Monday, July 11, 2016

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ AN UPDATE WITH BJORN RUDBERG

Today, my friends, we are visiting Sweden, to chat with our friend and fellow poet Bjorn Rudberg, who writes at Bjorn Rudberg's Writingsand is so well-known to us as the admin at  dVerse Poets Pub, a wonderful venue for poets.  Let's see what he is up to these days. I suspect he is getting ready to disappear into the wilderness, as he does from time to time, so we'll catch him before he vanishes.








Sherry: Bjorn, I'm so happy to be chatting with you. Thank you for taking the time. Your interview was in 2014, and since then we have many new members. Would you like to tell us a bit about where you live, and your on-going adventures in the natural world? I know you and your wife get out into wilderness at every opportunity.




Bjorn: Well Sherry, I still live just outside Stockholm, Sweden. Our pink house lies partly secluded by oaks and birch trees, we have no lawns but a meadow; a ten minutes' walk takes us to a bay of the Baltic Sea, where we can skate in winter or kayak in summer.  

Sherry: What a gorgeous location!

Bjorn: Our vacations mostly take us north, in the winter to ski, and in summer to hike in the wilderness. That’s when we disconnect from the network, and live in a tent or in small cottages. This year we will go to the very north part of Sweden, where we will be hiking areas we’ve never been to. I guess it will be both familiar and new at the same time.

Sherry: It sounds wonderful, Bjorn. You'll be right off the grid. A time to rest and replenish.

Bjorn: Hiking with everything on your back is something that brings out the essence of life, how little you need and how much you miss in life by sitting in front of a screen.

When we hike on skiis in winter, we sleep in cabins where there is no electricity but plenty of wood and gas to cook on, but in summer we try to sleep in a tent, which gives us the freedom to sleep wherever we want. (Yes, in Sweden and Norway this is perfectly allowed almost everywhere.) To sleep close to a stream is something I long for every day through the rest of the year.





Last year we saw something that will stay in our memory forever. Right by the path there was a den of polar fox with cubs. And we sat down for an hour just watching the pups playing. Alas, they were too far away, so I have no pictures to share.





Sherry:  How wonderful that must have been. Enchanting.



Bjorn: You also meet people in another way. If you spend your night in a cabin, you sit down and talk to people that you would normally not talk to, and people come from all over the world to hike these mountains, so you can sit there just collecting stories. If you are sleeping in a tent, you get the chance to enjoy solitary sounds and maybe just sit in the evening sun reading. In summer, it never gets dark, so if you prefer to walk by night it's perfectly possible.

In winter, we skate on the bay, and last winter it was perfect conditions. Here is a youtube clip I captured, of my wife skating on perfect ice with just a thin sheet of water on top.




  


Sherry: How absolutely beautiful! It looks like she is skating in the sky! Your outdoors adventures must sustain you both all year. 

Bjorn, would you give us a quick snapshot of your writing journey? You began with Twitter, as I recall.

Bjorn: Yes I did indeed start to write on twitter, wordsmithing in 140 characters, and was pulled into blogging by a collaboration between twitter friends. Gradually, I got engaged writing poetry and flash-fiction through various prompts. For me, it has been like an ongoing workshop, but in 2014 I decided to take it one step further by enrolling in a course at the open university on creative writing. 

This led me to doing a collaborative book with other local writers where each wrote one short story. The book was published as 
Keyhole Stories”, (available at Amazon here), and we are now working on our second project. I think therefore my poetry has been influenced into writing more and more narrative poetry. When I started, it was more haiku and micropoetry.








Sherry: How wonderful to collaborate on a project like this! I am happy to hear a second book is on the way. Congratulations, Bjorn. What direction is your writing taking these days? I am also wondering, as the admin at dVerse Poets Pub, such a busy place, if you still find enough time to write? Do you have a writing routine, or do you just write whenever you find some spare moments? 

