November 18, 2010

after Rolf Jacobsen, “Skytsengelen,” Hemmelig Liv (1954).

I am the spear carrier,
not of any fame, not beloved,
as I would have wished.

I am the messenger,
hurrying from the burnt overland,
hastening towards tomorrow’s sun.

I am the story
of a lengthening past,
too tangled to be well understood.

I am the bloody ink,
flowing in rivers uphill
against the steady gravity of time.

I am the flayed paper,
plastered against self-inflicted wounds,
against the deep longing to forget.

I am the covered boards,
hard pressed against intended thought,
this sorry diary locked in rust forever.

This poem emerged from a brief session led by John Minczeski at the Anderson Center.  It was the day after 9/11 and that calamity was heavy on my mind.  Later included in Poetry And Artist: Collaboration II, Copyright © 2003, the illustrating artist interpreted the poem as though apocalyptic.

For other poems by Roger Sween posted on this blog, see the list on My Poetry.

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