Series Editor - Jim Bennett for The Poetry Kit - www.poetrykit.org

You can join the CITN mailing list at -
http://www.poetrykit.org/pkl/index.htm and following the links for Caught in the Net.

Submissions for this series of Featured poets is open, please see instruction in afterword at the foot of this mail.



I dance the sun I dance the night

I dance the green of trees

that dance with me

ancient god show teeth and grin


the dance is quiet now       the drums are dying

I’m old as age my soul       lost

In tearfog the shapes         the unseen shapes

that slide

in moonlit shimmer             lost


  from Caught awake by Jon Killi 







Caught awake

Metamorphosis in concert

Do ut des

Siluric rock

A supersolid phantasy

Threat of mate

Amantes amentes


Beck and call

Sea triptych




1 – BIOGRAPHY:  Jon Killip


Norwegian. Retired. Started writing long ago, to empty my head. New stuff met a hard rubber wall until writing evacuated space. Had to repeat the success twice more. Nowadays I do not squeeze so much in, and write less.







Caught awake

the museum gallery in Rhodes is hot

an open window                    an old man               

                      small beard

lifts his arms                          warm smells

                      takes a small step 

                      starts a slow dance

and draws a wary stream of women

the old  man grows               goatlegs

his hands move                     aromatic music

                     the air              humid

in a spreading haze               a shadow moves.


ancient god speak up say     ’listen’,

ancient god he beat drum

ancient god he shout             ’dance !’

heaven shakes and earth

grips both my feet                  trees dance with me

heart wild                              mind gone                         .


I dance the sun I dance the night

                  I dance the green of trees

                 that dance with me

ancient god show teeth and grin


the dance is quiet now          the drums are dying

I’m old as age my soul          lost

In tearfog the shapes            the unseen shapes

                    that slide

in moonlit shimmer                lost

around me the moon            he laughs

spreads his canvas               eggs me on


I draw with thought            I draw with fear

                        I draw my mind 


                       caves in and rests


metamorphosis in concert

as between cords  man


his nostrils spit a burning heat

the grand bursts into flames

 a floating snout

a dragon's singing scales

a dragon's eyes that burn

 a stumbling dance on claws

furrows in the great man's bust

furrows in the heavy floor

furrows in the stoneset wall


bars open rising waves of sound crash through

searing heat blows strong

glass panes melt

phoenix rises out of heat

dragons into double focus

slowly - further out

great claws form – rip the clouds -

rain starts

        furrows the mountainside rolls boulders


 walk under a growing shadow along quiet summer roads towards home

lick the singing saltburn crystals that circulate deeper than men mine my Earth

fill fissures in the restless rock swallow the welling sources of sound

transforms scales to sliding tectonic bars


my ancient hoard dissolves as the music

walks me translucent

memory lost – a minor man

elbows space in the damp duster of evening air


throat drums magma beats


do ut des

set out                                                                                     ‘do ut des’[1]


born in stillness kept outside                                              bent to silent service

sometimes almost seen                                                      floating by on whispers

felt as coolness in the draught                                            tendrils in the anger

nest these threads invisible                                                 leave unseen to float

wander ways that end                                                       dispersed in haze


as changeling seen                                                             you were placed

hidden in the woods                                                          on a bed of moss                    

laid to rest as wereform                                                     sunk impressed in mull


those who twist to walk around                                         beyond death’s corner

disappear in otherness                                                       greeted you

you dance in haze and mist                                                certain of your step,

mirage of your other self                                                    lives on within you changeling


nightsong raises an autumn wind                                        voices in fear of what were were done

worry and hope fenwolves will find you                            do what people could not

voices run in your blood                                                   voices burn


scorched woods in a sage-grey land                                 brown seep off bogland mires

sparse copses blackened scrub                                        raise signs on the dim sky

dark written upon the dark                                               the walk into riddles was long

your sack-full of anger has chafed all day                         ruts worn in shoulders feet sunk in clay

details lost                                                                       the waiting shadow silent

the river-banks this land’s horizon                                   grief-seep lost in soot-laid sump

in clinging ooze                                                               dark reflexes

black-eyed sorrow wraps itself in mist                             fury’s tendrils stretch from your sack

were-roots strained by moonlight                                    washed by fog as day breaks out


ancient riverland crossing paths                                        dug-out oaks the boat-man shadow

broken straws oil on swirling eddies                                 a sigh in stagnant air her dying

waiting shadow moves                                                     sorrow raises high its banner

wants not wreaths and hate-filled peace                           this sorrow wants to kill


oath sworn on the boast-beaker                                       hot heart leaves slag behind

killcraze sweeps all cover off your will                             castoff reason cinder at its foot

killspell blackens your face                                              scorched graves open

evil rides red roads rides drifting ice                                skinned men drag their gaping wounds         

onto the heap of dead                                                     a rampart of offal slippery sodden.

