Like Smoke

like smoke
I conjured your ethereal autumn ghost
now haunting a sixth-form college library
frozen in a hundred poems
mistaking you for doppelgängers
hoping for fated glimpses

I search
for an elusive constant as invisible as gravity
each hope unrewarded, each cul-de-sac
crushing, tugging me back
to nineteen eighty-four’s history section,
where I’m pressed like a keepsake tortoiseshell
in a book that belongs to you

decades autumned in your eyes
have wintered me in sunless Svalbard
hankering a homecoming
from a Quixotic crusade,
a crocus-crowded morning
washed up on your doorstep
welcomed to hearth and table
only to grasp smoke
empty handed

Third Son of the White Shell Woman

what pulls you North with the wolves‎
sullen child, what dark stars guide you?
your will bends trees like the wind,
unstoppable as gravity

what troubled thoughts crease your brow?
you fell strangers with hip-shot stares,
the Navajo name you Dark Cloud but‎
your face betrays you, weary and carrion-eyed

with an iron heart anchored in Helgafjell‎
you stumble under ice, 
scouring ‎abandoned horizons for your last harbour
there are no more monsters left to slay!

Patrik Gryst

Steerage through Lethe

this dead November sun too pale to light candles
too cold to re-animate summer photographs
too fragile to secure that warmth in my heart

the clock’s cross hands lose time
each moment tilting on the tide between darkness and light
season-locked in the penumbra

my consciousness drifts, a rudderless galleon
ploughing eons of dark, waveless sea
sometimes in the coils of solitude

golden lights pinch the void
words break the lifeless waters of Lethe
steerage through the perilous rocks

Patrik Gryst


tyre tread and flip-flop to the beach,
they descend ancient streets
invading this harboured haven
the legions of sightseers:
tide-locked children skimming stones
raucous dogs and their rowdy owners
stifling the sea’s‎ serenity with clichés

I prefer to cling to cliff bottoms
scouring Liassic shale f‎or ammonites
my furrowed brow quelled by sea-foam
my darkest dreaming hours soothed
by the crash and fall of surf
my daylight ghosts banished
by sea-glass sparking in the August sun

Patrik Gryst


demolished weathered arch
a futile symbol of obstinance
on a beach of sea-glossed bricks and rubble
I am a shadow-man
with a monocled view of a shadow-world
scanning each horizon for meaning
meanings fated to fade
in the inevitable tides of lethe

Patrik Gryst

Night Walking

car lights
reflected on my bedroom walls
street lights
burning holes
in ‎the moonlit skein of night
splitting consciousness into troubled spectrums

I move through walls and rooftops into
starlight-shimmered suburban continents
my long black coat casting longer shadows
under a yellow sodium haze
the dreams of city sleepers
into songs for my midnight muse

Patrik Gryst