Thursday, February 25, 2016

F O T O, poems 11 - 20

near Övre Soppero

11.  (The lakes) 

The long hours fall faster
than an accident

in the days we pay for ¾
the days we meant.

12.  (Stray reindeer)

A lumbering bin with flies, funny and pettish;
while the herd ran in a groove on the fell, between mists,

you lay near the dwellings, where nobody knows your language,
where your antlers are sticks, and your eye a dim beast’s.

13.  (Cotton-grass ― Eriophorum vaginatum)

The softness of water but not the wetness,
silky fluff, tuvull.

It chops the air. Bed-linen
grew up from the dark pool.

14.  (Derelict shed ― Lainioälven)

There is no building to last. It lives
to be a hindrance when it’s empty.

A seashell though delayed on the gentle beach
trails its home-soul into nonentity.

15.  (The bygd)

In the crook of the river’s elbow
grows the human country, a flat pan

smoothed out by the ice
to write your name on, hembygdsman!

16.  (Flowery meadow)

Beside the river Lainio
the rainbow of spring

rolled into one with summer
is passionate from hard waiting

17.  (Laura walking away, Nordkapp Express passing by)

The river persists. Behind a single grasshead
it roars under the large sky. You swayed on tufty mesas

in a fringe of the meadow tousled with one-off paths,
and looped with camera-strap, were a swift gazer.

18.  (Brudborste ― Melancholy Thistle ― Cirsium heterophyllum)

From long rhizomes seventeen long rods
flare slowly in the warm, damp air; but not for us.  

I saw them ―.  pleading in colour like the mouths
of baby birds, or a mouth flushed for a kiss.        

19.  (Övre Soppero Birches)

This has been children’s land: here’s a ball, a clothes-peg;
a plank that bounces over a grassy crater...

And the trees are ringbarked, too; but the twickering crowns
dwell on it calmly, all their good and bad: their own nature. 

20.  (Mum and Dad, picnic on table)

After many years... these are the cups, blue and yellow!
Perhaps smaller. Taste it. Taste your tea.

The plastic is only a little scoured, it decays slowly.
(A blank screen crackled with faces ― finally me.) 


Back-story: the road-trip continues up through Lapland. Poems 14-20 are located beside the Lainio, a northern river. 

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