Carpe noctem

“Purple flowers, Settle.” Copyright © Peter Wilkin 2012.


Darkness falls like a purple flower unfolding,
while the shell of day breaks like glass,
to the sound of birds’ trill and timbre tones.
The shell-shard shrapnel glitter
like diamonds on African skin.

Know the stars, when and where they shine,
watch them move across boundless black,
catch a planet turn like a top on the ecliptic,
and see the silent slow motion symphony.
Listen earnestly, … to hear each thought note.

Drink the night in cups, by day,
not sweetened nor made murky with milk,
but black and acrid, bitter and fathomless,
where danger lurks in Cimmerian shade.

Behold the night in a … different … light,
until you see shimmer, the moist flanks
of a black stallion, galloping with intent;
merlot, coursing through its lavender veins.

Seize the hot iron reins with both hands,
forge by light of candles lit on all ends,
under a banquet of stars and silver moon.
Feast on the quiet hours that know no bound,
and burn Earth’s oil beyond the midnight hours.
Harvest the mind fields of passion’s flowers.

Don’t stop. While others sleep, toil on.
Sleep can wait, for in death, it is boundless.
Shape with hammer, upon anvil, with will.
There are no interruptions of mundane day.
Polish with patience “The Great Work”.

But the night is wild; like fire, like ocean.
Honour this mighty beast, give him deservèd respect,
and humbly learn the gentle art of whispering.
Once on its bare back and holding his mane, …
seize the night, carpe noctem, carpe noctem,
before the darkness of day seizes you.

Copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.
All rights reserved.

This poem is linked to dVersepoets for Open Link Night Week 46.

Special thanks go to Peter Wilkin for giving me kind permission to publish on this blog, my poem with his image “Purple flowers, Settle”, which I find intoxicatingly beautiful. Peter’s photography art exhibits the ethereal, the magical, the psychedelic, the metaphysical, and human perception. It is well worthwhile to pay his gallery a visit here.


To night

by Percy Bysshe Shelley


“The starry night” by Vincent Van Gogh                          (Image from Wikipedia and in the public domain in Germany)


Ode to the West Wind

“Ode to the West Wind” is a classical poem and considered to be one of the most critically acclaimed poems in the English language [Wikipedia]. It was written by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) and can be read here.

Portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley, painted by Amelia Curran, and photographed by Alfred Clint. I mage is in the public domain.

Portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley, painted by Amelia Curran, and photographed by Alfred Clint. Image is in the public domain.

Gerard McHugh—a dear friend of mine, a poet, a connoisseur of literary prose, and also particularly talented at setting poetry to music—made a comment to my poem “Evanescent dreams”, which lead me to read “Ode to the West Wind”. Reading this poem literally swept me off my feet, my voice got carried away, audibly so, and ended up getting recorded, here.

WARNING: I was trying to sustain the drama, so my reading may be too staccato, but since I am a novice at this I simply have to dare do it, before it could possibly get better. Any constructive feedback would be appreciated. Please be kind. 🙂

Evanescent dreams

If I could grow wings
I’d start my flight in a field
full of Van Gogh’s yellow.

I’d fly high in the sky
above the tree tops,
the pylons, and smoke stacks, …
until people look like ants.

I’d feel the wind in my face,
rivalling with it, now,
and, flowing with it, then.

The yellow that first flooded my eyes
would now just be part
of a checkered patchwork,
with earthy tones,
and muted greens;
woolen here, silken there.
I’d see solar cells glitter,
fleetingly, as I pass.

I’d fly with the clouds,
and then above them—
cotton wool carpet
of purest possible white,
upon it, my shadow cast.
I’d see a halo,
around my own shadow,
with ALL the colours of the rainbow.

I’d feel the sun burning on my back,
fuel my eyes with sky’s blue,
and I’d wonder if my feathers, my wings,
were held together
by something as deliquescent
as Icarus’s wax.

Copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.
All rights reserved.

I’m linking this poem to dVersepoets “Meeting the bar: Critique and craft” for the Stream-of-Consciousness prompt by Victoria C. Slotto.

A poetry reading of “How”

Abigail Baker’s poetry—vivid in imagery and enchanting—explores the personal relationship realm, showcasing its magic, but also the inevitable pain that goes with being human. Her poetry can be found here.

With Abigail’s permission I hereby present my poetry reading of her very moving poem “How.”


Von wegen Regen
kommt der Geruch der Erde uns entgegen.
Das geschieht in der Regel
und manchmal
verschwinden wir sogar
danach in den Nebel,
ohne Segel,
aber nicht
Das ist phänomenal
und einfach wunderbar,
ein göttliches Wesen
ist es deswegen gewesen.

Copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.
Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

“Petrichor is the name of Earth’s perfume when the tears of the gods drum a rhapsody on its dust.” —Quirina Roode-Gutzmer

Walking between giants (with poetry reading)

(A reading of this poem has been beautifully rendered by Abigail Baker and can be heard here.)

Walking between giants

Photo copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.

The wind above whirs through the firs,
while down below, white little flowers—
from wood sorrel,
their pink-veined petals—
on delicate stems,
quiver, …
to the sound of a nearby river.

Bare feet walk on soft brown,
needled forest paths.
But oh! Not on baby beech trees,
from the ground emerging
like butterflies
with green rubber wings.

Bare feet walk over curving tree roots,
covered in earthy moss—
emerald velvet carpet.

Walking between giants,
proud and noble,
reaching, straight, into the sky—
beech trees of a hundred years.
Around their roots are heaps
made by ants,
who scurry over crisp oak leaves,
from autumn last.
With eyes closed,
they sound as loud as the trees are tall.

Bare feet walk not on ants.
Ants walk over bare feet.
One ant stands on two of his six feet,
assuming a warrior pose,
protecting his castle, his kin.
Behind him towers another castle
built in medieval times,
by men,
and partially ruined,
and partially rebuilt,
by men.
It was catapulted,
due to a dispute between two men,
who both wanted the same princess.

Bare feet brave the stinging of ants,
and walk on,
on soft forest carpet,
to the edge of the forest,
where white butterflies—
their wings like cherry blossoms,
flutter free in the grass green meadow,
adorned with dandelion gold.
The cherry trees are white clouds
held by branches,
that shine bronze in the sun.

Bare feet walk on,
on soft forest carpet,
deep into the forest,
where, by the granite rocks,
lay large white feathers.
Of what creature that may be?
Please let it not be an angel …
And if it was,
may it have stilled
the perpetual hunger of a lone soul,
and may it all not be in vain.

Bare feet walk on soft forest paths.
The wind above whirs through firs,
while down below,
white little flowers,
on delicate stems,
quiver, …
to the sound of a nearby river.

Copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.
All rights reserved.

In memoriam: Rudolph Eduard Roode (21 August 1937 ‑ 3 May 2006).
Today, in my mind, I walk with my father, bare feet on soft forest paths. He is a giant, standing, proud and noble.

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” —Sitting Bull