spiracles                                                                        sucking mouths                       deep in blood-dew

holes in the lanceshuttled[2] weave of fates –              


siluric rock

slide my calm into siluric rock                                          feel its painfilled restlessness

leaning waiting to topple crush cripple                              fast life running feet

under the outcrop a grave                         stripped skeleton                 not it’s doing

strange knowledge seeps

impressions of another world

a faster time


drips off wriggling stalactites                                             trickles as I walk under roots                         


have always walked                                                         asleep or awake I walk

under ground I walk the dark          I know to look          straight ahead

mists cover sand clay rock                                               roots twist above

voices whisper                                                                 I walk straight


summer                                                                            it warms me


hideaway from flows of ice                                              I look up where layers are thin


I hear winter speak above                                                I see two-legs vague in shape

in refuge with frost giants                                                  I yearn

far behind white mountains                                                eyes wet I walk

snow-covered cyborgs lumbering                                     perhaps an opening ahead

blocks of ice retreating                                                     once found a tiny one

mermaid-shaped                                                               in the cave where I dance

                                                       ice maiden melted


when hated heat raises                                                        a stream of air

off a small blue pond



deep in the earth through rock and soil                             I walk

tap roots hang from a cave      roof                                  I jump

not within reach no way out no sun no wind                     I walk

small roots twist and turn and grow                                  I must be old

sun moon waves and wind all change above                     I would walk

hope to walk through rock into water                               I could swim

upwards towards the light                                                I might beach


still down here                                                                 I breathe


a supersolid phantasy


in a cool cool glass of best champagne she and i

supersolid vortexes                     make waves


excitons in our wakes

attracted to each other               we seek to fuse

contract on contact


and make a little bigbang:           voila !

bosom bosons into fermions –

shut away in our selves again.


at the lip of the glass promises


nemesis a two-pronged fork

eases out the cork

all the bubbles flow

at once

life winks



love runs -

flame blackens its trail

firefront leaps

ashes behind


eyes that search

voice that breaks

the mirror


threat of mate

on the wall a pathologist has hung an unlost piece of art

no face body cut at the neck

voice from above the picture frame


uninterested curves caught by camera

cut at neck cut at knees

privacy exposed –

above the frame her voice

her very distant voice

ladened vapours rising

from her past

oh so few years


on the off white slab a young one – quite the most attractive corpse

glorious skin

one black-speckled wart just above the left elbow


saw cuts breastbone knife slices belly -

that little wart – her insides full of chessboards

every organ black and white – life mated –

some deadly cosmic player stacked the game of dreams

recruited her to hollow halls.


longing and loss recruit us all

wanting her losing her

I fled took a dive

free Fall - on my way


sharp and choppy this sea

this pain

this drink of gargling acids corrosive

rinse for my bones

this pain

this bath due a devil


an ill garden nods and curtsies

a rose bows deeply and thorns make gashes

a colour drives a nail through my eye

a broken twig oozes lye


a storm of seething rhythms

a voice in shatters

a kind little tune forces wounds

and the pulse

and the pulse scores pain

waves wash my lungs empty out my head

pains drive (even) ghosts away


amantes amentes

pitch on the ground

moondust on leaves

hesitant foot


a curl in your hair

playing the wind


a glance out of the dark

of your eyes


young lives weave rhythms

movements inter-weave

is she ripe he riddles restive luck

counterrhythms ripple

her steps incremen

tally tap a



monkey’s laugh takes off

tumbles into tigerdance


big cat reads her steady smile

they dance she bleeds

she laughs

eyes                 alight windmills                      twirl

tigers dance


when age has bitten deeply and helping hands wither

a sprattle-man remains                       

spastic movements

shifting thoughts fleet by

strings of memories release a help-me cry



Searching through the small amount of seasoned hardwood

in his shop he settles on a piece of laurel,

sets it down to clean the edges.

