Poem a Day #9: Nordic Noir

Nordic Noir

My sister Valerie put me onto the Danish T.V. series, “The Killing” or “Forbrydelsen”.  Season 1 is a dark, murder mystery /detective  story, centred around the killing of a young woman in Copenhagen. In recent years I’ve watched various versions of  “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Let the Right One In”. I also read one Jo Nesbo book (which was truly awful and makes me wonder how he is said to have written some brilliant books – maybe he has but “Headhunters” is not one of them).

The films and books all strongly feature the Scandinavian environment, usually lots of snow, cabins in the wood, deranged murderers and disfunctional detectives.


Nordic Noir

In this permanent winter

Nordic crimeland

everybody speaks with

a hurdy gurdy lilt


At night the characters

are like porn stars

waiting off set

for their next assignment


The detectives have

been trained by

either Sherlock Holmes

or Inspector Clousseau


The police chief

does his utmost

to hinder investigations

until the final episode


Children are self-sufficient

living on one meal a week

and needing only an occasional

“I’m such a bad parent” apology


The cars are brick-like

and steer themselves

whilst the driver converses

at length with a passenger


The politicians are

sharp suited narcissists.

Big busted personal assistants

live under their office desks


Everybody avoids

toilets and showers

(that’s where you get murdered)

but maintain clean-shaven

shiny haired perfection


The crime would be solved

in episode one

but for evidence withheld

for no better reason than

“I didn’t think it was important”


Scandinavian house hunters

are more concerned

about living next door

to a detective than a murderer


Ikea filled houses

are self-cleaning

but every carpet has

a still damp blood stain


© Mike Hopkins 2014

Poem a Day – 26 – Too Late

I’ve committed to writing a poem a day for the month of April as part of National Poetry Writing Month.

26th April

When you have to generate a poem every day, you search for inspiration in the most unlikely of places. I’ve belatedly started watching The Wire, said my some to be the greatest TV series ever. I’m hooked. HBO have done some great work : The Sopranos, Deadwood, Treme, all hooked me, and The Wire has done the same.  This poem comes from the famous “Tap, Tap, Tap” incident in the first series.

Too Late

Tap, Tap, Tap

pulling her from sleep

so deep, so deep

There.  Again

the kitchen window
pulling on a robe

stepping lightly

feeling her way
down the hallway

deep, deep dark

a familiar outline
at the window

Tap, Tap, Tap

pulling on the light cord
just a shape

pressing her face

close to the glass
to see that face

to see her fate

the barrel of a gun
Tap, Tap, Tap

pulling her head away

too late. Too, too late


copyright Mike Hopkins 2012