Haigh Lane 1983 – Steve Komarnyckyj


Haigh Lane 1983 

For Andy Cowperthwaite


Some days you would just heat two cutlery knives
In the gasfire, squeeze
A hunk of resin between them and inhale
The fumes through a bottomless milk bottle.

Some days we die rather than live our lives
Paddling in the Styx
Sometimes our soul is just a thread of smoke
Sometimes life is just the punchline to your joke.


Well friend, I know that while some die to live
You were already living to die,
Groping through the rhododendrons
For a coherence
In life’s improvised melody,

I hope you found yourself
By Bretton lake
With shrubs sifting the twilight.
Come back and watch the waves remake
Your reflection always, and heal

Every mistake.
Catch the moonlight inside a guitar
Tuned to the water’s music.
Your death only a grace note.
Dear friend hear it.


Steve Komarnyckyj’s literary translations and poems have appeared in Index on Censorship, Modern Poetry in Translation and many other journals and he has taught at The Poetry School. He is the holder of two PEN awards and a highly regarded English language poet whose work has been described as articulating “what it means to be human” (Sean Street). He runs Kalyna Language Press with his partner Susie and three domestic cats.

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