Bjorn: I think that I’m a pretty quick writer normally; ideas form quickly and I follow some instinct in sound and metaphor that mostly makes sense to me. This means that many of my ideas are pretty raw, and I would love to have the patience to edit and make something more complete. I think my poetry has turned a little bit more surreal, and I try to work with original metaphors a lot. I used to write a lot in form, and still do, but I have begun to write more and more free-verse (though always trying to keep it within a metered frame).  

I write at spare moments, but usually I reserve a couple of hours each evening to read and write. Especially those three evenings per week when we have pub-nights at dVerse. I feel a little tied to my computer (though I sit with a laptop on my knee writing and reading). I have plenty of different devices to use so I always have something with me to write and read. Somehow I would like to write a collection of poems soon, but it’s hard to find the time to do publishing.





Sherry: Your fans are waiting eagerly for that book, Bjorn. I hope you do find some time. You will find, once you start, it gathers momentum, and doesn't take as long as you might expect.  Would you like to favor us with three of your poems? And tell us a bit about each one?

Bjorn: One topic that has been both hard to write, but also so soothing, is the rapid decline of my mother into dementia. A year ago she was taken to a retirement home, and now she can no longer walk or talk. But the period leading up to it was terrible as well. I know that many others suffer from the same, but it was nothing I could prepare myself for.

Sherry: No, one can never prepare for such a loss, Bjorn. I am so sorry. I have felt the depth of emotion in poems you have written about your mother. Let's have a look at two of them. The first is one I made note of when you first posted it. One of your finest, my friend.

Bjorn: The first is a glosa based on four lines from a poem by Tomas Tranströmer:



Her words were avenues

One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold
(Tomas Tranströmer, After a death)

My love was weightless, numbly dense
clinging like an oak-leaf lastly left
my love was smell of soil,
it was the beating sense of warmth, umbilical
reflected in the snow. Afterwards
one’s words were emptied, spilled and overdone
drenched in gravy, tepid, tied.
My love was willow-bending winds across the bay
autumn rushes, but in races never won
one can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun

recalling morning moments; soliloquy
converging dreams, those moments when I knew
exactly how she could explain, in sequences.
Her words were avenues leading up to doors
of mansions, houses she had built.
But she lost directions; gone
were roads; walls a-crumbling, ivy in her eyes.
And though my love was strong
she searched, slowly pulled, she was drawn
through brush where a few leaves hang on.

Time was yarn, nested skeins of wool
unwritten letters, thoughts and confirmations,
the taste of stamps and envelopes.
My love is dried-up ink inside my fountain-pen,
it’s the silence of a fading memory.
It’s the sepia of photographs, it’s the sound of trains
switches, steam, and the smoke from kilns,
and she still recalls her childhood better.
When days are colder, soon added to a century.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.

In the dappled light, October sun
her hand looks small, resting on the cane
“I can drive you home”, she says
still thinking that her father’s car, is parked
not yet rust, still waiting just beyond
underneath the birches, dressed in gold.
And she tells me of her friends, imagined
she asks me why her mother never calls.
When parents fade they are like old
names swallowed by the cold.

Sherry: Bjorn, this is exquisite, so moving and beautiful. I especially admire "my love was willow-bending winds across the bay". This poem is a meditation upon love, loss and memory. Very fine work, and deeply felt. Thank you for sharing this. 

Bjorn: The other is more recent, looking back on those years when she gradually decayed. There were early warning signs, but there were things we never dared to mention. Dementia was our elephant in the room. The sentence of boiling frogs refers to the story that, if you put a frog in cold water that you gradually heat up, it will let itself be cooked.


The elephant was named too late

The fading started years ago, your wit
that withered and in search for words.
We were frustrated, but you travelled
and made friends, you saw China and
Galapagos, you came and went, and
called us when our time was scarce.
We should have named the elephant
but never dared, until it was too late.

Then the calls that came, police, or
neighbors, all. They said you left and
couldn’t find your way. There were
stories you invented of a life we knew
you never had, of siblings, houses,
invented men. You wondered when
your parents died, that’s when we
named the elephant: dementia.

