Sven Kretzschmar – Double bed, single use

Kretzschmar LE P&W May 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing May 2023

Double bed, single use – poems by Sven Kretzschmar

Double bed, single use

with a line by Patrick Kehoe

Those bedsprings do not remember the weight of two,
no rehearsing of athletic movements or angelic songs.
This duvet a cover-up of exhausted attempts

to find our casual ways again, of events jumbling
in memory, nights of too much room
in my bed. No affectionate letters placed

on pillows to compensate apartness
by day. On the bed stand in stacked poetry books
love is alive on paper-thin mattresses, standard print.

When June comes

after Patrick Kehoe

with whispers and winds,
summer chafers around rooflights,
empty stubbies full of stories,

I will see again maroon-soft hair,
teasing eyes between shadow entries
and light cone corners.

When June comes
with whispered conversations,
songs of careless love, your single bed.

The leafwind’s sigh

after Lord Byron

And we’ll saunter greening forests
in afternoon’s soft light
to the robin’s flickering chorus
and the leafwind’s hopeful sigh.

And one dog will outrun us
and the other lag behind.
My heart still looking for your trust,
wishing for moon and night.

For May nights are for loving
under pale clouds up above.
Yet alone hope goes a-roving
and you won’t return my love.


after Patrick Kehoe

No one could have defied your joyful air,
barkbrown eyes, easy voice always
on the brink of uncertainty.

Top-heavy I hid mine behind
philosophy, theory, subtle banter,
too late, as ever, for casting

cautions to the summer wind.
Who would have defied you:
even the cobblestones could not hide

their booze-fuelled night shimmer, offering
uncertain steps down a lane
we never walked hand in hand.


after Patrick Kehoe

Pasta boiling on the hob, our nighttalks
were quick-bursting bubbles of hot
water in a pot. Debating and smiles

gyrated in the soft dust of vegetable broth:
What I longed to relish might long be
forgotten by you. A strainer whose fill

sieves through the lattice filament of a lifetime.

© Sven Kretzschmar

Sven Kretzschmar hails from County Saarland, Germany. His poetry has been published widely in Europe and overseas, among other outlets with Poetry Jukebox in Belfast, in Writing Home. The ‘New Irish’ Poets (Dedalus Press, 2019), Poets Meet Politics (Hungry Hill Writing, 2020) Hold Open the Door (UCD Press, 2020), Voices 2020 (Cold River Press, 2020), Voices 2021 (Cold River Press, 2021) and 100 Words of Solitude (Rare Swan Press, 2021), in The Irish Times, Das Gedicht, The Banyan Review, The Bangor Literary Journal, Studi Irelandesi, Culture Matters, South Florida Poetry Journal, and on RTÉ Radio.

Sven was awarded 1st prize in the ‘Creating a Buzz in Strokestown’ competition in 2018, 2nd place at the Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2022, and he was shortlisted for the Allingham Poetry Award 2019, the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year 2019 and the Saolta Arts Annual Poetry Competition 2020, special mention in the Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Competition 2020.

See more at: and Instagram: @sven_kretzschmar_poetry

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