Lakishma 2
Lakishma 2

I have grown old and tired.
My hair turned white over years of longing and reaching for Lakishma.
I have looked for Lakishma around every corner and beneath every stone.
For moments I have even tasted Lakishma,
when a stranger and I smiled at each other,
the moments you and I talked and sang together,
when I could truly hear and listen to another,
the evenings when we lit wild fires and our gaze followed the flying sparks disappearing in the night sky,
or the moments when I lay in the purple heather and saw clouds passing by and there was not a thought on my mind,
those days when I was present enough to witness the short moment when Lakishma seemed sprinkled over the land only to be gone the next.
Oh, father,
Oh, mother,
Oh, sister,
Oh, brother,
Oh, friend,
all of you, who, like me, are still hoping for Lakishma to stay,
to sweeten the harsh taste of our lives,
Oh daughter,
Oh, son,
Oh, husband
Oh, stranger
walking down the windy road,
the mere tasting of Lakishma will never be good enough.
It will pass,
therefore, if you are as thirsty as I still am,
to be filled with Lakishma
give me your hand.
Let me tell you what I’ve come of late to understand:
Lakishma always is, but
we must first learn and allow to stand in despair and discontent,
the pool of tears beneath our feet,
Hand over our fearful
for Lakishma outside ourselves.

Find it
Only a breath away,
in the silent space
which has no name,
no face
nor form.


The word ‘Lakishma’ is my own and I use it to describe the elusive state of home/happiness

– –

Poems chosen from an anthology of poems called ‘For Crying Out Loud – Voice of an Exile’, published early 2016.


Bettina John von Freyend-Peterseil was born at the end of the 2nd World War in Germany. She exiled herself early on, travelling the world, never able to settle anywhere for long. She now lives in the West of Ireland, where she and her husband built their home, raised their children and tended the land. She has been teaching, writing and in the past 15 years creating her collage work.

The poetry compilation ‘For Crying Out Loud- voice of an exile’ comes at a time when globally people are forced to move on a large scale. Bettina offers a personal account of the mindset of a self imposed exile. She reveals her disconnection and her longing to belong mirroring a world also steeped in separation.


I’ve tried to run

Poetry by Bettina

I’ve tried to run from suburb to city, to mountains and sea, from father and mother to husband, son and daughter. I hold memories of passing moments like clouds, dissolving,...
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Still children seeking their way home

Poetry by Bettina

We are grown people we claim. To prove it our lips form a tight line, our faces show wrinkles which remind us of years of living, striving, surviving, crying after...
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Poetry by Bettina

Disconnected, heavily defended, I avoid you when I pass you in the street, our eyes don’t meet, like empty shuttles they seem to be travelling nowhere. Disconnected, heavily defended, I...
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You are an Era

Poetry by Sanaya

You are an era And I am a tourist, reading A history book about you. I went through the several phases — Old school rock, 60’s jazz and retro The...
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सब लुट गया तो क्या, तू अब भी है

Poetry by Omendra Ratnu

सब लुट गया तो क्या, तू अब भी है, अँधेरी रातों में तेरी महक अब भी है !   टूटती नहीं ये खुमारी क्या करें, वजूद में मेरे घुली मिली,...
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Poetry by Arwa Qutbuddin

Held By earth By the realness of existence And all its illusions By warm stars in a fragrant night By shadows of clouds and torn leaves Held By the roots...
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