It’s strange how long we let it slip
and never mourned; the tears that
hasn’t trickled yet. Acceptance is like
boiling frogs, it’s sighs at night, too late.
A sadness more like fog than rain.

Once your strength was infinite, you
handled axes, chainsaws and your
hands created pottery and weaved
the comfort of my youth. It wasn’t
easy, with all the houses and our
things and I can see myself in your
disgust for cleaning.

The elephant has not yet claimed you
but your fading comes in noiseless
steps, There is acceptance that you’ve
left and we your children have prepared
a life, you almost left. We will walk ahead
and I can always touch your hands
that stays in pottery you left behind.

Sherry: "A sadness more like fog than rain." And "your fading comes in noiseless steps." Your words help us feel the distance your mother has traveled from you, though still right here. Comforting to think of still being able to touch her hands in the pottery she will leave behind. Your poems are beautiful tributes to who your mother was, Bjorn.

Bjorn: As I typically write poetry that is painful and dark to read and to write, I wanted to share something with more love and passion. When I wrote this I said “it’s almost a love poem”, but I think it shows my love for writing in meter, and to use contrasting images. Love and passion deserve to be painted in both bright and dark colors.

To find what’s sought

In frantic summer urge, insane with bloom
when teared in drizzle, hand in hand we meet
this evening, kissed in tangerine, not gloom
your hair is wilderness, your eyes not sweet
but hard, resolved to challenge storms, to fight
the burdens laid in layers, greed of darkness, dread
of airless rooms and scent of mildew nights.
You’re flint and feathers, and your breath is red.
We cross the river, walk on glass, and spilled
as ink on parchment, words unwritten, blotched
our tears are grains of sand, it’s time to still
the night, to settle scores with stars and watch
our dreams to steady into weightless thoughts
It’s time to borrow time, to find what’s sought.


Sherry: Wow! This is so beautiful. I especially love "your hair is wilderness" and "you're flint and feathers". Gorgeous writing! Thank you for sharing these beautiful poems!

Besides writing, and exploring the wild places, what other things might we find you doing in your free time?

Bjorn: I enjoy to do a bit of photography, go to concerts and I actually enjoy cooking as well. We recently bought a slow-cooker that injected more fun into my cooking. I would love to have more time to read, but I think that's a price to pay for writing.

Sherry: And we are happy you make that choice, my friend! Loving the wild lands as you do, what are your thoughts and concerns about the environment? Is Sweden more forward-thinking than North America, in terms of switching to clean energy and reducing emissions?  How do you think your countrymen view North America’s slowness – and resistance to -   grappling with these issues?

Bjorn: I do think that numbers say a lot. We do need energy to keep houses warm, we need it for transportation, but what bugs me is unnecessary waste. Sweden has many contradictions with a high awareness, but also a love for big cars, and houses larger than we need (that includes me, by the way). I sometimes envy North America, because you can do so much without sacrificing a lot. Compare, for instance, the windows we have compared to yours, and you will see that many times you are burning fuel to heat up the outside instead of the inside of houses.  

I am actually positive that with good engineering we can take the world to a cleaner place, and if you are honest with yourself you see that in many places the world has become cleaner as well. We need positive news to be able to face the challenges we have. Remembering the noxious fumes of my youth, the acid rain and heavy metals in the lakes, I think we can overcome, if there is just a political will to change things.

Sherry: It is certainly doable. The political will is an important component and I suppose we, at the grassroots level, have to make our voices heard to influence that.

Bjorn, we’d like to thank you for the wonderful job you are doing, keeping dVerse running, along with your team.  You and your staff are providing a wonderful venue for poets, and I know that takes a lot of time and effort, out of the goodness of your heart,  for the love of poetry.

Bjorn: It was a privilege to take up that baton, and I know that many  poets visit many poetry sites. I love the creativity that stems from all the different intersecting communities.

Sherry: The poetry blogosphere is something I am most grateful for, in my slowing-down years.  Is there anything you’d like to say to Poets United, my friend?


