Beautiful colibri your fluttering wings
so rapid it looks like you are still in air…
drinking with your long sleek beak
forbidden nectar from the honey tree.
You fly from tree to tree care not who
you hurt with your purr of love.
Humming bird so lovely you are, totally
amoral, I will catch one day put you in
a cage, serve you sweet honey from a jar,
the one in the fridge with a picture of
a bee on, and you will buzz for me alone
till I set you free… if I ever do.
For I too need to hear the sound of love
and dream of being totally immoral.
The decline of rich Men.
The numbers of American millionaires have declined
I read this as a news item and was amused.
I know of an old man who became a lotto millionaire
He had a facelift, and married a young woman.
But time was only on the woman’s side and he couldn’t
Cut the mustard…and sank into despondency.
Clutching dollar bills he went to hospital and begged
Doctors to restore his potency…they could not.
Expensive divorce, lawyers she had the best money
Could buy, and then he as poor again.
His old wife took him in but he has to live in the dog
House, feeds him rice pudding and combs his hair.
The numbers of American millionaires have declined
But I will not speculate on the reason why.
As Days Pass
What happens to the day? Not long ago it was morning
and I was struggling valiantly to read Norman Mailer’s
“Harlot’s Ghost,” 1380 pages didn’t he know when to stop?
That is why I like Hemingway, he was so mercifully short.
I was thinking of this when sitting in the local bar nursing
a whisky with ice water, but then all the farmhands came
they were noisy, played cards…so I gulped down my drink
and left. At home I put Norman back on the book shelf,
decided to leave him for a long winter evening; and since
it doesn’t get dark till nine, I drove towards the sunset and
wrote a true ghost story about a sunray that danced at
midnight and picked flowers for his beloved, a moonbeam.
Alas, in nights blooms are grey or colorless, she refused his
offer, his ardour too hot for her… she flew back to moon.
I saw you yesterday
A brief moment of the past
Black & white movie
The sadness lingers
I couldn´t make you love me
We danced tango
Voices on TV
Expounds my deep loneliness
Your silence pains me.
The dog woke me up came into my bedroom looked unnerved
and whimpered. In the living room that once had been a stable
A mule stood munching on straw, but it was not the animal
the dog was frightened of, but of a little man in the corner of
the stable asleep on a hay bale, beside him an empty wine jug.
When he saw me he screamed like he had seen a ghost and ran
through a door that was no longer there…the mule easy going,
followed suit. In 1952 the owner of the stable claimed he had
seen a ghost, a strange person who looked like a foreigner.
When I bought the stable/barn and converted it into a dwelling
the villagers told me the place was haunted, but also with a sly
smile, said the previous owner was fond of his homemade wine.
The dog went back to sleep, while I picked straw off the floor;
the poor man had seen the future and I had seen into the past.
What can I say about whales? I’ve seen them blow geysers of hot water
on the coast of Canada and Norway. Great innocent beings with small
brains living in peace, but for man. So much meat and fat; have you ever
tasted whale meat, it is dark and tender but it has to be soaked overnight
in vinegar or it will taste like cod liver oil. In the old days its fat made liquid
was good to lit lamps. We have got electricity now, so if you want a steak
kill a cow, they are plentiful, mind they are innocent too, graze and do not
know they are targeted to end up as burgers. The whales have a complex
language marine biologists say I don’t think it is hard at all, they are saying
in surprisingly feminine voice … where are you? I’m here two miles away
from you and watch out for boats, with propellers”. “Ok, thank you”
Sven Foyn, the whale murderer, nearly hunted them to extinction with his
exploding harpoon gun, but thanks to a few nature lovers this cruel practice
ended… Today there are many whales in the ocean sooner or later someone
will say there are too many of them, we have to cull them and make a little
money on the side. And unseen by us, but known by whales, a dark hulled
ship with a captain Ahab onboard is still hunting for an illusory white whale.
A Pint of Bitter…sure-
At the registrar office we´re getting married
when I noticed on her papers she had been
married 5 times….hold on you never told me
this, I thought you had been married once and
had a daughter with him. I have of think about
this marriage left she accosted me in the street
and said; but what about the caterers, sausage
rolls and pies?
Cheshire; rain and I dislike indigestible food.
I a walked into a pub and had chicken in a basket
with chips and a pint of beer. Her brother came in
and 12 pints of beer later I agreed to marry his sister.
The rest was a blur working men´s clubs and more beer.
The English working class is a tribe and I didn´t fit in.
I went back to sea again but that bloody piece of paper
with my name on took years to erase.
