Monday, 14 December 2015

Selected Poems 2000-2016









































Andreas Gripp's latest collection Selected Poems 2000-2015, is now available to order via the Harmonia Press Book Order Page.  

This title is an updated version of an earlier Selected Poems book, and serves as a single-volume alternative to the trilogy of New and Selected Poems releases which are more extensive in content. 


From Selected Poems 2000-2015:


The Language of Sparrows


Your sister is dead.

We plant seedlings
by her grave in April,
when Spring seduces
with all its promise,
moisten the ground
with a jug of water
and say how, years from now,
a bush will burst and flower,
be home to a family of sparrows,
each knowing the other by name.

I ask you if birds have names,
like Alice, Brent, Jessica and James,
if mother and father bird
call them in when it rains,
say settle here in branches
amid the leaves that keep you dry –

not in English, mind you,
or any other human tongue
but in the language of sparrows;
each trill, each warbling,
a repartee,
a crafted conversation of the minds.

I then notice 
that we never see the birds
when it rains,
how they disappear in downpours,
seeking shelter
in something we simply cannot see.

When we’re old,
when we come to remember
the loved one that you’ve lost,
they’ll be shielded in our shrub,
not a short and stunted one,
but a grand, blessed growth,
like the one that spoke to Moses,
aflame, uttering
I AM WHO I AM,

one that towers,
dense with green,
a monument
to the sister you treasured
and to the birds
that she adored,
naming the formerly fallowed, hallowed,
sacred, remove your shoes,
Spirits and Sparrows dwell
and sibilate secrets
we’re unworthy to hear.



©2006, 2015 by Andreas Gripp





Winter Solstice


Christmas
with an ex-lover
is spent whenever
there’s time to spare,

so today I invited you over,
with the promise of friendship
and fire,
hoping for kindling wood,

but the flames are merely embers,
like the Sun in its tepid glow,
forsaking us much too soon
on this shortest day of the year.

So I’ll make you Darjeeling,
my darling,
suddenly clasp your hand
into mine –

for gauging a glove size, I’ll say,
feigning I’ve shopping to do,
the warmth of tea and touch
creating such a beautiful lie.




©2012, 2015 by Andreas Gripp





The Ruse of Mild Air


In this warmer than normal winter,
the trees are budding early,
in February’s
rain instead of snow.

I feel I ought to go outside
and bring some soothing tea,
play a tranquil song
for harp and strings,

be the sandman for a spell,
send the rousing leaves-to-be
back into their shells,

lest the winds return from the north,
puddles freeze over,
and greening branches waken
to a bird-less lie of ice.



©2013, 2015 by Andreas Gripp





Miracle


Tonight I will ask you to marry me.
You will surely say I am mad,
in the British sense of the word,
and then laugh off my promise to love
and commit as I-must-have-stopped-over-
at-the-pub-and-had-a-few-too-many
before our coffee date on this insignificant
middle-of-the-week kind of evening.

But this day is anything but ordinary:
Look at my hands, they are stained
from painting my kitchen the colour
that is your favourite
even though my eyesight is failing,
and I’m convinced that both our God
and the birds have given us their blessing
as shoots sprouted in my garden overnight
from seeds dropped from above
and the weather person on TV
said there’d be no rain
for the next seven Saturdays to come.




©2014, 2015 by Andreas Gripp












Friday, 13 March 2015

Spring 2015 New Book Release

Title: Apocrypha: Poems Selected & New Volume 3 by Andreas Gripp
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Book Order Link: http://harmoniapress.blogspot.ca/p/book-orders.html


72 poems, including a large number written in the past year, make up the 20th full-length collection by London, Ontario poet Andreas Gripp. Poems dealing with the multifaceted layers of love, verses encompassing nature and spirituality, and our human interaction with everyday events that may not be so ordinary after all, are written in the author’s usual lyrical and accessible style. In addition to new poems written exclusively for this volume, there is a generous amount of favourites from his previous four books as well.



Andreas Gripp has had his work appear in a variety of underground journals and anthologies in Canada. He presently works in a used bookstore and lives with his wife and fellow writer, Carrie Lee Connel.


Front Cover:








































Back Cover:







































Sample Poems:


Coda III

That page at the end of my notebook,
the one that is blank,
is the best poem of mine you’ve ever read,
you say to me as I choose which to keep,
which to toss and pretend I never wrote.

I went through it
when you were away, you reveal
in a tone bereft of innocence,
like a boy boasting to his friends
that he managed to swig some vodka
when his parents were in the basement,
perhaps sorting through laundry
or checking on the furnace
or doing something that required him
to be cunning and to seize the moment
like a vulture that dives to the ground
while the corpse is still warm enough
to pass for something living.

Your metaphors are silly, you say bluntly,
your analogies make me laugh
those of scavenger, Russian drink,
mischievous youth.
Take the last sheet in your book,
the one without writing:
it made more sense than anything else
you’ve rambled on about.

I reply that you are right,
that pallid vacancy and lines of blue
have more to say than verbosity,
that I should just write “white”
instead of “pallid,”
that I misread my spiny thesaurus,
that what is simplest
is most complex
and lives in a realm
no words can elucidate
or yield direction to;

that it’s a sign of literary innovation
to have an entire volume
of nothing but lined paper,
that the next time I buy a notebook
I’m best off to merely scrawl my name
upon its cover
and wait for the accolades to pour in
from those who know the work of a genius
when they see it.




©2015 by Andreas Gripp





Interlopers

I cannot be sure that the birds
and the squirrels – let alone the big racoon
that climbs down from the belatedly budding tree –
are the same characters who I used to see
then didn’t through months of frozen landscape 
when, I imagine, the mammals
were in some sort of hibernating state
or at least taking it rather easily
in their primitive burrows while the birds
were in Florida sunning themselves
and drinking premium water from a fountain.

I feel they’d be offended if I said “welcome back” –
that they’d believe I think they all look alike,
that they might be here for the very first time
and I’ve mistaken them for last year’s gang,
that the food I’m leaving as a token of friendship
wouldn’t be their first choice on the menu,
that a would-be friend wouldn’t assume
they’re all the same
and that they could easily pick me out of a crowd
of 100,000 people
within a second of doubtless wonder.



 ©2015 by Andreas Gripp




Andante in H
           – for Carrie

Each note I play on the piano is for you
I say, in my adoration, the real ones
and the ones that I’ve made up
and I really can’t play the piano
as well as I pretend I can,
but the songs I string together,
impromptu, spontaneous as they may be,
are nonetheless love songs,
ones that Brahms and Debussy
could have conjured
had they not been so obsessed
with trite details like composition
and wondering if the cellist and pianist
could really play their instruments
or were merely faking it
amid the frantic waves of a baton
and the gasps from a startled audience
who’d heard nothing like this before.



©2015 by Andreas Gripp