Patricia Falkenburg

Patricia Falkenburg

Dr. Patricia Falkenburg, *1961, molecular biologist, poet writing in German and English and visual artist. Born in Mannheim she currently lives in Pulheim near Cologne. Poems have been published in numerous anthologies, journals, and blogs. “Portugiesische Notizen”—Portuguese notes—was published in 2019 as LyrikHeft 24 with Sonnenberg-Presse, Chemnitz.

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For Aristi. On a Greek night.

(paraphrasing Aristi’s favourite
Greek song’s verse as translated
for the author by herself)

Tonight, my love,
Two hearts entwined,
Your heart and mine
Are dancing around each other
As the olive’s branches
Eternally dance around
Each other in a locked
Embrace of wooden love,
Of weighted joy.

Not knowing how
To forget, not
Knowing how not
To fly.

Long ago, my love, I
Wanted to change, I, a long
While ago, wanted to change
You, my love,
For my heart to step
Inside yours.

And wrongness grew
And overwhelmed our quiet dance
And bore it down.
And all the world’s tremendous weight
Grew into our feet
Like roots growing downside up.

Not knowing
How to forget,
Not knowing how
To fly.

Shaking, bent, almost broken
Beyond repair I missed
Our steps. But still
The wind turned branches and
Our music cleared the night.
And I am flying.

Not knowing how,
How to forget,
Not knowing
How not to fly.

Tonight, my love, I, my love,
I promise to never more, to
Not bind your heart evermore
Inside mine. I will set you free
To dance your dance
And pray you dance with me.
And nevermore, hear me, will
I change, never again,
Change you for me for you.

My heart and yours,
Tonight, shall dance forever
In circles of weighted love,
Weighted joy growing from
The stem of our memories
Entwined, love entwined, one
Around the other, yours and mine.
Round and round,

Not knowing how,
To forget, not
Knowing how not
To fly.

Ionian day.

On a Greek wind
I travelled the length
Of the bay.

On a Greek wind
I grew the strength
To walk a new day.

In a Greek sky,
Held on a fine string,
I let my heart fly
Like a kite flies high.

Up in the Greek sky
It started to ring
As the kite will sing
Of glories eternal, present and past:

The sun, the sea, the breeze’s kiss
Rising the waves to dancing bliss.

On a Greek shore at last
In this wind-kissed day
From the sick-soaked substance
I’ve been burned into hot
I melted away
And all my troubles I forgot:

Pain, loss, loss and grievance.

They returned in the night;
They always do,
To remind me of
They’re mine past and present
And ever to be.

But on a wind-filled Greek day
I was off and flew free.

White horses and a black virgin.

If water is called
Water nothing else
But water and misery
Calls for relief and hands
Offer help then

Perhaps then
The deep blue might be
Nothing but a promise
And cease to be a grave.

White horses melt into salt,
Land dissolves in the marshes
And a stream evolves into the sea.

They worship a black virgin,
Incense her in a broad church
And hold the water blessed.

What if they would still
Do you think if they would
Welcome the rudderless vessel
Filled with black people today?

Nothing but an old story.

It was a hot day
In early June
When I met David
In Tarascon

The cool of the room
Settled on my eyes
When he told me
In four simple lines

His what you may well
Call sad story of broken
Hope and despair
In this strange land deep south.

Where he had become entangled
He and his two companionary Davids
In politics and an untimely war

And how he hungered to walk outside
And how he really couldn’t belief it but had to
And how justice is blind and blind to

Ordinary needs of ordinary people
Fooled into ordinary distress and of the
Am I forgotten? and the How do they fare, at home?

Just four simple lines carved in a wall
In Tarascon and the sad story of
Desperate hope to board a ship
That might get one out of this mess.

Ordinary really
And still happening

Though not in Tarascon.

                  “There is 3 Davids in a mess
                  prisoners we are in distress
                  by the French we were caught
                  to this prison we were brought”
                  graffito in the fortress of Tarascon

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Poetry in this post: © Patricia Falkenburg
Published with the permission of Patricia Falkenburg