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

confusing berries


For those confused about berries

The Blackberries
Francis Ponge

On the typographic bushes of the poem down a road leading neither out of things nor to the mind, certain fruits are composed of an agglomeration of spheres plumped with a drop of ink.

Black, rose and khaki together on the bunch, they are more like the sight of a rogue family at its different ages than a strong temptation to picking.
In view of the disproportion of seeds to pulp birds don’t think much of them, so little remains once from beak to anus they’ve been traversed.

But the poet in the course of his professional promenade takes the seed to task: ‘So,’ he tells himself, ‘the patient efforts of a fragile flower on a rebarbative tangle of brambles are by and large successful. Without much else to recommend them – ripe, indeed they are ripe – done, like my poem.’


Les Mûres

Aux buissons typographiques constitués par le poème sur une route qui ne mène hors des choses ni à l’esprit, certains fruits sont formés d’une agglomération de sphères qu’une goutte d’encre remplit.

Noirs, roses et kakis ensemble sur la grappe, ils offrent plutôt le spectacle d’une famille rogue à ses âges divers, qu’une tentation très vive à la cueillette.
Vue la disproportion des pépins à la pulpe les oiseaux les apprécient peu, si peu de chose au fond leur reste quand du bec à l’anus ils en sont traversés.

Mais le poète au cours de sa promenade professionnelle, en prend de la graine à raison : ‘Ainsi donc, se dit-il, réussissent en grand nombre les efforts patients d’une fleur très fragile quoique par un rébarbatif enchevêtrement de ronces défendue. Sans beaucoup d’autres qualités, – mûres, parfaitement elles sont mûres – comme aussi ce poème est fait.’

Photo by Don Lu on Unsplash



Blind Words
Rolf Jacobsen
-are words that lovers say with their skin
inside night’s space, where thoughts are without form.

-are words the dying person forms in his throat
and never gets said before the candles have burned down.

-are words the fetus says when it dreams
about sounds it cannot hear and colors it doesn’t know.

-are words the wind says to the tree and sorrows
say to our heart.

-words that were here before words were created,
words that the earth is made of
and that the stars exhale as light
in their timeless breathing.


Blinde ord
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“defuse your body’s insurgence”


Body Bereft
Antjie Krog

wednesday 18 june
over my terrified
body my hand moves again up to
my breast again hoping
that the lump of clay will not be there
that the hand misconstrued
that it has indeed vanished in the

meantime. the mountain stands
stripped clean and burnt through. I live by the
breath of the mountain alone.
I have no other competence. on
the windward side fringes of light sing, on
the lee side there is nought

from the waist you
blindly suppose yourself
secretly whole, you try to defuse

your body’s insurgence
against your body. let the stone lump
grow cold in the fog, let
the pine trees tilt like umbrellas in
a cortège, let my thoughts
steam to ripeness in sorrow. but I,

I am occupied this
morning: softly I coax my breasts to
unwind in foam, let them
freely drowse in tranquil fragrance, then
I rinse them in honey
to luminous shape and there where the

mammogram reveals its
blackest clot, I lather in light, I
caress with the sweetest
tonality of breath, of light-limbed
tintinnabulous bliss
there the light soaks in so blindingly

that the black membrane feels
itself blessed by blue, diluting its
viscous toxic polyps,
dissolving them to effluence. see
the rust bleed like biestings
from my nipples. Whole like a whiplash

I want to live on this earth.
(late night)
fuck-all. I feel fuck-all
for the life hereafter – it’s now that
I want to live, here that

I want to live. when I
look at you I grow sad, oh yes as
sad as the heart can see

sunday 22 june
my heart
whimpers on her hinges. I want to
touch something, hold something,
revive the wholeness that once was mine.

I want to return with
my previous body. I am not
I, without my body
only through my body can I in-
habit this earth. my soul
is my body entire. my body

embodies what I am.
do not turn against me, oh do not
ever leave me. do not
cave in around me, do not plummet
away from me, do not
die off on me, do not leave me with-
out testimony. I
have a body, therefore I am. step
into the breach for me –
yes, you are my only mandate to
engage the earth in love.

monday 23 june
the last rains of winter fall
faster than yearning or winter trees
with lymphatic systems
against the wintry light. it’s as if
I am young again in
my upper arms suddenly, and smooth

at the back of my head.
my body glows complete, my elbows
hang free with my senses
extended over my skin. I see
the mountain, maintaining
herself on her cliffs, containing her-

self in stone as stone, her-
self complete in herself. she decays
with the earth in the tongue
of eternity. I can do nought
but ascend in her with
roaring immaculate radiance

sunday 3 october
steadily the days curve
more brightly over me. the blossoms
are crushed by the wind. on
some inclines I shall never saunter
again. from the earliest
times you have been identified daily

and appropriated with
eyes and inhalations. only in
some imaginations
are you methodically flaked off.
my heart knows that you have
nothing to do with us, that you are

lost deep in the concept
of mountain, that the word mountain is
an abstract noun, that blue
is a verb, stone a friend, for next to
you I become she and
she he and we irrevocably

become us, because you
remain you. all in-
cantations of yearning
tilt in my chest. my pulse resounds with
poems and axillary
feathers, my blazing gizzard

buzzes with rhyme. I hone
my heart to yours. I shall never let
you leave me. words my mouth
will lose – my seams will be undone – I
speak many tongues but not
one of them any longer my own

Photo by Ari Spada 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.

tall to the sky


Yehuda Amichai
A stewardess told us to extinguish all smoking materials
And did not detail, cigarette, cigar, or pipe.
I answered her in my heart: You have beautiful love material,
And I did not detail either.

And she told me to buckle up, bind myself
To the chair, and I answered:
I want all the buckles in my life to have the shape of your mouth.

And she said: You want coffee now or later,
Or never. And she passed by me
Tall to the sky.

The small scar at the top of her arm
Testified that she will never be touched by smallpox
And her eyes testified that she’ll never fall in love again:
She belongs to the conservative party
Of lovers of one great love in their life.