Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Poems by Peter H. Dietrich

Jun 19, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments

You Were Always More Than Just You

We walked along the same endless highways,
We often laughed loudly while others cried,
If I got stranded alone in dark byways
It was copying something you had first tried,
You planted your tracks, I swallowed them whole,
When my heart felt sore you knew how to mend it,
Your shadow became branded deep in my soul,
And where a barrier grew you knew how to bend it,
I was never truly alone then while you had some message to send,
Because you were always more than just you – you were my friend.

You held the sky in the palm of your hand,
Telling me tales of liberated clouds,
It was always a language I could understand,
Even as it inspired scorn in the crowds,
You raised your glass, I drank every word,
The mystery seeped through if I hesitated,
Your reason flew raw to promote the absurd,
And if any dream crashed you had it consecrated,
I was never afraid then to go with you close to the very end,
Because you were always more than just you – you were my friend.

We crisscrossed the world with a song as our ticket,
Chanting for freedom when walls were too high,
An empty road beckoned though we tried not to pick it,
Believing it might really help us to fly,
You sang like a poet, I painted your rhymes,
The artist was a master if not quite Messiah,
If I started sinking you absolved my past crimes,
Telling me once again to look ever higher,
I never felt confused then as we rounded the next bend,
Because you were always more than just you – you were my friend.

You built a Castle with a hole in your pocket,
Milking my sad eyes to fill your empty chalice,
The angelic smile slumbered in a closed silver locket,
Start of the dream we once shared without malice,
You emptied the moat, I breached your locked door,
My arrows fell short of the writing on the wall,
When you found my past phantoms spread over your floor,
You held me in such esteem I would seldom fall,
I was never left weak then in the armour you would lend,
Because you were always more than just you – you were my friend.

We paid due respect to the passing of time,
Growing up fast but without getting old,
Climbing life’s ladder we approached the sublime,
Wanting to find the one story never told,
You fell up to the sky, I clung fast to your wings,
Our lives were divided into chapters and verses,
If my grief yielded to love’s reaper, the one who sings,
Your vision would embrace me then refill our purses,
I was never in doubt then about your ability to mend,
Because you were always more than just you – you were my friend.

__

Breaking Into Your Dreams

I watched you floating across the soft light
While the rest of the world was in darkness,
You dispelled every concept of deep-frozen night
When emotions are robed in sheer starkness,
My visions were falling like crystallised pain,
Rare tears responding, with nothing to gain,
Sad words left ink spots to capture passing birds,
Their last flight a lesson for the vast wingless herds,
Passing time was an Angel then as you first looked at me,
And I fell to your charms, like a jailed man set free.

Distant echoes and faceless shadows were once the stuff of my failing schemes,
Then I tripped across your smile and now spend my nights breaking into your dreams.

I heard you telling the world your sad tales
While the old story was still unfolding,
You gave birth to a plot where true hope never fails
No matter the cards you are holding,
My heart wore a smile others saw as a wound,
Final words ignored, as from a man doomed,
Pictures were posted in a bid to spread desire,
Cold ashes a reminder of what was once real fire,
Painted caves shone like home then as you captured my ear,
And I drank all your words, like a man with no fear.

Distant echoes and faceless shadows were once the stuff of my failing schemes,
Then I tripped across your smile and now spend my nights breaking into your dreams.

I touched you holding back the tireless tides
While the ships and their captains were all sinking,
You turned storms into battles where man’s madness resides,
Never showing the lost tears you were drinking,
My hand left a mark no rough stone could efface,
Sacred vessel empty, with no saving grace,
Sea ditties were cast on the mercy of the waves,
Going under with the notion of some deep grace that saves,
Captured warmth sealed our meeting then as the sea left us no choice,
And I entered your dream, like a man given a new voice.

Distant echoes and faceless shadows were once the stuff of my failing schemes,
Then I tripped across your smile and now spend my nights breaking into your dreams.

__

Living On The Edge Of Nowhere

Nobody knows where the end of the road is,
We just keep walking around the next bend,
Nobody wants to know how heavy each load is,
We just keep hoping all this hurt will soon mend,
Fathers are falling, mothers are weeping,
Children are creating rainbow dreams,
Whispered prayers seem empty, silence comes a-creeping,
Maybe even love is no longer what it seems,
But somehow hearts keep beating, telling us we have to care,
And so we look to distant skies, just living on the edge of nowhere.

Nobody knows what tomorrow might bring for us,
Every day presents another fight,
Nobody wants to miss the angel who might sing for us,
Her smile to put all the bad things right,
Stories are ending, pilgrims are resting,
Seasons are retreating, all confused,
Flowers spread their colours, birds continue nesting,
The poet’s pen is still the one most used,
So every step we take alone is one more promise to share,
As we leave our prints and shadows, just living on the edge of nowhere.

Never let the real dreams die,
Never drop your arms,
Love will always rise and try
To spread its magic charms,
Fools may tell you this and that,
Still others shout and preach,
But no one knows where wisdom’s at,
Dark places out of reach,
Now all the self-styled emperors
Look foolish standing naked,
Truth creeps in with gentle whispers,
So we know deep down what is truly sacred.

Nobody knows all the answers we’ll be chasing,
Each trail will take us on a little nearer,
Nobody wants to think about the life we’re tracing,
The shadows vanish fast to make it clearer,
People are still standing, creatures are reviving,
Landscapes fill the spaces left to fade,
Abandoned hopes are spreading, willingly surviving,
Fulfilling every promise we ever made,
So in the end the truth is plain, we are all always somewhere,
And so we move as life goes on, still living on the edge of nowhere.

__

Artwork by Debangana Bannerjee

Peter H. Dietrich is a reporter/filmmaker/spinner-of-tales originally from Northampton, in the UK, and has been travelling the world non-stop for over 40 years, writing non-stop all the way in different forms. He has lived in Morocco, France, Tunisia, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Brazil. He is currently living in Bulgaria, working on 2 musicals, one a comedy, the other a tragedy. The musical-comedy has also been published as a children’s storybook, with original illustrations. He has self-published 2 volumes of poetry, Forty Days & Forty Nights  and In between before and after.

Debangana Banerjee was born and raised in Santiniketan, India. She received her B.F.A. and M.F.A. in printmaking from Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan. She was a national scholar in India before joining the MFA program at Louisiana State University in 2007. She also worked as a visual designer in Communication across the Curriculum program at LSU. Debangana has participated in many solo (Zosima Gallery, Bower-Bird-Gallery in San Marcos, Jump Start Art Gallery, San Antonio) and group exhibitions including in India, Japan, Australia, England, Canada, and the United States. Debangana published a poetry chapbook Come Back River, 2014 and  two artist’s books in 1998 and 1999 in India.

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