Tag Archives: sailor

Soenderho Harbour Poems


In 2011, I took part in the making of an anthology. 5 writers and an illustrator. Decided to make a small booklet and print it, and give it to the ngo “Soenderho harbour”, to sell at their opening of an exhibition of Soenderho´s history. This as part of their process to get the straight escavated, remove sand so that ships again can sail into the harbour of the little village in the wadden sea there…like ships used to do…

Soenderho is the village at the south tip end of Fanoe. 2-3 Summers ago it was voted on the web to be Denmark´s most beautiful village (Danmarks smukkeste landsby, in Danish).
it is a quaint little place with 300 citizens, and it has a very thriving folk scene, where they play old, locally created songs on their fiddles, and dance the local dance “soenderhoning” to the music, wearing old costumes as they were worn a few hundred years ago.
Not all the time. But quite often they get together and do this, celebrating their traditions, passing the skills on to the younger generations.
There is an event every Summer called “The Soenderho Day”, where they make a parade with the costumes, songs and dancing… many tourists come to see it. A lovely event.

Here and now I just want to share with you the two poems I delivered for the anthology.
As they fit so well following the blogpost I just published minutes ago, called At the old cemetary.

Here are the poems.


A Sailor´s Sentiment

Endless ocean
your salty waves
washing my face

Longing to be
back on shore
leaning lovingly
just once more

Endless ocean
you are calling me, though,
calling my soul to fill up yet again
with your freshness

The sound of your continuous movement
the smell of ship railing and sea breeze

A sailor´s heart is lined with salty water
and a yearning for the great wide open field
of foaming blues

Surrounded by the far away horizons


Faith, Hope and Love

On every side of my little isle
water washes the edge of the land
there´s no escaping this little isle
no way but by boat

I sit on a rock in the sand on the beach
and slowly dismantle an old yellow straw
you have been gone such a long time now
my love, whome I achingly miss

I cannot forget how you held me close
your eyes so sad when you asked me to wait
I´m faithful and hoping and loving you so
though they think that your ship has gone down

My straw is stripped naked, its husk torn asunder
it mirrors the feeling that lives in my chest
I´m stuck in the Hope of your happy return
while Fear and Despair eat away at my breath

How can I laugh and live and be young
when all my inside is crying for you?
How can I mourn and move on and be free
when your ship might still be asail?

I rise from my rock and start the walk home
home to my hut where you visited me
I take the straw with me and stick it in my roof
another day closer to you

Maybe you will come walking ashore
or maybe it´s true you are buried in the waves
I know that I love you with all that is me
I know that I cannot let go

One day we will meet again, this I believe
one day on this side or the other
Today I am one more day closer to you
in life or in death I am yours


Myself I grew up in a town on the Norwegian west coast, called Haugesund, 30.000 citizens big.
There is a saying that Haugesund was built on herring bones, as the amount of herring in the straights outside of Haugesund is the reason the town came to be. Everybody worked in the herring business, and when the smell of fish oil filled the air, the grownups said it was the smell of money…

Both my grand dads were chefs at sea.
My father saw his father for the first time when he was 3 years old.

The women left behind for years and years on end, got together in their group they called “The mermaid club”, and helped eachother out as best they could, all being “single mothers”…

So my background is not very different from the background of the people here on Fanoe.

My mother´s father ran away from home age 15, he wanted to be a sailor and shoot lions. His first trip ended in Norway where he met my grandma!
Then he was to sail on Norwegian ship, but this was just after the war and it was not easy being a German boy on a Norwegian ship. The chef on board took him under his wing and told the crew to leave the kid alone, he was just a teenager and had nothing to do with the war.

The chef who protected him, was my father´s father! I have a picture of the two of them on a ship heading for Cuba in about 1950. (I will paste it here once I find out where it is).
A black and white photo of my two sailor grand dads, just them two, leaning on the ship´s railing together… my dad was 5 at that point. My mother was to be born four years later.
Imagine how they must have felt the day they found out their kids were boyfriend and girlfriend!


I finish with a picture of Soenderho Harbour (Sønderho Havn).
The ngo is still working on the removal of sand.
They have recently received permission to start a first dig-out.

sønderho havn