Thursday, May 12, 2016

F O T O, poems 71 - 80

The hole at Döda Fallet (poem 75)

71. (Writing in Sveja café)

Rain blew us in here, among almond cakes sheened
with icing: the commonest things! postcards, souvenirs,

the stillness ― nailclippers glinted yellow and blue.
The tea chinked. Outside, prowling, the rain continues.

72. (Spinning wheel at Sveja café)

Slowly this spinning stopped. It went with its people
who one by one lay down in hospitals and stopped.

No spinning for me!  No mild face, no clasp or hat,
no share in any of the homespun things they hoped.

73.  (Red moss in the forest)

By the way-side, the wanderer’s pillow:
prod, and a cool damp rises. I tried to forget it,

but my fingers don’t forget: for many years
they have begged to sleep in the free forest.  

74. (Döda Fallet the Dead Fall)

A sculling water stood, sucked into a braid between trees
and boiling, twisting, exploding in the past,

that hollow place. Bare stones, and the smell of coffee.
A bee hums flatly, crossing the same river twice.

75. (Looking through a hole in the rock Döda Fallet)

The river’s whorls left the stone drilled and in two places
ventilated with our day. You up there, me below.

We shouted so each could hear the space around.
I’m not a mirror or a telly, I am the one you know.

76. (Setting off ― hat on back)

Raindrops kindled on an aspen-leaf; unrolling over fields
the sun sharpened each edge of trees with newer light.

Maybe they look now as they really are, living in stillness.
With us it’s different, we launched wheeling on menstrual routes.

77. (Laura writing Holmstagården)

You shield this, not to keep secret for always,
but to present mocking and hear with delight.

You dress up a whole stretch of yourself at once,
to slay me beside the pines in the sunlight. 

78. (Dad and me by bonfire)

The smoke rose far off, I hurried to come and stand by you.
Then we regard the flames and share the distance

you couldn’t help imposing, when I was born. In the midst
of youth I was there: you made me, yet it felt like chance.

79. (Bonfire ­ smoke and sun)

Leafy boughs crackle, turn red and evanesce.
Thick smoke chivvies us sideways. The sly-heap dwindles.

Twenty-five summers of burning, to make out this garden
a nature with paths, a hymn of sky and details.

80.  (Laura raking bonfire)

Then we scrape it back, hush it into a calm oval
like a sleeping breast, a shallow mound.

The trees breathe again their damp gaseous food.
After dark, it glows softly and pink, warm all round.


Back-story. Walks and cottage chores around Utanede in E. Jämtland.

71-72 A cafe that operated for a few years at the south end of the village.
74-75 The famous "Dead Falls", the exposed river-bed at the former site of Storforsen, now a tourist attraction a few miles further up the Indal valley. I gave a brief account of what happened here:
78-80 Bonfires are only permitted during, or soon after, rain.
79. "Sly". Local word for straggly young trees and bushes, which grew very rapidly and had to be cleared from the garden every year.

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