The Girl by the Window, Edvard Munch (1893)
The Girl by the Window
The full moon is high in the sky.
There is calm at this time of night,
Yet I’m not, I am sure the why.
For my body is wrought with fear!
Was told that fear I must control,
My life as is brings early death.
For reason I can’t meet my goal,
Will I soon take my final breath?
In the earth will that be the end?
May be better than current fate.
If soon my life I cannot mend,
When exactly is it too late?
Shall I just crawl back to my bed,
To simply wait for death to come?
But if there’s truth I have a soul,
Better I kneel, begin to pray,
To gain faith I’m willing to toil,
That time ’till end I can delay.
Is it correct for what I ask?
Not knowing what is best for me,
Is truly life’s most daunting task.
What ought to be done to be free?
Train Smoke, Edvard Munch (1900)
Life is like a train ride, from birth to death.
We all know our final destination,
Yet there can be solace along the way.
The train makes many stops on its journey,
For its passengers to gather postcards,
And bright stickers to place on their baggage
I see many babies coming aboard,
Held so securely, in their mothers’ arms
With no understanding of the event
At stops, relatives and friends disembark.
Some wave joyfully as the train departs,
Others trodden off, all I see are backs.
I look at my disheveled bag, and smile,
There is not anymore room for stickers,
Then I close my eyes, to see my postcards.
Awakened, I feel the train slowing down.
It makes a grinding, screeching, ugly sound.
Oh, this is my stop, I must now get off!
Blossom of Pain, Edvard Munch (1898)
Blossom of Pain
When I die
I continue to live
My painful body
Placed in the ground
To return to dust
Whence I came
I become food
The food for new life
Return to where I lay
Pick the blossom
Each blossom is penance
To rid me of my pain
Place it to your lips
I will kiss you
Dagny Juel Przybyszewska, Edvard Munch (1893)
Dagny and Edvard
Ever so softly on that purple night,
At the end of the most perfect rainbow.
Her smile provided all the needed light,
For him to see a face of long ago.
Seems like forever that she shared his bed,
But not long since the last time in his mind.
Noting the last words she hauntingly said,
Since that darkened daunting day he has pined.
His brush has actively pursued her face,
A statement that he continued to care,
Yet she would not again be in his grace.
His heavy heart no longer could she snare.
She stands so still at the reach of his hand,
As would a model not moving her head.
He touched her glowing face which fell as sand.
The day is here. The day he knew he’d dread!
Dagny Juel had a spirit she could not control. Her life ended way to early. Just four days before her thirty-fourth birthday she was shot and killed by her crazed last lover.
The Mystery of a Summer Night, Edvard Munch (1892)
The Mystery of a Summer Night
In the sense of time it wasn’t long ago
That I stood tall casting billowing shade
A place where some would rest to see the sea
But like tired humans I began to fail
At a point in time my leaves became less
The winter winds tortured my sagging arms
Causing a never ending strain and pain
Finally there’s no golden leaves to fall
Still standing the wind continued its war
Little by little tore away my skin
Naked I’m a violin to the wind
Creating soft sounds as the she flies through
Then came the horror of menacing roar
With its hungry teeth the saw cut me down
What remains is a comfortable seat
For visitors to watch the setting sun
But willingly I have left so much more
Having sent my roots in all directions
Traveling far they are my legacy
Holding the soil together with arms
Sovekammer, Vilhelm Hammershøi (1890)
Why is there an empty chair by the bed
Is there more than what’s already been said
Of some awful thought which most surely dread
The fact that someone is really dead
Does not matter big or small, short or tall
But sooner or later we all must fall
Each will wear once the paltry saintly pall
While the lofty choir sings a pastoral
None should be eager for that final day
But live life in the best possible way
Dividing your time between love and play
Yet never praying forever to stay
Best that we can ask is our lives be good
Lives are temporary is understood
Subway Ride Home
She stood silent while is handed the bag
Nodding with thanks she turns, heads for the street
Her feet are slow, almost needing to drag
Outside it is cold, just starting to sleet
Walk to the subway a mere thousand feet
But for her it is that in hilly miles
Her heavy head down, there’s no one to greet
There are thoughts if there’ll be any more smiles
Steps she climbs to the platform are painful
The rail she holds tight, the bag much tighter
Now feels like she’s carrying an anvil
Knowing that the bag will not get lighter
The train has the force of a nor’easter
She clutches the bag like it were a child
Hoping the door will be in front of her
Inside a safe feeling but not beguiled
Gently places the bag upon the seat
The train will now carry it to its home
Closing her heavy eyes, again they meet
With tears like tropic rain, she says “Shalom”
Nothing special about the bag itself
What is inside was most of her life
Container once home to be on a shelf
For sixty two years she was his wife