in Memory of Susan Birkeland
by Agneta Falk
Just as I hear your voice fading
high up these Yorkshire hills
the sky tears to shreds
of pinks and blues, after that white light
and the rain before the rainbow.
And there you are on your pink bike
riding away, cheekily smiling, blond curls
whirling around your head until we see no more
the spokes on the wheels.
Two hundred yards away from where I am
Sylvia Plath & Asa Benveniste lie buried
two American poets so far from home,
but then home is anywhere you are, deep inside
and really you are now most present.
I stumble on the thought, feel myself clumsy
wanting to simply say how your strength
draws us all to what it means to be alive:
you so brightly futured, with such grace,
in and around our hearts, your words
a garden of light we'll always turn
and return to.
© Agneta Falk
Agneta Falk is a swedish-born poet and painter. After moving to England in the late Sixties, she worked as a teacher of drama, communication, literacy and creative writing. For seven years she ran a women’s writing group and also worked with people in recovery and the mentally handicapped. For her first book in English, Here by Choice ( Trigram Press, 1980), she received a writer’s bursary from Yorkshire Arts. She also co-edited The Long Pale Corridor with Judi Benson, ( Bloodaxe, 1995), an anthology of bereavement poems, the first of its kind.
"Her major collection of poetry, It's Not Love, It's Love was published in a bilingual edition by Multimedia Edizioni in Italy and she has a new book coming out next year.
Her paintings are highly prized by collectors and hang in several museums including the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Agneta divides her time between England and Italy and San Francisco where she lives with his husband Jack Hirschman .