Jan Oskar Hansen is Norwegian and ex-merchant navy.
My copy pen fell to the floor I bent down to pick it up
now I feel dizzy. I came to this country, decades ago
to write, many pens have fallen on the floor- although
I do not write with a pen but use a word processor.
A pen is a crutch and to make droll shapes on sheets
of paper; a thousands sheets filled with doodles while
waiting to write something sensible on the processor;
a mad publisher has shown interest in them.
Twenty years feels a very long time, twenty more and
I'll be ninety bet I will not be able to pick up a pen from
the floor then. Now I wake up in the night and a steady
hum tells me I have wasted my time scrawling, a book
of scribble how is that for an epitaph?
All dolls are equal, but some are
better dressed than others; yet
they all end up- utterly forlorn-
in a cardboard box, on the attic.
Lisbon Winter Night
>From my hotel window I see, deep down
in the city's canyon, a cobble stone river
cars are moored to its banks; from under
one a cat runs across to the bins, a squeal
as it catches its wretched prey.
>From he opposite edifice a few shards
of light give succour to the dying and to
those who cannot sleep that radiance too
fades as night progresses towards dawn,
what's left is the hum of enduring silence.