Before I start, many thanks to all who have followed, liked or commented, or even just dipped in to read one poem. I hope you enjoyed it/them and thanks for supporting my efforts. See you next year, if not before!
I was a bit disappointed to find this was the final challenge because it’s another of those that can sound either like complete nonsense or just very contrived. As I have a passing acquaintance with other languages, I also found this tricky as my natural tendency is to try to translate.
I was determined to finish, however, so ploughed on regardless. I used a poem in Swedish (a language I do not know) by Thomas Transtromer but either by luck or judgement some of the words are actually the same as the poem in translation, as I found out afterwards. I found it impossible to just use the word sounds in the same order, so this is more ‘informed by’ the original, with some embellishment and divergence. It’s weird – what can I say?
Once again I really enjoyed the challenge and I’m quite sad it’s over, even though it was tricky at times. I always say I will try to keep writing, thereby setting myself up for a fall, so this time I will say nothing and just see what I can do!
The Badlands Nightingales
In the green of midnight, nightingales sing shyly, like lovers in a trance,
meet secretly together, under cover. Sages all, they coalesce by chance,
unite in their elemental dance of oblivion.
Rudely roused by neon lights they fly, with geometric precision:
the sudden tick, tack, tick, tack of their strident wings slicing the verdant night.
Omens trip gently from their troubled tongues, feign concern for man.
Dawn marks a new day that strums with melancholy, breaks solemnly.
The nightingales speak to us but we have forgotten their tongue.
Some slip into rhetoric, hold us in thrall, blind us to their lies.