F O T O, poems 21 - 30
|Skibotn harbour, photo by Matti Paavola|
[Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storfjord#/media/File:Skibotn_harbor_and_camping_area.jpg]
21. (Inside a hut for travellers)
The walls still tell the names,
but it’s empty in cloudy August.
The ash in the grate remains
from that blaze of winter quarters.
22. (Me at the top of a pine)
Those light-starved spruces, pretty, narrow and black…
and now the last sprinkle of trees, you can board the tallest,
and walking you breast the canopy; snow has broken it,
animals come to scratch and scent twigs in a forest.
23. (The view south)
There it all is. No track beyond that dip.
Try to take it in: the land that no-one made.
And no it's not eloquent. Maybe like a child
who is unconcerned and uninjured.
24. (Mum and Dad in northern Lappland ― their parents)
You, their blood, have outdistanced them;
it began with that miraculous cranky Morris
(1960) and you roared along the sea-front in the rain.
But I won’t do this, I won’t so outdrive your glories.
25. (The mountains)
Bolstered in the mountains, I fancy,
lurks undisturbed the snowstorm’s emperor.
Much is hiding there that never resumes.
A child makes outlines on the forest floor.
26. (At a table in grillen, Mum & Laura, sunset)
Shadows crossed the golden omelette,
golden pommes frites, shy icy beer.
In that moment, we made a hearth, “us four”;
it could get broken, but not disappear.
27. (Laura in grillen)
Sea-moisture, bottle-brown stream-moisture,
pine-mist on deep open sea-slopes.
Evening; your stovebrown babysoft hair
tangled and tumbled from the hair-clip.
28. (Waving ice-cream by the fjord)
The glaciers yes they should be eaten,
sugared with amazing orange dye.
Something human about it factories lorries
no it’s you waving: raw, casual ceremony.
29. (Moored boats)
The gloved fingers of the fjord jostle the dishes,
and to see the captains’ temples is really not solemn.
Their reverent hearts are breaking gladly in town.
We starlings prod hereabouts, we feel at home.
30. (Grey beach ― last sunshine on hills ― Who owns the land?)
It is so tranquil in the cool night shadows
while the sunset still rotates way up in the air
and lights up Yykeänperä's rocks. We strolled and sat
by the shore as if it were no-one's and nowhere.
Back-story: 21-24 As before, in the far north of Sweden near the river Lainio. (Thereafter we crossed the border into Finland at Karesuando, and drove NW, passing into Norway a couple of hours later.) 25-30 are located at Skibotn ("Yykeänperä" in the Same language), where we stayed overnight. Skibotn is on a coastal fjord but is ringed by mountains and has no open view of the sea.
(21.) Norrland's wilderness huts are used more in winter than in summer.