The shadows of the outdoor plants I have watered
hang on the white washed wall of my cottage and
their flowers are closing like a woman who do not
fancy her beau… yet makes a shadowy presence as
not let him down too harshly. - this because flowers
and women always think they have to be nicer than
they need to be- As the sun fades the lover wonders
where he went wrong, too much water, drowning
them in his ardour to see a rose in its total splendour;
the succulence and conclusion of primeval longings.
From every corner of the universe night seeps in, as
he walks on a sandy lane that makes his footsteps
insignificant… muted like he should not exist more.
Old gardener wonders if he has lived too long and
roses display themselves for someone else’s delight.
Evening in Paradise
Evening in the village it is about nine o’clock nothing on TV except
men in nice suits and cuff links talking about the economy, they all
are experts yet disagree about everything banging hands on table,
getting red faced and angry, so I switched off. A motorbike is making
its unsteady progress through the village, Joao home from the bar,
dogs don’t bark, know the sound it is only when he is trying to get
off and fall they bark a little, angry voices, and then utter stillness.
I stroll through the village only street every window is shuttered not
letting out light it is like they think they have to pay extra if it does.
I walk down to the main road and hope anything would come to pass
enveloped as I’m by tediousness. A car drives past I spend minutes,
wondering where it is going. Back home I switch the TV back on,
a drone attack an important terrorist has been killed, as have eleven
other mostly children, collateral damage, but we fight a global war.
I wished for and found my Paradise on earth and it is bloody boring.
Meeting Van Gogh…sonnet
the wheat-field, blond as a Volga German milk maid, heat
intense and in the shade of a demanding olive tree I saw
grumpy Van Gogh, glaring at me intruding on his painting.
“Sorry for the scooter it is electric blue and doesn’t fit in,
pretend it is a donkey free of its leather harness.”
The vines, deep green leaves and fertile soil, soon there
would be grapes, mostly dark cerulean, an army of wine
to come tempting souls into surrender… liquid pleasures;
and the narrow road snakes amongst fields like a black
mamba hunting grey rabbits in the meadow.
I have the afternoon sun in my eyes, a cooling breeze
on my back; and then I drive off the road fall amongst
thistle and thorns and the spell is broken, look around
but only Van Gogh witnessed my disgrace.
I knew as soon s she came in she was from
a place I hadn’t been… before. She was silent.
sat down and began some embroidery work,
a silk dress for a delightful nuptial.
By the entrance to a house we stood kissing,
the door was black as the entrance to hell,
and the ground was white as snow…her eyes
bottomless green, flickered in desire.
Search light, we had been caught in the glare
unbecoming lust, and ran to a bus shelter.
Silent rain like tears, knew I had to run away,
she wanted me to take the lift heavenward.
The elevator out of order, and her face was
lost in a miasma of the unremembered.
The Good Time Girl
She was beautiful in a floozy sort of way too much
lack in her hair and dramatic make up.
When I was young and before I married I used to
visit her when the need was there.
Well I got married and was happy for some time,
but my wife left and we divorced.
I visited the old tart again as she had been accommodating,
but her life style had taken bitter its toll.
She was glad to see me, but when she undressed her
body had cigarette burns that spoke for itself.
I put her dress on; she had a defaulting breathing yet
lit a cigarette… I called for an ambulance.
She died in the night of emphysema and I thought
why didn’t I love her instead of my ex wife?
You tube (animal pictures)
Cat kisses dog
Dog looks at the camera
What it would like to do
Is to kill the bloody mog.
This the first dream, know I’m asleep but don’t
want to I try to wake up but cannot move.
Injured by panic I try to move but my body will not
obey me immobile trapped in my body.
Open your eyes, try roll onto the floor grasp, try
touch the wall, there is no wall space is intense.
Finally I get up walk into the living room, but sleep
Is like a boa constrictor around my neck
I fall and fall through the endless universe, fly too
but not to where I want to go.
Pain has awoken me, I see light it is dawn and
walk on to the terrace, another narrow survival
Over the ridge I spy the sun, my only true lover
and I sing a tune from a Gary Cooper movie: “Do not
forsake me, o my darling…”
The old man in the square sells trinkets and balloons
when he has got enough money to buy a little dream
and he enters the market town’s only saloon.
By the bar thinks of his lemon selling father who had
a mule that had fur white as a duckling’s plume, and
fruit as yellow as only Gunter Grass can paint them.
Remembers his grandfather a cobbler who walked
around town with a sack of promises given to him by
people who were never around on pay day.
Every Christmas he opened the sack and let broken
promises fly up in the air and forever disappear, liars
and cheats should not feel guilty of telling fibs.
