Ode to a Danish Lamp
by Lynne Hjelmgaard
When I walk down the stairs you are waiting for me.
You've had enough of the night and long shadows,
the curtains are drawn. We're in the depths
of dark November and a silence at 6am.
My fingers can feel along the wall
until they find your switch.
As a mere human I can't measure up
to your Nordic metallic cool,
your graceful subtle orbit—a lamp composed
solely for the pleasure of the seeing eye.
I am humbled to have a seat beside you right now
and for the foreseeable future. We exist together
in this space containing us, filled with books, knickknacks,
tables and chairs. I move my belongings around
until I find the right position for every object in the room
or until it finds its place or the place finds it
at the appropriate distance from you.
A cracked royal porcelain vase
has the ability to inch forward and
mirror back, residing next to the photos
on the shelf as long as it likes,
as proof of a life and the many lives
once connected, as you and I are connected
by the wizard electrician who talks to himself
in the terminology of the wire.
Who finds answers in his own questions
as he goes along, like he's recording a voice
from deep within, in a language
only he can understand (and maybe you).
Because he hooks you up
to the charged interior, a territory,
where no country nationality
race or religion has any significance.
Because here we are placed, have identity
and form without having to dig too deeply,
journey far or escape for long or be anything other
than what we discover in the symphony of you
under your fine, oh so thin, aluminium rim.
In the faint circular hue of purple only visible
when seated (closely) below. In the faint circular
hint of red only visible when standing (closely) above.
Why do you move me so?
From her collection of poetry: A Second Whisper published with Seren Books 2019?
Reviewed by Neil LEadbeater in the September issue of Q and P