Bjorn: One thing that I said in my last interview, that I would like to emphasize even more, is that to be able to write good poetry you have to read even more, and the ability to understand and show appreciation on what you like with a poem is also good. If you ever get into a community where you actually point out improvements, you should thank yourself; to me it’s a wonderful gift to also point out what can be improved (though I do not dare to do it myself). I see poetry to be much more about collaboration than anything else. Whenever you visit, read, or find something new, that might not even have been intended, it's pure magic, I think.

Sherry:  Yes, it is pure magic, a pond we dip our toes into daily, with delight.

Thank you, Bjorn, for sharing your wonderful work, and your thoughts with us today. And when you are ready to launch your first collection of poems, do come back and we will feature it here!

Wasn't this wonderful, my friends? Such deep and beautiful sharing of life, love and wilderness. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you! 


59 comments:

  1. This has been wonderful! Thank you both so much!!! I love the selected poems as well!

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    1. Thank you so much... I love to share and I love to read.

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  2. Wow, what a wonderful interview.. Such a great result Sherry.

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    1. I'm happy you like it, my friend. You gave me the material, all I do is transcribe, smiles. I LOVE the clip of your wife skating, it sinks me into peacefulness each time I watch. Happy camping this summer, to both of you.

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  3. Wonderful to get to know you more Bjorn - thank you both - I find your poems very real Bjorn..fluid..adaptable..open to many thoughts, questions and ideas..perhaps a little like skiing in the winter sun..the ice may break..or the sun may light up an otherwise dark feeling.. Either way we must always name the elephant..and tell the 'real' story - perhaps that's where the conversation and connection of online writing lies? There is hopefully always a sense of safety and even support in sharing.. I admire your ability to go off line and live it real in a physical sense and am pleased in a way those Cubs eluded your camera - it means the image and the moment was for you and your wife alone - magic!

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    1. I think that elephant exists in many lives.. Somehow naming it is an opening, something that both hurt and heals...

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  4. Such a wonderful interview of an amazing poet and person. I share Bjorn's reality in dealing with my mother who has dementia. It is so very difficult. As a nurse, I told families so often not to feel guilty when you have to place someone in a nursing home. At this time, my mother is able to afford in-home care 24/7. But even with that, guilt is a part of the experience. (I live at a distance). We do what we need to do but it is so very hard. Google prevents me from using my current blog to comment. :0( http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting, Victoria. I'm glad this feature resonated for you. Caring for aging relatives is difficult, for certain. All the best to your mother.

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    2. Thankfully she is in a good place, good people around her, caring people... But I do know we share this Victoria.

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  5. I am fascinated by Bjorn's northern world, perhaps because I am on the opposite end of the earth (although in the same time zone). I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Bjorn for his tireless input into the world of online poetry blogging (He is also a toad in the Imaginary Garden) and for being a source of inspiration and always very supportive in his commentary of others work. His is an opinion I truly value.

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    1. Yes, Bjorn (and you!) put in many hours, for the love of poetry, and for the poetry community's benefit. Thanks to both of you, for all you contribute.

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    2. Thank you for sharing the world of toads with me.. Taking part in many worlds help us all to sharpen our poetry.

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  6. Thank you Sherry for featuring the wonderful work of Bjorn. I am of course familiar with his poetry as part of the D'verse Team, so it's a pleasure to read and admire his poems.

    I specially admire that glosa, wow that form is such a challenge.

    Thanks for bringing us all together in this wonderful world of poetry, Sherry and all the team of Poets United. Cheers!!!!

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    1. It is truly our pleasure, Grace. Thank you!

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    2. Thank you Grace, glosa is a form I truly love. I do so much remember when Sam had it at dVerse.

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  7. How wonderful to catch up with you Bjorn....tenting by a river or stream anywhere....pure magic. Not found in many spots here or even allowed. I felt your poems deeply as I lost my father to early onset Alzheimers. It is something I can barely put into words so I do understand when you say it is nothing you can prepare yourself for. And your writing is so beautiful, and says the raw truth especially 'The elephant was named too late'. I look forward to a collection of your poems.