Sand of Time
I was on my way to the doss house near the railway station,
it was quarter to eight -had to be in by eight or lose my bed-,
when I saw her in the restaurant talking to her brother, they
shared a bottle of wine. My god, she was as beautiful as ever.
And since it was dark outside I reckoned she didn’t see me,
her brother looked out; perhaps he recognized me because
he bent towards her and whispered something, but before
she could look up I had disappeared into shadows. It was now
ten to eight I ran to the doss house run by The Salvation Army.
I could only have a shower once a week and had been wearing
the same suit for a long time. It was a grey worn suit, but it gave
me a sense that I had some dignity left. However deep a person
falls, he can get up again and in time buy a new suit. This evening
remembering my time of wretchedness, and it struck me I can no
longer remember her face.
I remember it like the day before yesterday Cuba 1959. Batista,
the corrupt dictator, had fled, but this was revenge time and
many of his collaborators were rounded up and shot; and what
often happen in such occasions there were onlookers cheering
and having their bloodlust satiated.
There was one man, man wearing a panama hat in his left hands,
refusing to wear a blindfold or have his hands tied behind his back.
On top of some steps he stood against a white wall, ready, but
there was a hesitation; waved his hat to the weary executioners.
A volley of fire, blood trickled down the steps, deep red, rich.
They but the body in a coffin, but there was silence, one man’s
courage had shamed onlookers and soldiers into pensive silence.
The revolution didn’t matter anymore, but human dignity did…
Is this all, does nothing change have we just ended one dictator
with another one in the name of the people.
The ship officer and the Lady
As I waited for my ship to dock at the onion pier,
a clerk came and handed me a bag of garlic for
the ship, I told him I had not ordered any and
showed him my three silver rings on my uniform.
He smirked and said I must have borrowed it to
impress the gullible, I shrank inside the uniform
and could not see my hands and feet.
Met a lady who was waiting for the ship too, she
was the wife of the chief engineer, and together
we strolled to the end of the dock, where
I resentfully threw the bag of garlic into the sea
where it swelled, became a life boat that slowly
drifted away. Back at the spot where the ship was
supposed to dock we’re told the ship had come
and gone. The lady sat on a pollard crying, took
her wedding ring off and threw it into the water,
I, who had taken Lasix 40, peed into the same sea
and its water turned pink. “Truly, this man is
a saint someone whispered”. Confident again
I swelled in the uniform and could see my hands
and feet . The clerk asked forgiveness and kissed
the onyx ring on my left index finger and gave me
another bag of garlic.
I touched upon a dream perfectly chorographic
as a ballet troupe of sardines avoiding predators.
A dance where no one applauds and everyone
is a loser, sad except for the mysterious beauty
of shimmering silver in a bottle- green ocean.
I touched upon a dream sparkling as fizzy wine
bobbles clung to cool glass disappearing with
plop- a momentarily rush of happiness- murmour
of voices; then the wine was still, yet for a second
the of mysterious wonder is remembered.
I touched upon a dream cold as a winter forest,
blue, frosty mist wrapped around trees; layers
of snow on the lake of recollection, but one day
a mysterious flash; and all will be remembered.
I heard the sobs it came from under a bridge of a stream, and
found a rejected prince with torn uniform crying, the country
he had given duty to, opening supermarkets, had gone republic
and overnight he had to leave the castle, his toys, and his polo
horses and charmed life. I commiserated with him asked what
had happened to his horses. “They were made into salami and
sold cheaply to the poor people of Napoli.”
This made me angry and almost a monarchist, it is not right to
take revenge for years of inequality on horses. I took the prince
home, gave him a shower, he wanted me to scrub his back but
I said as he was a commoner now he had to do that himself.
It took a bit of time to teach him how to be working class saying
“fuck” and “bloody” every so often... Being the new elite, there
always has to be one, I got him a job as a bus driver...and he is
still driving the bus between Liverpool and Garston, calls it a royal
duty and who am I to argue? I live in his castle.
Wedding in Paris
Coming out of the church after the wedding there were
smiles and cameras clicked, from the steps I could look
down into a park, a tramp was going through a bin
looking for something to eat, he found and ate what looked
like a half eaten pizza. With all the clatter going on
I slipped away, had a whisky in a bar across the road,
saw the tramp coming out of the park, my idea was to give
him some money for food, but I was self-conscious and
hated the thought of looking patronizing so I had another
Normandy, the day the allied landed,
should like the holocaust not be forgotten,
it spelt the end of a malevolent empire.
When landing crafts hit the shore, many
brave soldiers died before they could step
ashore on the golden sand of Normandy.
