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last update: 15 Jul15

 

 

White Clover                      Seamanship

 

Nomad Song                      Navigation

 

White Clover

     For Dannie
 
We, childlike in our trust, cover the grasslands
where we find ourselves
and spread.
                                              Our roots endure, keep each other.
 
Heartened to fall asleep
to the sound of rain,
                                              we dream of bees, we whisper,
deep in summer,
hold close.
 
We are clusters of tender heads, fragile
with sighs, mishaps, concerns;
rounded tips and lashes,
                                              meadow scent mild and
mothering.
 
                                              Bees.
 
Love me, love me not, love me
 
                                              The bees.
 
Our honey within, thickening.
 
Our trefoil leaves calling out:
I’m the one, choose me.
 

Lynne Hjelmgaard

in collection A Boat called Annalise, 2016, Seren Books, ISBN 978-1-7817231-0-4;
published in Acumen, May 2015, ISSN 0964-0304;
performed at The Small World Theatre in Cardigan, Wales, May 8, 2015. Performed by Korina Biggs, Music by John Brown.


 
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Seamanship

Lie in your bunk
with a bucket beside you.
Hold onto it,
it can slide away.
Eat (if you can).
 
If a sea cock breaks
and the engine room floods
and the bilge pumps jam,
don’t worry.
You can fix it.
 
Even if you smell of diesel
and are too tired to hand-steer,
too hungry for breakfast
and homesick for gardens and trees,
keep your watch.
 
Wedge yourself in berth
wiggling and wretched.
Doze.
Wake up
with an urge to get there.
 
Don’t hold any grudges.
What other way is there to handle life at sea?
 
Nowhere else to go.
Daylight less than an hour away.
 
*
 
Flying fish squirm on the bow
and are scooped back through the scuppers
as it submerges and ploughs,
 
submerges and ploughs.
One hand for the ship!
 
Like mice-men our feet peddle
inside a perpetual wheel.
Plankton, fellow wanderer, twirls and sways.
 
And there’s no turning back;
nor can the bird blown offshore,
now clinging momentarily to our rail.
 
Later, on a clear and windless day
we lazy about, enjoy our breakfast
do a spring clean below.
 
In the music of wind and water,
our bodies shift to a living-on-land mode
and forget, for a few hours
 
or days even, who and where we are.
We have free run about the cabin,
no lurching for grab-holds or
struggles with a sloping loo.
 
Our spirits lift and open
as we glare at our reflections
in the smooth surface azure.
 
They look back at us knowingly.
 
Connected to the universe
disconnected from the world.
 

Lynne Hjelmgaard

in collection A Boat called Annalise, 2016, Seren Books, ISBN 978-1-7817231-0-4;
published in Poetery Wales, Issue 48.2, Autumn 2012.


 
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Nomad Song

Now, far from the sea,
the sea-lure remains.
Come home, I say.
 
My hands can carry less and less.
I want you near,
but you move further away.
 
Your belongings come along:
a small teak stamp box,
smooth and soft in my hands.
 
A tiny glass hexagon
colorful parrots inside.
They swing with you in eternity
on little plastic vines.
 
Chatwin’s ‘Anatomy of Restlessness’,
the last book you read.
‘We are travellers from birth’.
 
You, too, shed things and places
like layers of skin.
 
Now, far from the sea
the sea-lure remains.
 
Come home I say,
but you move further away.
 

Lynne Hjelmgaard

in collection A Boat called Annalise, 2016, Seren Books, ISBN 978-1-7817231-0-4;
published in The Warwick Review, Vol VIII No 3, September 2014


 
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Navigation

     I.M. of Stig
 
1-
 
I captured
your silhouette floating
in an aura of blues one
hand in your pocket one
hand for the ship you
steered with your foot
on the wheel wearing
a straw hat like a cowboy.
 
You liked to handle heavy rope
could splice a line
could walk a heeling deck.
The sun baked our backs
after island’s rain washed
salt from our bodies.
 
Martha the auto-pilot hummed.
 
2-
 
You left in a hurry
sextant on the table
pointers spread on the chart.
The cabin door open –
now still swinging back and forth
forth and back.
 
Put on your old blue jacket.
I’ll even let you stuff your pipe
if you promise to plot a course
to the exact position
of where you are.
 

Lynne Hjelmgaard

in collection A Boat called Annalise, 2016, Seren Books, ISBN 978-1-7817231-0-4;
published in The Warwick Review, Vol VIII No 3, September 2014


 
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