Friday, April 22, 2016

F O T O, poems 61 - 70

Northern Crowberry (Empetrum hermaphroditum), photo by Anna-Lena Anderberg 

[Image source:]

61. (Washing clothes in the garden)

Plain flowers, children, their tiny tops,
tenderly handled, long gone, long grown out of.

Under a foreign sky, wringing your socks.
For each past, we still carry the useless love.

62. (On the bron Mum arranging flowers)

You spared a posy and naturally it’s obstinate;
the stems huddle, all the worse for the breeze.

Untidy! Your fingers dab, you’d like to plait it.
And then the shape settles just right in your eyes.

63. (Laura and me Holmstagården)

Only us. We switched tables with the sun, and finally
camped out in the café lawn, in bowls of clover.

Sitting still, we pivot. The sweeping pine sweeps in reverse.
And now, the building is watching us over its shoulder. 

64. (Campfire Norrsjön)

In the flurrying smoke clutching your sandwich:
the smile of the lucky one. The flame’s soft ditty

sings like it never stopped singing five years ago,
and you were one of my sisters, minding eternity.

65. (Picnic beneath the pines)

Dad has a dozen casts, and lands a jack-pike.
My concentration broke, but the hundred trees

never miss a single detail. The lake’s latest instalment
narrates all summer. And then? Well, everything freezes...

66. (Drinking tea)

The patchy pine-spires, their sifted lights,
their rationed rain on crowberries, rocks, bilberries —­

for ever. Eclipsed by a totem, bristly pig-face:
all in scented reflection, I tipped it into me.

67.  (Rowing Norrsjön)

Over the blind transom you lolled your fingers...
Far off, a diver honks — us, too! The dinghy bends

and shies, ruffled by waves. They are coursing coldly
under the deck, those songs without friends.

68.  (Sleeve over mouth)

“Have I gone too far at last?” your eyes watched me,
spoilt and shining. You have completely overhauled

the fizzing ant-hill and the sunstriped lake, this isn’t the walk
I thought I’d take. It was nature: but this is wild. 

69. (Moss-hall)

Within the shadows sometimes are quiet halls, bright green
and foodless to go to. Here moss riots, immobile.

A yellow leaf has drifted here, presented on a cushion.
A beach, a church. To scuffle and shriek in the aisle.

70. (Kvarnån in spate)

From out of the woods, Kvarnån aired a crush
of yellow histories; they winked, plunged under the bridge.

And beyond, it steadies, it becomes a brilliant sash. 
They built there: hard, flat rooms; the hum of a fridge...


Back-story: In and around Utanede. 61-62: Cottage chores. 63: Local cafe. 64-67: a local lake (on the forested plateau to the east of the Indal valley). 68-69. Walking back from the lake. 70. Local beck in spate after more rain. 

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