    Enjoy your time away! And thanks Sherry for a fabulous visit!

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    1. Thank you Donna.. I'm so sorry for your experience... Putting it to words has helped me a great deal actually.. We will see what can be done on poetry collections.

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  8. What a wonderful, wonderful interview, Sherry & Bjorn! Bjorn, I have always admired your dedication to the art of poetry; and working with you at dVerse I enjoyed this energy of yours so much. Your interview made me want to see Sweden. It is wonderful that you and your wife enjoy the same kinds of holidays, and I think your tent adventure ahead of you sounds perfect! Your poem "The Elephant Named Too Late," Bjorn, is one of the best I have read by you. Wow, you have said it so well....sometimes there are things we try NOT to notice until it is so late. No one likes to notice a parent / friend / spouse with dementia. We all hope it will go away. You spend a lot of time on your 'art' of poetry, and anyone who interacts with you will appreciate this. You are a very giving person, very reciprocal in the blogosphere. Enjoy that slow cooker, Bjorn! And your well-earned time away! Thanks, Sherry, for your insightful questions of Bjorn & your post!

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    1. Thank you Mary... and if you decide to go to Sweden, you know I can show you around... Stockholm is also a wonderful city.

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  9. This is a delightful interview, not that I expected less from both of you. Thank you, Björn, for sharing these poems about your mother. They are very poignant, and reminded me of my grandfather. I also enjoyed reading about your vacation and how you manage to stay offline. I am sure it helps you to unwind.

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    1. Thank you Gabriella... I am so thankful to the community that has allowed me to develop my own writing to new levels... the offline portion is important too though

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  10. Many thanks to you both for a great interview to start my day! I too would like to acknowledge Bjorn's indefatigable and insightful comments on other people's work, as well as the beauty and variety of his own poetry.

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    1. Thank you Rosemary... It's a wonderful world of poetry to be part of... I wish I could read even more sometimes.

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  11. This was a treat! Another enchanting and edifying interview, Sherry - I really enjoyed catching up with one of my favorite poets. And thank you, Bjorn, for sharing so much, with us! Sweden is beautiful! You and your wife must have many, many wonderful stories of your experiences, exploring such a fascinating place. What an interesting life you have, Bjorn!

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    1. On some level we do live a fascinating and privileged life... on the other hand we have done these things so many times so we might walk for 10 days, and have a few hours unique experience. Sometimes it's more about getting outside everything modern that make the difference.

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  12. Sherry, I always enjoy your interviews and enjoyed this one on our faithful leader, Bjorn. I love the tender yet powerful messages in his poetry...so very, very talented.

    Bjorn, I especially love hearing about your life there in Sweden and marvel at the summer's light all through the night. I remember watching that video of your wife skating and I mentioned before how meditative it is to watch it. It truly seems such a wonderful activity. I'm guessing the photo below that was the same body of water...only defrosted! :)

    Always fun to learn more about our writing friends...thank you, Sherry.

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    1. Oh yes indeed it's the same body of water. It's a bay of the Baltic Sea, but I think it looks more like a lake to be honest. The water is very low in salt, so I think it's a mixture of both in a sense.

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  13. Always good to read your poetry Bjorn and your interviews Sherry..this was a magical combination! Have much admiration for the volume of beautiful poetry you are able to generate Bjorn, keeping up with so many prompts.. thanks for sharing them all with us.

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    1. For me it's just about writing every day... sometimes it just writes itself... at other times I search through dictionaries for inspiration.

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  14. you are an amazing creator Bjorn so you find time for everything, including cooking & i suspect you still have time at your disposal to venture for something new...love the poems shared here..and Sherry an absolutely engaging chat; you really know how to draw out the inner man...

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    1. Indeed. I think the result was great, given I only answered questions....

