Archives for posts with tag: Sweden

licensed tommy alven
Eskilstuna Rag
by Chris Vannoy

The snowflakes are dancing around me
and I am smiling!
Ginsberg is sleeping in Izzy’s basement and I am smiling
as Irene screams slam poetry standing on top of the piano
where Tom Waits bangs out a new tune with a cigarette
dangling from his lower lip
while Dylan’s ghost throws down another whisky
and I am drunk on IPA.

Charlie Chaplin taps his cane
listening to the thumping beat of sweet jazz blues
as the psychedelic jukebox drops another record
onto the turntable of the world
where Bessie Smith melts magic from the microphone
and Miles blows his midnight horn

Marlene catches my eye with a wink
And we are dancing, dancing, dancing…

PHOTO: Eskilstuna, Sweden by © Tommy Alvén, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was written on my first visit to Stockholm. I met Israel “Izzy” Young and he told me that Ginsberg  used to sleep in his basement when he visited there. “Irene” was the host at a poetry reading in Eskilstuna…the Dylan reference is there because I was on my way to see Dylan Thomas’s childhood birthplace in Swansea, Wales…Tom Waits…I worked at the same pizza parlor he did…just six months after he quit…the rest of the characters I think you know already.

chris vannoy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chris Vannoy has been writing for most of his life. Promoter, editor, teacher, and tireless advocate of words both heard and spoken; he works endlessly to raise up words from page to ear and from mouth to the air. The originator of the Poet’s Tree featured and open reading series, as well as editor of the Poet’s Tree Press, He is also curator for “Bedder” poetry reading series and the International Beat Poetry Festival in San Diego. He has read at Mills College in Oakland, California, and at The West Coast Regional slam at Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California. In 2017 and 2018, he’s read in Stockholm, Sweden; London, England; Cardiff, Wales; Swansea, Wales; Margate, England; Ramsgate, England; Dover, England; Chatham, England; Seattle, Washington; and San Francisco, California. In 2019, he was appointed Beat Poet Laureate of the United States by the International and National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. Find him at youtube and soundcloud.

Midsummer – Sweden
by Bruce Louis Dodson

This sans sunset day
twilight till dawn
another summer solstice
endless clock of seasons.

Magic hours when animals can talk
and humans dream of lovers
dress the maypole
join in celebration
gatherings of thousands

celebrate until the early morning mist.

Life on earth reborn.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Midsummer (Midsommardagan) is arguably the most celebrated holiday in Sweden — certainly equal to Christmas. It is the summer equinox, a magical time when the sun does not set.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat living in Borlänge, Sweden, where he practices photography and writes fiction and poetry. His most recent work has appeared in Breadline Press West Coast Poetry Anthology, Foreign & Far Away – Writers Abroad Anthology, Sleeping Cat Books – Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, The Crucible, Blue Collar Review, Barely South Review, 3rd Wednesday, The Path, Northern Liberties Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Sounds of Solace – Meditative Verse Anthology, Tic Toc Anthology, High Coupe, and Vine Leaves. Visit him at


We have many reasons to feel grateful and happy. For one thing, we feel honored that people from around the world visit our blog each day. To each of you, I extend my deep appreciation. Today, we learned that we’d surpassed 800 likes — and that, of course, makes us very happy. Thank you to everyone who clicked the like button for one of our posts. We like you, too!

A few weeks ago, I picked up a jar of Felix Lingonberries on the Albertson’s close-out shelf for just 99 cents. (From what I understand a 10-ounce jar usually sells for about $7.00.) When I got home, I put away the jar and forgot about it (that’s what often happens to impulse purchases — even inexpensive ones). A couple of days ago while looking for a coffee filter, I came upon the jar of lingonberries and, lo and behold, noticed the brand name “Felix.” This caught my eye because I’d used a Felix the Cat illustration when talking about our 700 likes a few days ago. At the time, I noted that “Felix means happy.”

Well, what could make someone happier than luscious red jam called Felix? I’ll admit, I have very little idea what a lingonberry even tastes like. I think I had some years ago on pancakes at Ann Sather’s, a well known Swedish restaurant on Chicago’s North Side — but couldn’t remember the flavor. So to familiarize myself before opening the jar, I did a little research and learned that lingonberries are the “cranberries of Sweden” and are found on the forest floor (sounds magical to me!).

The Felix Lingonberries label is quite beautiful and poetic — showing glowing lingonberry orbs and describing the product as, “A wild natural treat from the Swedish forests.” In small print (I needed a magnifying glass) at the bottom of the label, it stated: “Established 1955 by Herbert Felix.” First Felix the Cat and now Herbert Felix! I am now embarking on a search for even more Felixes!

Wishing happy, happy, happy times to all! As Aristotle put it, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” 

Just think, philosophy lessons from feline cartoons and a jar of jam. I feel blessed! And as I open the jar of Felix Lingonberries and take a bite, I share this wild treat with all of you! (I’m breaking the label right now.I’m opening the  jar. I hear the vacuum seal pop. I’m taking off the lid.  I’m dipping in the spoon. I’m taking a bite. Mmm. Tart and delicious. I think I’ll make some toast!)

Photo: Clancy and Felix