When I’m less well

my knee will indicate

by reminding me

with every step

of my weaknesses

as if there were


a  direct link

to my heart


Childhood winters or adolescent nights or grown-up snow angles (To H.)

Flowers of frozen smoke
On your milky window
The night after
Your sheets smelled of softness
White as the streets

And you pressed your chin
Against the icy glass
Of the underground train
And saw nothing
But comforting darkness
Rushing past

Tones of black
Did exist
You learned that night
Your mother’s red lips
Resting on your forehead
Where a woollen hat
Ought to have been

Snowball fights
Spiced apple
Sticky fingers
Red cheeks and icy drops on your eyelashes
Your body lying in whiteness
Cold wrapping itself around your tightness

You breathe in
And know you’re real
Because you’re alive

An early Christmas poem

The moon is thin tonight

A tender line

On late December skies

That left traces of blue, light blue, turquoise, azure, yellow, green and purple

Black are the trees

Twinkles in the cities on wooden corners

Windows full of mini lights

Warmth streaming out of old pubs’ doors



And then I think of all the people

I’ve ever met

How they are still busy

Travelling by train through winter landscapes

Waiting on airports

Wrapping fragilities into lettered paper

Working at small cinemas, collecting tickets

Putting tips into their pockets after their shifts

Writing their sorrows away next to candles

Hustling from store to store in Amsterdam

Waiting for snowflakes while staring into the evening sky

Cooking for their grandchildren and decorating the house for the scattered family to reunite in their Danish home

Being more than six hours behind, carrying flowery hearts through their Columbian flats while humming to jazz

And waiting patiently for someone

From the other end of the world

To text back

Those working on their theses ignoring the festive spirit

Those longing for past times while drinking tea lonely in their flats-for-one

Those travelling down from the very north of Norway to reunite with their families

Those wandering on lonely paths with a decisiveness that is mirrored in them as feminists

Those smelling like cinnamon and having dough all over their hands, baking with love

Those printing photos and putting them into carefully chosen envelopes and kissing cheeks before hopping on buses

Those having curry nights with their beloved ones

Those looking into the far distance of the Aegean sea

Those adding glitter and star-shaped sprinkles to their cakes in Brussels

Those reading in their cosy holes by the fireplace in England


Those wishing for more

Those desiring less

Those loving

Those learning to love


And those trying not to stop loving

Despite it all

To Cami (inspired by her and a poem by W. Szymborska)

I prefer letters to numbers

I prefer paper to screens

I prefer autumn to winter and spring to summer

I prefer wind to calm and storm

I prefer sparkling eyes to soulless faces, empty places where there’s nothing left but skin without anything within

I prefer small grocery stores with vegetables from the owners’ gardens to giant halls filled to the brim with useless things

I prefer yellow morning hours for work and golden afternoons for relaxation under leaves with my feet on grass or sand

I prefer tennis courts to football fields, a net to confrontation

I prefer having my loves spread out over the world to living in a narrow space, a place not allowing distance to be perceived as safe

I prefer loving someone from a distance

I prefer understanding and relating to disapproving and excavating differences

I prefer trains

I prefer books

I prefer the sea to lakes and cliffs to mountain chains

I prefer tea to coffee, trousers to skirts

I prefer people with ideas

I prefer seagulls to dull doves

I prefer right words in the right moment

I prefer silence otherwise

I prefer the smell of earth

I prefer presence

I prefer solitude sometimes

I prefer the sound of crunchy leaves or the first steps on snow

I prefer rebellion from within

I prefer consideration

I prefer honesty in giggles and words


I prefer you being around but that’s something I can’t change and in mind and heart you still are

On this occasion

I remember

walking into that cemetery

and spotting this statue

of a Jewish figure

with a bare head

the shoulders hanging down

–  as if zinc were attached  –

and eyes facing the sky


It was autumn

and soft light was resting on curled-up leaves on the steaming concrete

Cobbled pavements and perhaps a stall

selling flowers or waffles


It might have been Brussels, Amsterdam or Prague

I can’t remember


All I remember is the statue’s expression

that has rested upon my conscience ever since

Lights at night or To J. and M.

Remember that evening

when we saw winter approaching


Traces of autumn


still on the sky


And we were sitting cross-legged

on the courts’ cold floor

Still sweaty while the night was creeping

into our tracksuits


And your cigarettes

were the only lights like glowworms

after the light bright orange pastel pink over Richard Hoggart Building

had faded


As the days

and the leaves crumbled

and we sat there

motionless and unbelieving

that the end had approached

so soon


Some of us would go home over Christmas

Some would return

Others only for short stays

Who’d be gone for good?


The constellation would never be

as golden as that autumn

when it was flowing through our bodies

this orange light

through the leaves on branches

while we were moving fast and chasing

star-like objects

with a smiling heart




HSP or Intensity isn’t a given

Being highly sensitive

is a tough task

most times


When I was younger

I used to feel

microorganisms crawling on my skin


And more than that felt within

everything going and turning

in wild shapes – mostly circles


I used to throw up on every backseat I knew


While people tend to think

one’s exaggerating

You’re mostly understating

what you really feel


When one wishes to stop feeling at all

and escape the scene

be numb and indifferent and ignorant of aching parts

aching hearts

on public transport


One crumbles through relating


Intensity isn’t a given

But I’ll never find pleasure in pain