On 21 November 2012 Saxony celebrated a public holiday called Buß- und Bettag, which is not celebrated anywhere else in Germany. It is a Christian tradition where one spends the day reflecting on one’s regrets, pray about it and then orientate oneself to the future. I thought this was a good idea regardless of which religion one associates oneself with. For me praying takes the form of meditation in the realm of Buddhist philosophy. From my contemplation a little poem arose:


Regret takes the shape of little clouds
that move in front of the sun,
casting shadows,
giving us bearings in the landscape of time.
If we could place it on our tongues,
it would leave an aftertaste,
a bitter one that lingers.
Usually we are only able to find it with hindsight,
there where we always find certainty.
A life without it is perfect,
a life full of it is futile.
If regret could be put in a little vial,
a little pinch of it
should always be added to the broth of life.
Too little would be bland,
too much would be to spoil the broth,
and just the right amount
would be seasoned.

Copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.



“Leaves” © Peter Wilkin 2012.


The trees have undressed,
the emerald of their leaves
softly on the horizon left,
while their russet robes lie crisp below …
a carpet, for us to tread on, to near them,
to watch their branches tendril in inky sky
by light of silver sickle moon.

© Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.



Special thanks go to Peter Wilkin for giving me kind permission to publish on my blog—his exquisite image “Leaves”—which inspired me to write the accompanying poem.

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.

Colours coming, colours leaving


You dip your paint brush,
and with textured strokes,
you decorate the landscape in ochres and russets.
The trees tremble with your breath,
each breath sending a leaf into twirling,
each leaf dancing its way into carpet,
all of the leaves rustling with every stride taken,
warm earthy bouquets after rain given.

The branches eventually laid bare,
except for the evergreens,
wearing their needle furs,
waiting for the snow.
And then …
all the colour will be gone,
and the picture will be black and white.

To Zephyrus

Photo: With kind permission from Rod Baxter © 2010. COLOURBLINDKID on Flickr.


In a field of barley, I see you,
most temperate of winds,
bringer of summer and all of its rain,
combing the fine and fluent hair,
into surging waves of shimmering silk,
ebbing and flowing, …
ebbing and flowing.

With your venerated breath,
the birds’ tiding songs sung are spread,
from bark walls through foliage verdure,
softly eddying on a ledge,
until broken by a hedge,
where vine looking leaves,
have been nibbled to lace.

Lone poppies, blood orange like fire rose,
know each other’s embrace,
only by the delicate touch
of dainty pollen-coated butterfly legs,
and then they fade, each
petal, into a pale shade of peach.

Whereas barley stands side by side,
rubbing shoulders,
only bearing ears,
when whispers …
are exchanged by a wind,
wafting the sweet balm smell of chamomile,
only as gentle as you,
my sapphire rose,
my belovèd

Copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.

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.

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.

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

A poetry reading of “Mysterium”

Ben Miller’s poetry explores the metaphysical, the magical and the mysterious, in prose that flows like a river, with a cadence that resonates with the soul. His poetry can be found here.

His poem “Mysterium” is particularly melodious and lends itself to be read aloud (over and over!). And this inadvertently lead me to record my reading of this magnificent poem.

This is my debut poetry reading and it is hence imperfect. I even stumble on a word near the end. I performed several readings of this poem in an attempt to read it error-free, but I found that when I read it a few times, it seemed that one tended to become mechanical and then the initial mood and the magic of discovering the poem for the first time was lost. So, I opted for one of the earlier readings with more mistakes, because the feeling of the poem is more important.

With the permission of Ben Miller I hereby present my poetry reading of his magnificent poem “Mysterium.”

A dandy lion

Blue clouds and white sky,
served softly in a cone.
Clouds melt into angels,
that make bubbles,
that pop.

While feet walk on fish,
strewn on deserted paths,
brought by feathered ghosts
from ponds in high up trees.

Heads are under hats
that are mantis green,
and made of lawn.

We’re polishing our souls,
and buffing them,
until they shine,
so much,
that they rival the suns.

And from the lawn,
we hear the roar,
of a little lion—
a yellow, dandy little lion.

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