By blind courage and a will of steel many
soldiers got to where banks are steep
seek shelter and rest before carrying on.
This, a hard war, yet an honourable one;
there are times when wars must be fought
as we cannot afford let the world drown.
Dictators come and go, but we must not
shirk in our duty to face them squarely
and kill the darkness of their rotten souls.
Man with the cloven foot walks through the night, harsh and frustrated,
he was the result when a farmhand had intercourse with a cow... and
when cow a cold February day gave birth on a snowy field, people fled in
distress; the devil has been reborn they screamed and ran away.
The father of this obscenity hung from the rafter in the barn and bitterly
thought it had all come to this because his wife slept with bloomers on.
The child licked by warm cow tongues survived behind a hollow of a stone
and farmers wondered why his cattle gave so little milk.
Cloven foot, how could he hide from peoples fear and utter disgust other
than being evil and cursing mankind, he who had done nothing but being
a victim of a farmer hands unbecoming lust. Priests gave him the name
Satan, although he was never been baptized.
He survived wears a built up shoe to hide his defect, works in finance,
spreads mayhem and poverty. “Love me he says, and I will bring peace
but you must become vegetarians because i will not allow you to turn
my flesh and blood into hamburgers or Sunday roast.
Roses like soft rain
Deluge kills them brutally
Fallen pale petals
Drowning in a pool of regrets
As rain makes furrows in soil
Floor cleaners are
Floor managers, wear logos
But pay is lousy.
A man from Timor
Selling flowers to lovers
Lives on rejections
When Meeting Beauty
I read the menu at the restaurant looked up and saw
a pair of brown leg stretching up to heaven and thought
this waitress is from Senegal, as all beautiful women are
born there, a poor country which God compensated by
given the people physical exquisiteness.
In my old man’s confusion I ordered goat chops which
was quite apt for my unbecoming thoughts.
When she served the food I looked demurely down
but did see her white teasing smile and saw her walk away
moving like a schooner on the high seas.
No, I’m not an improper dirty old man and didn’t make any
leering remarks, but it was a moment when I wished to
be young and be able to admire beauty openly and my
admiration would have been met with a smile....and perhaps
a chance of a warm embrace.
Burden of a Hasty Marriage.
He saw her at the cafe she a cup of cacao and eating a cream cake,
he had a sandwich with cheese and ham. She looked up and smiled,
he knew she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Shy, as he was, still found the courage to get up and walk over to her
table and ask if he could eat his modest sandwich with her; she said
yes and they sat there in silence, just eating. Dimly he knew he had to
say something, but couldn’t but couldn’t find the words so he ate
the cup and saucer, the table cloth, serviettes and crumbs of her cake,
when he began eating the table she told him to stop. Ice broken he said
he loved her, she said she loved him, not to waste time they got married
in the afternoon. Found a hotel room and stayed in bed for a fortnight.
Made love in every position one could think of; they even forgot to eat.
Entwined they slept until a knock on the door, something about paying
for the room. For him was a welcomed distraction, got up had to go to
his bank he told her, two weeks in bed it stunk like a pig sty. Paid his bill
but didn’t enter their room, he was cured of love based on sex alone
First of May, Workers Day
The wind that blew cold from the north has slowed down,
First of May in the village and I hear silence speak.
Workers day, the smithy’s hammer lies idle on the anvil.
In the big town toilers are marching today carrying flags
and banners, demands equal rights, and work for all.
They will walk past banks, palaces haughty architecture,
that has no problem with... rights. Ah, this austerity and
now it is raining on the parade and the wind sneezes, but
on the green field I see millions of watery pearls and each
one reflects the overcast sky that promise nothing except
more drizzle. Yet it doesn’t deter the working man, it is
good to meet others drinks a glass of cheap red wine, eat
meat roasted on a grill, slices of homemade bread and
hope life will get better tomorrow.
Land of Milk & Honey.
The president has banned the verb “work,” there are no job seekers
or unemployed people, but those who administrate the state are on
duty. Since all is mechanized, digitalized and robotozied there is little
need for citizens to do anything, but receive a monthly card to spend
on food, clothes and other things, and they will be well enumerated.
At last the masses have been set free from the toil of labour.
They can sleep as long as they want, walk in the park or pursue sport,
meet in the evening and read poetry, with the understanding “work”
is not mentioned, ‘cause the state know some poets are insubordinate
and will try to sneak in “work” by calling it something else. If the state
censor find out the writer will be banned from all public gatherings and
not being able to buy yogurt till he repents and writes nice things about
the beautiful colour of plastic flowers, made by a robot called Rose.