He notes the grain, planes it, all six sides,

and sands it down into a thing of beauty. His hands slide,

slowly, his fingertips caress the slight lines, just raised

above the silken skin.


The knife is old, sharp, he tests it on his hair.

It travels well along the thought incisions, his mind closes,

he sharpens his awareness of the cut.

Three days; late into night, when he works

by touch alone, he knows this face so well.


Two eyes look out from deep in the wood.

True and good, she says. Now shower, shave,

dress in the blue suit, go place me on my grave.


beck and call

blind search

gnarled and twisted aspen in a thicket by the tarn

red leaves            and yellows          illume the hungry rootrich soil


I am here to seek what once i found

water spirits                                      joyful venus-glade


westrun winds                                  belting rain

all is beck and river

step by step in sludge                       feet slip

sight is shut           seeing folds         shades swish past

divides the land                               seasaws washes

the puzzle to see


Sea triptych.



raised by storm

half a rotting face wrack streaming

under a brown sou’wester

it rows

half a boat splitting the waters

oars bending double it wails

sings a hatefilled tune of loss

an age of anger shrieks

trumbling of stones

grinding of sand

ice-sludge dampens threats

violet shadows chase as cormorants fly out

fleeting reflections in the eye

shades well sorrow


drowned men in dervish-dance

            harmonies of grief and hunger

their whirlpool draws the ship

            sighs deep

a choir of bloodlines enters the splinters

            of cormorant cries

in the eye of the storm gentle waves wash

            the freshest of corpses


birdsong         grieve for men caught

in fate’s patterns on the sunken sands

gaping shadows walk and dance

birdtalk            speak of fate and fate’s dark sucking draught

sing deep the sorrow that wells

as songs dance with frostmist swirls along the river

            raise your choir

weave madrigals that hold the velvet curtain back


ocean draws froth around its mouth

collects its bulk throws itself on rocks

flips away a body




grey sea                                   storm drives                            crested waves

sea towers                               crests crash                             boat crushed

lost                                          him in the sands                       the eternal quern


anger                                       these years                               the sea and i

one purpose

find him                      


I sit                                          by the beach                            watch


white sands wide bay  low cliffs                                             catch the sun

slowly the sea conquers the beach                                         one floating grain at a time.

gentle shallow waves                                                             warm as skin.


dark sky growing wind           heavy drops hit the cliffs           pattern the sea.

waves grow big                     crash water on sand                 abrasive force.

water- deeps spray cold        chills the marrow                     of bones lost.


storm flattens                          the ocean pushes                     the land          

sea raises                               breaks rocks                           off cliffs.

sea carries                              stones                                     breaks bones


the giant mill querns                 transforms                               rock’s memories,

grains of amorphous sand        scatters                                   letters of land’s annals                                               


night’s dark tent                     moonbeams                             silver sea

silence                                   sea drag moves sand                pulls on oilcloth.



a bore runs ahead as the boat turns

to circle the swirl-eye

strives to sink what is afloat

ice-sludge dampens the threats

violet shadows chase as cormorants fly out

shades in this well of sorrows

reflections in the eye


drowned men in dervish-dance

            harmonies of grief and hunger

their whirlpool draws the ship

            sighs deep

a choir of bloodlines enters the splinters

            of cormorant cries

in the eye of the storm gentle waves wash

            the freshest of corpses


birdsong         grieve for men caught

in fate’s patterns on the sunken sands

gaping shadows walk and dance

birdtalk            speak of fate and fate’s dark sucking draught

sing deep the sorrow that wells

as songs dance with frostmist swirls along the river

            raise your choir

weave madrigals that hold the velvet curtain back


ocean draws froth around its mouth

collects its bulk throws itself on rocks

flips away a body




[1]  a commutative contract whereby something is given so that something may be received in return

[2]From Darrader-ljod - ‘the Darrader-song, the Darrader-weave’. Darrader – shuddering trembling of the shafts of arrows and spears as they hit a body. The norns or the Valkyries weave the future battle, the weave itself designed with skulls as weights, intestines as woof, spears as shuttles.

3 - Publishing history

‘conceit’ was published in Message-in-a-Bottle


4 - Afterword

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think. 

We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org