Menu Close

Haiku / senryu

To ease my mind and remind myself to look at the world with fresh eyes, I spend some of my spare time writing haiku and senryu poems. I write the poems in longhand to distinguish the activity from academic production. The quickness with which a poem appears on the page, and the many silent moments that follow as I revise and rethink keep me engaged, while it never becomes tiring. I shift between writing in Danish and English depending on my mood and surroundings.

On this page I publish the ones I am most fond of.

Løft blikket og se
himlen større, frihed blæst
over marken. Vår.
Late autumn crisp frost.
confused titmice hop around
empty bird-feeder
Traces
Rotting sidewalks melt
feet laid bare by autumn.
Clouds rippling. Sun.

Drowned worn-out stone pounds
through bones slung forward, vapours
of colour's decay.
Thick hot air heavy
unmoved by breeze. Sounds carried
to lasting stillness.

Traffic. Unwanted
caress on suffocating
crystal sky. Summer.
Layers of silence
float past evergreens, still change
carries calm joy: Snow.
Fuldmånen venter
ikke på foråret, før
den skinner; kun jeg.

Kuldens skær, som lys
pludselig skarp mod huden.
Blottet vinternat.
The silence of things without breath
Utter still silence
never heard over breath, blood,
life. Noises at night.

Movement even
in still darkness, particles
fall silent, unfelt.

Weightless yet heavy
the dust of a million years
never settles long

And the dust of you,
my skin, will land on future
bodies remembered.
Distraction become peace of mind
Perfect moment here
of meaningless sound, somewhere
muscle memory

Stray limbs entwined
in non-rythmic cacophony
Nobody dances
Verden død på ny
Vinden suser i
øret helt uden øjet
ser bort fra solen

Fortids dansende
blade nu ubevægede
trods stormbrust skumring
--
Støvregn i modlys.
Træk vejret og farverne.
Verden død på ny.
Broken autumn suite
Cool sun rolls over
autumn-afternoon stillness
Silent wind wanders

Crispness of leaves
taken in through eyes not
interrupted by sound

Still branches moving
past windows bombarded by
indoor sounds of fear
Jordblomme
Mægtige hvælving
Himmelskal, Jordblomme. Æg
uden rugemor

Sol, dag, lys glider
over mit ansigt. Fastspændt
bevæges jeg. Du?
Livets smuler
Tiden finder sted
i støvets afkroge; her
er livets smuler

Blå overtrækssko
minder om alt, vi ikke
dagligt træder på
Catholic Quartet, Villa Palazzola
Old familiar
manic day-break owl, foreign
Rhythm of sleep and death.

Drowsy-eyed Pater
smiles in circles; mirroring
Comfort consumption.

Habitually
Drunk on afternoon spritzer
Ritual apathy.

Frantic voice, don't look
sun glare, holy volcanic
water, you island!
pendlermorgen
Duft af rundstykker
i neonlysets kolde
Mørkerefleksion
Voices through the wall
Solitude crackling laughter.
Is it my own?
Ornithology
Looking across from
Radical strangeness, the world
Coordinated.

Solitary birds
in flock.
How?
Milano
En trille på tværs;
igen; ved mundingen en
genstridig korkprop

Anstændigt klædt blandt
nøgne dødninge; kødet
helligt, paradis
December
Blandness of Christmas
Utter still grayness, punctured,
Flash of sudden red

Snow insistently
Present, though everywhere screams
Silently absent

Black dirt, harbinger
of calm death – like retreat from
colour, sound of world
CPH Jazzfest haiku suite after late night jam session at Børneteatret, Christiania.
Odd question: "just you?"
- as if expecting something
more than existence

"Give my mum a hand!"
The singer screams, desperate
Drunk, trembling, smoking

Heavy foggy airs
momentarily parted
grounded double bass

In spite of myself
I let the jazz creep under
My skin leaving yours
I miss your moving
Melbourne Shuffle lips blow smoke,
drinking deeper dead
Duncan Road
The back alley, cries
of joy: soccer in the sun.
Quiet cigarette.
Neighbour painting door,
greeting colour; I throw out
yesterday’s bottles