It has taken mankind thousands of years to reach this stage of maturity,
and they will look up to the clear blue sky and say: “Truly this is Utopia.”
An Abridged Story of Wine
The bottom of the nave used to be a lake’s bed, but one night,
when moon was white as search light and the sky maroon,
the lake vanished. Dead fish and toenail clippings at the bottom,
but the soil was rich, and the people who used to fish for a living,
planted vine which bore healthy grapes, but grapes fermented
and wine was discovered. A drink that made them merry, they
sang, slapped flat stones together and made music.
But if drinking too much they ended fighting and used stones as
missiles, and given to arguing about the quality of snow that fell
the year before. In clay pots they sold red wine and became rich,
till Moslems came, forbad the making of wine, they planted pale
yellow orange trees instead. But the juice of sweet blue grapes
has an unstoppable allure it fills heart with music, the production
was moved to hidden dells in Alentejo. When Arabs, defeated by
Christian hordes, fled; Iberia had abundance of red wine but also
sugary orange juice.
Portugal in May
These rounded hills surrounding my valley is lush
green with yellow flowers, wish I were a horse, no
jutting military granite jaws around here; God, when
making Portugal, had women in mind.
A flock of sheep eagerly graze have no time to look
up and see the blue spring sky, doomed as they are
to produce wool and meat for Irish stew, watched
over by the shepherd who sits in the shade of a carob
tree and wonders what's for tea.
Pretty red tractors plough soil around olive trees,
perfume of newly mowed grass and roses hang in
translucent air as sun filters through a mystic veil
of aromatic mist of history. Yet, a slight discord in
the day lingers, the donkey is absent, the last one,
a grey jenny, was given to a sanctuary. That is sad,
the long eared made the scenery more peaceful.
The Blue Plant
In a clearing in the woods there is a blue plant
that is illuminated from the inside and shines
long after dark, but if you stop and stare its
four petals curl up, light is switched off and it
looks another way; this because it lives in fear
of being recognized by a passing botanist and
classified as a minor little weed not worth
As I'm only a sailor who lost his sextant and
ended up in a wrong vale and not Singapore
which was my intention, I have its confidence
So I asked: "what if the botanist finds you
the most beautiful flower he has ever seen,
then you will be famous, poets will go all
tearful and lyrical about you and you'll appear
in illustrated books."
The blue flower's light flickered on and off it
was clearly in distress petals in a flutter and
shakily it said: "I fear fame it's an awesome
responsibility I have to shine and shine always
look my best and there is no turning away when
things get tough and they will ask me about
stuff I know nothing about and critics will ask
"is blue the only colour you have got"
©Jan Oskar Hansen, all rights reserved
An African Dictator.
Charles Taylor once you were a big beast in the jungle, you
had blood diamonds and sold weapon to Sierra Leon, and
you were complicit in invading another country.
What in earth made you think you were an imperial power?
So now you are in prison where other bad buggers sit like
tiny ants in a hole. And you bitterly know that in the world
justice is not relevant for the really big guys, they can drone
whoever they want and sell weapon to whomever they like
and they will never join you in Haag, but become elders and
rich enough to buy diamonds for their wives. Charles Taylor,
you are in a good company and you can spend time playing
poker with burnt out matchsticks and glass beads.
The painting in the hall of an old bi-plane flying
a across a blue sky, was different this morning,
it had landed by a waterfall and the pilots stood
leaning against the plane’s fuselage slowly
smoking a cigarette, eyes closed enjoying every
moment, every inhale of scented tobacco.
I looked at the painting again the sky was dark,
there was lightning in the air the pilot had flown to
the front and collided with a barrage balloon,
the plane was a broken as thrown to the ground by
a spoilt boy who had wanted a fire-engine for his
birthday, and know only the blue sky prevails.
The White Mare
the incoming tide made an island out of
the sand bank where I sat, king for a day,
made a crown of coarse grass
but since I only ruled over a few crabs, who
bit my finger when I shook their claws, I
renounced my crown and swam ashore.
Sanitation workers, in blue overalls and
logo, heckled me since I was not like them
and they made fun of my crown.
On an incoming wave a white mare came,
bareback I mounted and gently the horse
trotted amongst the awestruck workers
Within the Circle
Around the burned down stable, near
the oak that was struck by lightning,
there is a silence within the stillness.
I can hear screams of stabled mules
running in circles trampling each other
into a bloody mass and falling beams.
Within the circle sheltered by whispering
leaves I can hear rattling of chains and
the forest afar sings of endless sorrow.
Copyright © Jan Oskar Hansen