Oskar Hansen, PT
Yes, I Was There
flat rock resembling a upended headstone, under
a layer of green moss was scratched. “We’re here—1947.
No names. Were they a couple on a Sunday trip
to mark their presence in a world so immense, a
attempt to capture time and let it pause for a
a second? “We’re here” It can’t be denied even when
everything else is forgotten and tracks are
I thought of my years as a seafarer, I could not
my name on the surface of the ocean. When a seaman
leaves his ship it sails on to other ports with a
and no one remembers your name. But I was there and
know the enchanting aroma of the seas, also the
nights, books read a hundred times. The grey moss of
old age can’t hide what I knew and saw... “I was
awfully poor country, with little to offer but
carrots and sand.
Come to think about it very few carrots only brush
land and dust.
People cry freedom but no one listens. A tiny place
in the corner
of nowhere, mud huts and stones... no oil to lift a
Chew a sort of weed that lulls souls into stupor and
temporary peace. Yet they go on fighting tyranny
ignored by us, we who must be selective in whom to
They want to be free in a land where no roses bloom
they have little to offer others—sand
and stones and a longing
to be rid of tyranny. "Help us," they cry to the
sky, but the world
is full of carrots, dry sticks. Love of one's
country is an odd thing—
it can be full of scorpions and deadly snakes but it
is the land of
their fathers they have seen it bathed in a golden
hue at sunset
and they remember its hidden beauty.
a bar, Bella Vista, in the sleepy town of
donkey wears a hat with holes for its ears, dozed.
Hot day, its serenity is endless. Around its closed
flies crawled. I’m kind to animals, waved my hand in
its eyes to get rid of the flies. The beast saw it
In the street only the donkey, me and the cruel
everyone else had sought refuge in the dark interior
Looked at the bar’s dark, cool interior, since the
care for my sympathy I limped back in there and had
A bar closed
Four in the morning
When I just want another
Before going home
To an empty flat
And a stuffed canary
In a dusty cage.
The consolation is
If I walk slowly
The Chinese grocer
Will be open
And he has got cold
Beer in his fridge.
When I Met Sir Cliff
once met Cliff Richard at a newsagent—
he bought a
which, makes sense since he is loaded?
Cliff smiled to everyone in the shop,
I did not, can’t see why I should smile
buying a newspaper.
That is the difference between us except
he can sing bland songs that are pleasing
to the ear and he has got hair. We spoke—
he was pleased to
have someone to talk to
who wasn’t an adoring fan. We drank wine, too
and I walked him home, he lived nearby.
He hadforgotten his keys to the gate,
but jauntily jumped over the wall.
And that was the last I saw of Cliff,
a slim bum disappearing behind a wall