Bengt O Björklund

Bengt O Björklund Poems

Part one

There will never be a moment
like this summer’s day I am.

I will never fall for dark digital wolfs
that lurk in murky quiet pools
where airy assailants silently die

The elevator rises far beyond
the wanted floor
turns into a subway
with an unseen female driver

Measuring all dark hills
the horizon can commence
the boy purges the passing
with one poignant word.

Seeping through all that
weeping autumn fortifies
in gales and gusts
and weird tools of mystery

These dog tired bones
that slowly rot to mire mass
in hollow perpetuation
are but smug charlatans


The sky’s sea fading bone
is a fight for fetid clouds
and intrepid winds to settle
with their air pockets full of similes

I dare all winds that crawl like stricken birds
over grassy hills in gloomy desperation,
that bellow in the late hours of the night
with hideous sighs of see-through glass:

Vodka breakfast saw the sun
long before the bay’s wild water
twinkled in the long hot wind
rolling thin salt up the hill.

Startled by silly words silently soaring
over snow’s dark, fine cover,
the old man finds himself in disarray.

Dire deeds wring sweaty hands
where another man just would say:
It costs to harbour volatile spirits
under capricious skin!

When winter breaks its chilly seat
to light a whole different fire
it is the to mental touch, soft and discrete,
all warm intensions aspire.

Drab sarcophaguses at night’s edge
slide silently into wintry, flake white openings;
a dark eye of a still snowy heart beats,
lost at the centre of fast breeding diatribes


I have house wolf tendencies;
I am happy when creative.
I fear obliteration,
but care for all little things.

Memories of old Istanbul
surface at the closure of winter’s light,
smelling of forgotten alleys,
of water salesmen with horses and carts

Swirl you origin of unending watery curves,
you cause of bright flickering reflections
rolling over breaking bastions of faith
with their ragged coastline struggle,

Folding slow back burning trains
of rail sounding Indian music
I bet my worn casket tale carriage
the night will only be just that:

Blistering threads of comprehension
pull at everyday’s withering everyday,
the silent agreement with what will be
and the carefree flickering of the fingers.

Scrawny like unfed geese in the spring;
these teenage mid-child girls
that floats through solid harbour attention
on their way to blue ocean’s mass

Bengt O Björklund Biography

The artist, journalist, photographer, writer, musician and editor Bengt O Björklund was born in Stockholm 1949. In 1968 he landed in jail in Istanbul for $ 20 worth of hash and met a bunch of international artists, poets and musicians. It was then he embarked on his artistic voyage as well as learning to cook, do yoga and generally get a life. Some of this was depicted in the movie 'Midnight Express' where the character Erich was based on Bengt who was a good friend of Billy Hayes at that time. The source of his inspiration in Turkey was his Japanese friend, the artist Koji Morrishita and the Italian artist, poet, and Dadaist Antonio Rasile. When Bengt came back to Sweden 1973 he made up his mind about painting and decided to be an artist and started to work seriously. After a short trip through Europe he moved in to an old caretakers apartment with his own entrance at S: t Paulsgatan in 1974 at the south centre of Stockholm, close to Mariatorget. He painted every day intensively for six months, always by night. the hours were long. It was not unusual that he sat by the easel for stretches of twelve hours. He sat painting by the window and often there were people knocking on his window. Sometimes they entered and bought a painting. Light was important and the expansion of light in the paintings he made kept him spellbound by the easel. Towards the summer of 1974 Chris Atcherley, a British musician and an old friend from his sojourn with Turkish jails, turned up in a removal truck, a big Luton van, and wanted Bengt to join him and go to England and start a band. And so it happened. Bengt moved to Bolton to start a rock & roll band. There he also attended Bolton College of Art for a term. His paintings were left for safe keep in Copenhagen. 1975 Bengt was back in Copenhagen and met the American folksinger and gallery owner Joe Banks. Joe offered Bengt to exhibit his oil paintings at the gallery, which he did. That was his first public exhibition. One year later Det genombrutna fönstret – Breaking through the window, his first book of poetry, was published at Inferi. Inferi also had a paper that frequently published the accounts of his travels through Europe. Two years later Inferi published Nådsökarna – Seekers of grace, his second book of poetry. 1983, after living a few years up in north of Sweden touring with a rock and reggae band, he moved to Brazil after having been invited by Beto Quadros. For one year he toured the state of Sao Paolo with a Brazilian band together with his American wife Rose. 1990 Bengt returned from Brazil to Sweden. He had during those years worked as a musician, a presenter of rock music on a radio station in São José dos Campos, baker, and English teacher. The last three years he ran his own employment agency in one of Rio’s favelas together with Mara, a Brazilian woman he met in a bar in Copacabana. 1996, the same year he met his current wife Gertrude; he met the American artist Harvey Tristan Cropper. That was the start of a new artistic era and at the same a continuation of the work he had started in the mid seventies. Bengt has had many exhibitions since then in various galleries, churches, city administrative buildings and restaurants. Bengt had a successful exhibition last summer,2005, where the City of Stockholm bought one of his bigger canvases. Since the late nineties Bengt found his way back to poetry via Internet and all its many readers. Since then he has been published in many Swedish anthologies. Bengt has written in English since his Turkish days, mostly because no one understood his mother tongue Swedish, but it is not until now, he feels, that his English words have made peace with his intention. Since the year 2000 Bengt works as a journalist on É Romani Glinda, Sweden’s only Roma paper and he has been the editor of Aurora, a poetry magazine that comes four times a year, for four years. Besides having published two books of poetry in Swedish he is included in at least ten different anthologies and he has also published a cd rom with interactive poetry, photos and music. That project took ten years to conclude. Bengt also runs an art site on the Internet: - that started 1998.)

