Three poems — David Toms

Photo by Євгенія Височина on Unsplash

Leif Eriksson Discovers America

& I stand in Altes Nationalgalerie
staring at the Monk by the Sea

& it put me in Veletržní palác
in the shade of Slovanska Epopej
Comenius —
Jan Amos Komensky
near his end,
slumped in a chair

a flicker of hope
in winter
Holešovice
snow at the entrance

his feet, head, body touch
the earth, sea, sky
final breath

my feet the gallery floor,
my neck craning

this poor monk by the sea
his head can reach no further
than the wave
his stand firm

Leif Eriksson points the way —

all three face the sea
unbowed
beyond

Norges Nasjonalgalleriet

autumn appalled like winter
unset sun an augury
multebær leaves
this world for the next

icing the lake the sky
a string of pearls
a sled pulled by a goat
Christ among the doctors

an old man sucks the tit
of a young woman in Lorenzo
Pasinelli’s Roman Charity
c. 1670

low church devotion
in a hearth-room
Hauge goes heavy
the sloop across the ocean

play and dance
the snow is the sea
all is blue or black
bar the stars

John Condon

hollow shell upright
⸺unconquered city
not untouched⸺
a runestone of sorts

boy soldier
⸺not unknown
but lost⸺
6322 4/R.I.R. found

bones jumbled
from wheelbarra
lane to poelkapelle
second ypres

someone’s dead son
⸺ghost of the earth
disturbed in the census⸺
our war dead


David Toms is the author, with Maren Nygård, of dikt / actions osl / ondon, from Smithereens Press. He lives in Oslo, Norway and can be found on Twitter @daithitoms