It had finally been a day without rain,
a day where like so many others
we had taken a subway, changed lines
and there was no one pushing us around,
people queued in front of the doors and
in the carriages everybody spoke subdued.

The whole trip, we were constantly aware of our faces:
we were seen, we were a foreign language
to be deciphered. Often a meal interrupted sessions
of gestural figures tracked in air, often polite conversations
in the best of people’s English
were curious peeks into a world
so distant, they could only imagine in silence.

In the sauna, we were left to our own animal forms
and went into the steaming rooms like ghosts,
we were abandoned breaths on old windows –
the mid-autumn crackling of a glowing hearth.
But that was three weeks of traveling. Right here,
it’s just you and me sitting underneath the high arches
looking out over the river Han –
it was a clear day, before, we’d had a late lunch
five minutes away from our room.

Rice, cabbage tofu stew, steamed aubergines,
pork and noodles in the middle of the table.

Photo by Nora Goerne

From: Walking The Horizon (2017).

In 2017, the booklet Walking The Horizon was self-published in a limited edition. It featured nine poems written specifically for a selection of photographs by Nora Goerne. Both the poems and the photography deal with themes such as distance and memory, combined with an impressionist and contemplative style. If you’re interested in buying a booklet, please get in touch

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