The Best Poem Of Bengt O Björklund

Dylan Thomas Was Here

Part one

There will never be a moment
like this summer’s day I am.
Chased, as I am, by blue skies,
I continue to be awake
in my own lethargic dreams.

This promise of echoes
that reverberates
with every blithe or otherly glance
here where I am
is naught but a recreation.

Part two

Old Manhattan sleet
and the first time meetings
in bars on 3: d Avenue
whispers back to me
on a hot July curved to silence.

There are so many eyes that testify
to the inevitable expiration
of inner beauty and love,
fuelled and ready
for the silent nova all time goodbye,
imploding in sad brilliance.

Part three

This is my summer,
still and – breeze all dark – wrong
and like scolded scales
the old brain still entertains
in times of don’t care…

I follow her to the estuary,
pure with salt and longing
for the unbound virgin
that leaves the land far behind.

Why can I not talk to you?

I keep falling into old days:
I too am dying, flying
as my flesh cries out for more
and the wrongs that lift my very soul
cannot find unconditional absolution
beneath hanging flower-pots,
yet damp with recent joy,
scorched by the early die not.

Part four

Where did I go wrong?
Every night I meet oblivion.
It is as if I, chasing my own fear,
has hit my head in silence
against the soft tissue of no dreams.

Old age claims my name
in the monotonous surf
repeatedly beating on the sand.

Part five

Ceremonious serfs of the tedious
call for a spectacular end,
I, on the other hand,
still wait for the miracle
to set the circling hedges on fire,
to ring the proud heron’s bell
in a salty Gaelic wind.

I am the voice that dared the water
to stay in between,
I am a voice in the grip of decay,
I am still going with the grey,
but I do not pray
for interludes of false Edens.

I will not weigh the wishful
on fatal scales, nor cry out for love
when night breaks a bleary coast.
Fatal is more serious than condition.

I am the seaweed washed ashore.
I am the dead jellyfish,
rotting on the beach.

Part six

The silent summer, stained by serendipity,
sprawling beneath dry hedges
where dirt is unforgiving,
drinks ubiquity and absolute longing
to the echo of seabirds.
He vomits between two cars
on cold February snow.

Loneliness is a form of madness,
demanding haste in the land of:
All things must come to pass
as soon as possible.
The winding wills of spirit
fill the air with purpose and seaweed.
Silent herons fade in frosty windows,
bending beady pointed beaks
to the wispy illusion of water.

