My grandson, the one who plays the trumpet, you remember him, don’t you?
He is going to be playing at the Nordlys festival
And his sister who is always writing poems
Has finally got a job at the bank, thank goodness
And gets a nice pay check
So much better don’t you think,
than going out to all those dreadful cafes every evening and reading poems
And never getting any money for all that
Isn’t it wonderful when all your grandchildren have settled down
And gotten jobs and have their own apartments?
Ha det, bye, have a good day see you soon.”

Note: Ha det is a shortened form of Ha det bra in Norwegian, meaning have it good. Its used in the same way we say, Bye.

Northern Lights

Northern woman
Dancing her sky dance
Swinging scarves
Of green chiffon
In circles of abandon.

Note: The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) can be seen from September when the nights become cold and dark. The best description I have been told of them are a comparison to chiffon saris fluttering in the skies.

The Most Important Thing

But you see love
Love is not
The most important thing
It is not about
Making another soul
Feel deathless
No, no.
Food is the most important thing
And if you go
And feed a dozen
Hungry homeless
And a handful
Of old people, old
You will find out
It is food, not love
That is the most important thing
And when we have done that
Given food to the hungry, and the ones
Who have none to feed them
Love will come by the feeding
Deathless love
But first
Give them food
And by and by
Love will come.

Note: This poem is self-explanatory.

Harvest Moon

We sat on rocks
next to the sea
and bright docks
up there
a harvest moon
down below
boats rocking

the moon

Note: Some dogs bay at the moon when it comes out. I inverted that in the last line.


Happiness is just this:
A boy
Pulling a stone
Tied to a string
And trailing behind his father
On their way to the forest.

Note: Aizawl, in February 2017.