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  15. That's a wonderful chat. Actively outdoors can be most exhilarating especially doing what one likes best.It can be physically challenging but we are exposed to great Bjorn poetry that provides an ideal balance everyday. Thanks for letting us know you better, Bjorn and Sherry for the interview!

    Hank

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    1. Thank you Hank... I do love the outdoors but also a good book and music... it'a all about a balance.

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  16. My favorite line, thinking of my own mother artist: " I can always touch your hands
    that stays in pottery you left behind."
    And that last poem, "To find what’s sought" kept the image of that wife ice-skater in my mind, the beauty of moving in the sky, all wilderness and strength, "flint and feathers."

    Thank you Bjorn and SHerry!

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    1. Thank you Susan... yes it feels great to be able to touch her pottery sometimes... she did plenty and a piece of her remains in ever piece.

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  17. Bjorn, you are an inspiration. You move through your life with agility, wisdom and so much love. The poems you highlight here are stunning. I especially relate to the feelings about your mother's decline. It is a hard thing to witness, but one learns a lot about oneself during these times. I marvel at how much you do with your time considering you must also work, which often consumes the time for art. And you do lead an artful life. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Sherry, I thoroughly enjoyed this chat. Your questions delve into the core of people's interests.

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    1. Myrna, thank you so much. To write for such an audience I have here and other places is a delight.

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  18. always glad to have an update of one of my favourite poets of this community. i loved the poems to your mother. they are so tender and moving.
    these lines are just so delicate :
    "and I can always touch your hands
    that stays in pottery you left behind."


    i liked what you said about getting into a community where you actually point out improvements. i have been in a few, and in a local forum, the members actually suggested improvements to your poems or calling it a dud if it is really bad, but there are some that are like wild west saloons. i have since left all of these forums.

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    1. I agree, it's very much a delicate balance... But I do love to rewrite based on feedback. But please no saloons.

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  19. It's great to see a picture of you besides your profile pic, it makes you more real to me although I feel like I know you because we have written together for so long. I think (or feel) I know you better than just about anyone I write with. First became aware of you on Magpie Tales.

    My grandpa was the one I remember who had dementia. I was very young but he would disappear and my parents would get calls to go pick him up. Thank heavens we lived in a small town. Being that young I don't remember the pain they went through dealing with him that way. The line "When parents fade they are like old
    names swallowed by the cold." says it all! Wonderful line!

    I am jealous of where you live and how you live so close to nature. My rides along the Bay Trail are treasured but I see so much sadness in it. The litter, the declining species, pollution in general...it hurts me. California has stricter pollution laws than anywhere in the US but we are still the problem. I always wonder why we as a race, with all we have, can't do better? Then I see what happened on TV, the shootings and it hurts some more.

    Your trips to the wilderness sound like nirvana amplified by that video of your wife skating on the sky (as Sherry so aptly put it.)

    I had no idea you wrote stories! If I can't write a poem about something a story always comes to me too. Good luck on your second book!

    I know what you mean about communities that point out improvements. If you are writing with a group you might as well try to be a better writer. If I can get help with that it's ok with me. I will give suggestions for very simple things but found that people will get often get hurt rather than take the suggestion at face value. I don't do it very much anymore.

    I write with some sites (especially haiku) where I cringe at how bad the form is and they have no idea. My haiku is still not so good but I try. Lol!

    I enjoyed learning more about you! Sherry does so well at drawing each of us out. I'm happy to be your writing friend for so long and look forward to more.

    Love, Bekkie

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    1. I think you really have to know somebody to point out improvements... Maybe it's better to do in closed groups... Sometimes people send me emails instead.

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  20. Love the interview, love the poems, the photographs and love seeing you, Bjorn!The way you weave words is unique and admirable. So much to learn from your work!!
    Thank you, Sherry for featuring a poet who deserves all the recognition !!

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    1. Thank you Panchali I learn ever day as well.

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  21. Bjorn I remember when you started blogging. You were like a ray of sunshine and a fresh bouquet of wildflowers bundled into one. Im grateful to the time you spend encouraging others - it is labor's love.
    Also so sorry to hear about your mum - a hard decline for a family to endure.
    Wishing you all the best with your future and poetry.

