poetry and vignettes

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Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 24, 2023 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The Perennial


On an overhang, where the mountain slopes gently towards the lowland and the sea

there is a crooked tree with long roots embracing the mountain

Is the plant an asp or a birch, the leaves are compact and sturdy

It has to be as it is the first who catches the winter wind or the salty haar from the sea.

It is also a tree that catch the first light of the day and the last

To see the disappearing day, the first to see how wonderfully clear our firmament can be.

This tree will not risk the indignity, being dressed up like a tart

have gifts in the colourful wrapping of favor bought under duress and be thrown

on the waste heap when the party is over

This tree will not be an elegant mast on a clipper sailing to China and Ceylon and

one day run aground on the hardy coast of Norway and be sold off as planks.,

This tree is art because someone looked up and said, look

at this, its true art and has a natural beauty and emotion only great art can provoke.




township shacks

Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 24, 2023 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

day ends in a shanty town


When crossing the bridge to the shanty town

The day was almost over, blank and tired

and due to pollution, the light on the bridge had a hue of aureate

The huts in the township, were utterly miserable

consisted of bricks, stones, plywood and corrugated iron

were the roof of all the shacks

a roof that keeps out the rain but bursts your eardrums

In small spaces in the back of hovels, women were preparing the evening meals

How can people live here, washing on a line said it was possible

Children ran around playing cowboys& Indians

for them, poverty was a word that did not exist as long as they got fed.

The night came suddenly to the tune of music from a transistor radio

the night belonged to yellow cures and rats




Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 23, 2023 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)



A beautiful morning, slightly overcast cars

on the avenue play sordini, rubber yielding to asphalt

The sun has yet to make its presence felt

The curtain in the window stirs; the breeze and has

a soothing hand

The building is awakening

First flushing bathroom, then the good kitchen sound

A murmur of voices grows to a crescendo

A frisson through the flats, another day of life is promised

in the urban landscape.






the artist

Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 22, 2023 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The Artist



On the terrace in the building across the road

a woman is sweeping her terrace; on another terrace

one the floor up, a woman is watering her plants

There is an endlessness about these domestic duties

monotonous and repetitive from Africa to India

The picture is the same, women need to keep order

and add beauty to their life

Order is important armies know that, but their aim is

to destroy an enemy, in this undertaking, no beauty.

Except perhaps, many soldiers enjoy the tough look

of a military parade, a masculine heart swells

Artists have female hearts they seek beauty whether

in painting, poetry or prose; even the fabled

Hemingway, whose private life preceded his fame

found beauty when seeing a butterfly sitting on a straw.



class act

Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 20, 2023 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Class Act


It dawned on me to get ahead in life, I had to speak

proper the way words are laid out in books

It is hard to talk posh I had to write down what

I was going to say when meeting friends or if they

approved of the new me.

“Good evening, my good man; have you travelled far?”

For heaven’s sake, Oscar, I live next door to you

“Good evening, my landlord, two glasses of your best

ale please.” What!!

Don’t mind him bar-keep is trying to be posh, two

pints of lager as usual (some friends)

My mother was proud, told friends: “my son wears

a tie, I think he is courting.”

I dropped my posh accent, when turned down for

a job I wanted; they said I spoke too slowly and had no



harp music

Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 18, 2023 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Harp music


Grey mist creates a lesser world

eyes strain to see beyond the possible

of an inner vision that sees the unseen

Dull dreaming miasma, passing melancholy

a hint of rusty harp strings, green straw

and tears for those under five years

Aurora, the blessed daybreak when night

is put in a sack and thrown down a well

where the night yearns to be free

a longing to occupy the mind of the restless


have not

Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 17, 2023 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Have not


love chocolate

I can’t have chocolate

I love Mathilda

I can’t have Mathilda

I love Ice-cream

I can’t have ice-cream

I love what I desire

I have no desire left





clear thinking

Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 17, 2023 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

To think clearly


What we see in our daily life is like a hastily iPhone photo

Lacking depths and smiles not reaching the eyes

Accept what is written in newspapers and for our political

Based and false information written by those who are

Interest is to convey to us their opinion, which consists

Of their prejudices based on the politics of their leaders.

Independent thinking is a struggle it is so easy to accept

The official thoughts of today, but also to clear one own

Biases like and dislikes.

That I fear can be more difficult is to clear the mind of as

We wash the mind of excess childhood beliefs and since

This endeavour is an impossible task, we must know all

Pinons are tainted; we are influenced by what we read

And of the environment that marked us.





Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 16, 2023 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (0)



My pellucid teddy had been left in the kitchen overnight

someone had scratched its eyes off

The eyes had been dark green buttons taken from

a nazi uniform that had belonged to my uncle, who joined

the Hitler army to fight the Russian communists.

My mother, the communist, didn’t care for her brother

1945, he was declared missing in action, therefore, not

stated as dead; had he been around now, he would have

been 120 old and admired for fighting the Russians

How we, in the West, love hating them and also when

Yeltsin was in power, patronizing them because we covertly

think they are stupid.

The cat coming in from the terrace jumped up on my lap

yawned; her night had been busy.



the drunk

Posted by jan oskar hansen on June 15, 2023 at 2:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The drunk


A thick plastic curtain of the type used in warehouses he could not see through

to other than shadowy figures moving around he knew he saw a past that

no longer belonged to him.

He sat on the edge of his unmade bed, drinking warm beer when a sharp knock

on the door of his flat

it was the landlord looking at him with contempt, said he must pay the rent tomorrow or else!

Despair sizzled through his body needed a strong drink one mixed vodka and cold coffee,

while asking himself how it had come to this losing his job because he had been

“outspoken”, told his boss to fuck off

Drinking the rest of the beer, he decided to take the bus to the farm he once lived

as a child; he had been happy there and to trace his life from there

He got off the bus in a small town near the farm. needing a drink, but it must have been early

the cafe had no ale he had a coffee which he mixed with vodka; when that

was seen they had told him to leave

He bought a tin of cola and sat in a park drinking thinking of this unfriendly town full of Jesus

people with no sense of humor

He took a taxi to the farm, now a gated community the river was gone, the wooden bridge

across it too, where he used to sit under and see tiny fishes nibble at his toes- gone, fucking gone.

A man came and told him it was private property and looked as burly guard on duty

Down the main road where they were widening the road, a workers’ shed

he got in a found cold coffee and mixed it with vodka, he must have lost the sense of time

all of a sudden it was morning the workers were coming.

He got a bus home and walked to his flat the landlord said his mother had paid the rent

and taken my belongings she wanted to see him

At her flat sat many people, even the boss who had fired him; thought this assault is called

intervention; telling him his problem was booze, he was a good guy when sober

They left in time for him to go to the nearest café for a few more beers before closing time.

The next day, he had, a shower and dressed in clean clothes

He went to a meeting were people appeared feverishly happy and laughing out loud.