POEMS


Leaving Abisko, May 2017


I am crying because you are so beautiful.

Expanse of snow-paint shapes in white.

Sun glitters on ice-crystals,

hot on my face.

Beautiful birches bravely stand in coldness,

each with your own green circle of thaw.

You tell me the roots are warming:

deep down the moisture trickles and renews.

Soon the buds will swell, the leaves unfold,

each tiny leaflet opening greenly to the sun.

But I will not be here to see.


I am crying because you are so beautiful.

Water rushes between high-tiered rocks

and cascades down canyons.

Ice sculptures stretch into whirling pools,

dark water churns with leaping foam.

Soon the ice will melt, the river rushing faster to the lake,

there will be flowers on your banks.

But I will not be here to see.


I am crying because you are so beautiful.

Vast frozen lake, immensity of white.

Curved patterns of grey-black in mid-freeze.

Infinite variations of white and grey lead the eye

to the next line of mountains, and above them

to the white of sky. A single goose

flies calling, calling..

Soon the cracks will start to appear, the sun

will drop down golden fingers and the water

will begin to move.

But I will not be here to see.


I am crying because you are so beautiful.

Mountains rise: line upon line.

Dark lines of trees, unbroken white above.

Raven flies croaking, stops to direct my gaze

to further beauty.

Soon the snow will be gone, apart from at the very tops.

The reindeer will roam higher.

The paths will be open, I could walk again

to the never-cut-down forest

without disappearing into snow drift.

But I will not be here.


I will be far away;

four days of train ride away, south and west;

in another country, in another summer.


I am crying because I am leaving you

again, today, after such a short time.

I am crying because you are one

of the most beautiful places in the world

and I am full of wonder to have seen you;

to have been here for this time, with you.


I am crying because there are so many beautiful places

in the world: many that I will never see, many that will not survive,

many that are 'heart-places' to me.

So many places that I love:

so many places that I leave, again and again.


And I am crying because there are so many beautiful people:

people who are my 'heart-people', people who I am honoured

to share life with, people who I love.

People who I leave, again and again.


And I know that leaving is a part of the richness:

as is arriving, as is being in energetic space

with loved ones, again and again.

And I know that our lives are infinite with variety:

with merging, and separating, and being together,

and holding separation over distance.

And I know I will be back (the trees tell me so)

and that next time it will be summer

and the trees will be rich with vibrant leaves

(but which summer, which leaves?).

And I know that my tears are both of joy and sadness

and that it is impossible to know

which tear is which, as it is impossible to know

whose root is whose, or where one of us begins

and the other ends.


And I let the tears fall.

And I touch your bark gently.

And I wish your roots well.