restful land


Aila Meriluoto

Under my hand
the sea of breathing swells.
A warm, restful land.
Deep winds the blood
and high: the ramifying veins
are filled with the huge wind’s sigh.
I listen, I admit: it is.

I don’t speak about this.

only a shadow


Evening Mood
Aila Meriluoto

It’s widening:
an evening like a sigh –
languidly spreading across the land.
The tree’s unclothing
its branches of their colours, darkening.
As if something somewhere
were ringing and ringing –
a song straying like an orphan.
The words seem
something I’ve heard:
‘only a shadow –
only a shadow of a dream’

It’s slipping away. It’s dwindling.
Everything – everything – I’ve been given
I’ll give away.



Tua Forsström
It rains sand and cinders

One day one comes out maybe on the other
side, in the cool reading rooms

someone spills me out like water.

like bread


Pentti Saarikoski
Life was given to man for him to consider
in which position he wants to be dead,
grey skies float by, star-meadows hang
and the earth comes into your mouth like bread


Elämä on ihmiselle annettu, jotta hän tarkoin harkitsisi,
missä asennossa tahtoo olla kuollut,
harmaita taivaita kulkee yli, tähtitarhoja riippuu
ja maa tulee suuhun kuin leipä.

Photo by Kym on Unsplash



Aila Meriluoto

So this is why everything was shaped,
the pelvis’s fine, shy curve
and the roseate fragile line of the soul.
Not for the somewhere melodious
immaterial smile of a passing god.
No. For this:
to form a gate, for a stranger to come in,
that first stranger, the ur- stranger.
And out of which will go, into the world,
other strangers, inconsequentially,
without a glance, setting their courses
towards their particular fates, driving away.

Expediency, ah – ah flesh –
not inviolate, slowly mouldering,
ah violated soul, rending from itself,
continually, a new soul,
and recovering only to rend itself again.
Scarred soul, where love, even,
is a utility, inescapable, for purpose-designed.

Life uses you. Just like that, unceremoniously,
with a sneer at best, makes use of, tosses away.
And if some corner remains untouched,
it’s no longer any use. A corner of a soul – yes.
Not tragic. Just useless now.

Photo by asoggetti on Unsplash

hard dry pain


Aila Meriluoto

A love: merely a sea
surging through the limbs, a sea of blood
with skin-hairs swaying like water-plants;
under the abundance a hard dry pain, submerged:
today under our boat –
a noon shadow?
a deep-down black palm supporting us:
ebony, plated with waves,
beautiful, from here, already.

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

swooned birds


In the season of birds constantly flying directly into my closed windows…

Eila Kivikk’aho
Words couldn’t move mountains
words weren’t even up to opening the door.

But when you’d gone,
I took them in, to shelter in the warmth,
like swooned birds that had hit the window.

And they never tire of singing.
And I keep on listening to them.

comes dear, going cheap


It Comes Dear and It’s Going Cheap
Caj Westerberg

Sitting in a café
and through the window there’s a little tree. A maple.
Its leaves are fluttering.
Visible right up to the tip.
Then behind it, though actually it seems in front
a tram’s pulling up and stopping. It opens its throat
and teeth rear up.
Then the jaws clack shut and the whole contraption slides off.
In the maple
there’s a convulsion.

Buying and selling
selling and buying
our own life.
Bad, bad.
It comes dear
and it’s going cheap.

Photo by Lyndon Li on Unsplash

pine needles


Pine Needles
Mirkka Rekola
Pine needles in the sun ball.
Quiet in the grass it doesn’t smell doesn’t fall off.

In early summer
the hedgehog jumped to a tarpit.
It was a hedgehog.

Here grew a little thirst and a lingonberry.

mumbling to oneself


Sirkka Turkka
Stars are again like a teary ballad, and at nights
dogs tune their cloven violins.
I do not let sorrow come,
I do not let it near.
A thousand feet of snow over my heart.
I mumble a lot to myself, in the street
I sing aloud.
Sometimes I see myself in passing, with a hat, perfect food
for winds, with some thought or other aslant.
I talk about death, when I mean life. I walk with my papers
in a mess, I don’t own a single theory, only a swearing dog.
When I ask for liquor, I’m offered ice-cream,
I may be a Spaniard, with my hairline
low like this, indeed:
I may not be from these parts.
I sweat, trying to talk, once in a while
I tremble.
Almost more than for my death, I mourn for my birth.
And all I ask for
is a thousand feet of snow over my heart.