Sven Kretzschmar – Housesitting

Kretzschmar LE P&W 1 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume One Nov-Dec 2023

Housesitting, poems by Sven Kretzschmar.


On the brink of a summer evening when daylight
retreats, the hour’s with me. Outside, bushes wait
to form berries. Branches scratching
the windowpane in a wild move to keep last rays
from flickering onto floorboards.
They brighten the first drops of amber blonde
in my glass. Somewhere on different premises,
neighbours are racketing around a BBQ while I shovel cold food
and a pill into a feeding dish. For a black tom
who’s yet to appear. Once he’s done –
feasting, grooming, purring round my ankles –
nothing remains. Still, everything is here. I will
carry his light with me into darker times.
I’ll feed on stronger amber as the days grow cold.


after Andreas H. Drescher

When autumn gloom dropped through the car
window she spoke images of other times into me,
futures in which we’d cover the darkness,
thousands of square kilometres of night,
to eventually dissect the light and take
the first deep breath of any given morning.

The jolt and rip of the seatbelt cutting
into my soft chest brought me back
and to my senses; a rocket shooting
through the windscreen. Time vanished,
the driver’s seat empty in the corner of my eye,
also, the absence of sound and glass

and caress around me, only square
kilometres of night. I awoke
on a hard shoulder, covered in morning-wet
dew and coolant. I had turned into a teddy,
damp, and knowing a girl would
sorely grief her loss in some hospital.

In this insect’s eye

of mine they are mirrored, pierced red awnings
withering away while sunlight still rays
through them fervently: beech leaves, fallen, soon gone,

but for now, they are dry flames; their heat:
protection on grounds cooling down in autumn.
Mushrooms serve us as broken umbrellas,

steady still. And sheltering, housing
us beneath their gills. On rare afternoons
of sunshine and last warmth we climb

into dandelions. Holding fast we wait
for their reversed chutes to carry us up
and away into wintering.

© 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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