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    1. Leslie, yes I do remember my first stumbling days.. Haiku mostly then... I hope to continue writing with the same energy.

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  22. There's so much I admire about you, Bjorn...it's hard to wrap words around the joy and sense of pride I feel in being privileged to know you as a poet-friend. I love your way with nature and your dedication to it and your poetry always-always sets me to ponder and wows me.

    I so enjoy this portion:

    "Once your strength was infinite, you
    handled axes, chainsaws and your
    hands created pottery and weaved
    the comfort of my youth."

    and the closing lines as well...amazing experiences and shared in such a real way...your use of metaphor in your work is masterful in my opinion. Bravo!!

    Sherry and Bjorn!!! Thank you, thank you so much for this interview!!

    Smiles,

    Hannah

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    1. Hannah. I'm so glad every time our paths crosses... so much to learn and be inspired from.

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  23. Bjorn, it is nice to see you featured here. I have always enjoyed your poetry especially your sonnets. I know you sometimes like to explore that dark side as well and you always seem to make it work. Thank you for all your kind words! You have the spirit of the "Bear" .

    Sherry, a wonderful interview!

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    1. I do love to be part of this poetry circle... it's a privilege to get to know you all.

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  24. Thank you Sherry and Bjorn for taking out time and sharing this wonderful update with us :D Bjorn, its always a pleasure to read your work as it gives me so much to observe and learn. Love the pictures which you have shared here everything is so pretty and magical :D

    I was really touched by the poem "Her words were avenues" such a tender and heartfelt write :D especially love the lines:

    My love was willow-bending winds across the bay
    autumn rushes, but in races never won
    one can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun

    The tone and images are always spot on :D congratulations on publishing your book "Keyhole Stories" :D it must be so exciting to travel and meet new people.. gather their experience and stories.

    I love the advice which you gave us at the end of the interview.. I agree, we should strive to read more and appreciate more so as to grow. Wishing you and your family loads of happiness, health and success in the years to come ahead :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  25. Thank you Sanaa, you are always such a fresh and new part of poetry... and it's amazing how quickly we all grow as poets in this community of writers.

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    1. You're most welcome Bjorn :D its an incredible blogosphere.

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  26. What a beautiful interview Sherry and Bjorn. Isn't it strange what impels us to write particularly sad poetry as we come to grips with the sadness of mortality. Curiously my own mother died with dementia and nothing is worse than being with a loved one that knows you no more.

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    1. Thank you Robin, yes it's a sad world when people live in bits... though I don't know if it's better they go at once.

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  27. Great interview, Sherry and Bjorn. So interesting to read more about Bjorn after knowing him through his poetry for so long. I LOVE all the amazing adventures you get to have in the wilderness, Bjorn. That is where my heart is most alive, too. The video of your wife on the lake is spectacular. So very peaceful.

    Your poetry always amazes me....not just the words and the meaning in them, but the way you write with meter (which is something that always, always eludes me) and do so beautifully and consistently. "Her words were avenues" is so emotionally laden and exquisite in description....just stunning. You have captured so much truth of experience in this.

    Thank you for your ongoing work and efforts to keep d'Verse going strong. It is such an awesome community and I appreciate your collaborative and reciprocal spirit. Looking forward to reading more from you. Enjoy your summer adventures :-)

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    1. Thank you C.C. I think that what you bring together in poetry online is amazing (sometimes I wonder if it's better than what can be found in books...) Love to have you both helping with the prompts and writing poetry... it's great to cross paths.

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  28. I enjoyed this glimpse into your life, Bjorn and especially loved the poem about naming the elephant.

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    1. Thank you... I just came from visiting my mother... And now she has lost most of her speech.

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  29. I so enjoyed reading not only this interview but the three stirring poetry selections. I am glad that I have spread my wings into the poetry community a bit more recently. Didn't even realize what I was missing! Thanks.

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