His voice is not mine
and yet he moves when I do.
Four winter days in New York
turns into late July.
I grope for answers
but it is to hot for wings
to beat against my forehead.
Darkness dares me, but I pass.

Part seven

Darkness rolls across the summer grass
like threats of thunder.
Everyday perpetuates the illusion
of no beginning, no end,
every day fools continue
towards the home above the mist.

The dark shadow drool dominion,
claiming all of your days
in just one cloaked breath.
Crows and magisterial magpies
stare at the sunlit garden
where all is forever quiet.

Part eight

Silently sinking into grovelling depths,
where oil is a cry for more,
I see him as I see me, moving towards
all that ends and finally so.
Appreciation is a double edged sword
when it is what it is
and not a replica of what is not:
The balance is fine…

The prolonged death by flames in water
goes by so many names
that even he, himself nobly ignited,
accepted the vicious terms,
thus mortally meeting the end
at the broken crossroads of:
will all spirits meet in marvel
the day of their conclusion?

Part nine

Snake eye days blink and stay
while I, as it were, open the window
and call out for more.
The New York winter still echoes
in this relentless heat.
The diamond finds itself in veils,
the luring light insists,
it is so much more than an urge.

The day’s dying dance is tempting,
but no harness nor maidens in fords
of cold crystal water
can put him back together again.
See me! See me not…
A puppet, run by mortal needs
and dreams of total magnificence.
No one spoke out.

Part ten

Slowly succumbing to a shift of mind
the next hot, windless day, still July,
I watch decay and island seclusion
wash over the parched, desolate grass,
reflecting absolute void to blue merciless sky.

It is more than half a century ago
the little big man ricocheted like a pinball
all across America in anguish
with spells of profound, untainted spirit
unlocking the hear, hear.

Although a beacon in every dim gin joint,
he was often but disaster in “refined” company,
and still he never lost his itinerary.

Blossoming young women, undergraduates,
flocked at first, before the game of longing
rode on seven wild horses
to yet another magnificent future, albeit crude
in its superficial wrapping.

Clean and yearning, open and new,
they were all that he needed to feed
the bleeding wound of yearning.

So I die to the pace of turning pages
that I know will never give me
what I and this wretched world really need,
but it is always a beginning.

Part eleven

I saw the heron saluting the tide,
shoals of small fish seeking shelter
as dark clouds drew near
and the water lost its cheerful smile.

I heard all the village voices
as night moulded chores into chime,
I heard the small and the lost,
the severed and the folded
preparing for the leap.

I could feel the fire of craving
as darkness voiced its anxious song,
as seaweed gasped on sodden sand,
burning water trees fed the beast.

As summer rolls on with rain
and mad thunder in the garden
I open my nights into this,
a wound that will never heal,
a condition without a summit.

Part twelve

I died a thousand deaths that night
with no further ado.
As darkness flew with disregard
I too slowed down,
sinking into summery shadows
where all names expire.

I am the brilliance of froth
shimmering with the moon.
I am the voice of all calls
that fall with the surf
breaking all conceptions
into insignificant grains of sand.

I am no more.

Part thirteen

A slow mourning decays with night,
the fall of fervid wishes
is all in the way the sand crumbles
and terminal aspiration
can reach in one imploding heartbeat.

Your garland smile like the moon
finds me skipping in the dark
with damp death going down
for yet another lost light,
dim at the touch of summer.

Part fourteen

It is to the seamless child he turns,
though caring no less for dark water
burning where a breath of salty air is all
a new beginning can ask for.

But it will not be.
Bramble thorn bruises is on call
and all is asked for, again and again,
in that dreadful running down.

Just before the evening, heavy with sea,
scatters sea birds cart wheeling
‘fore the gates of hell,
he tumbles one more mad day.

St. Vincent saw your haste into the fear,
saw the let go of a child on fire,
the wake in rooms of no hope.
There was no gentle goodbye.

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