Meetingplace the year

Issue 2/1978 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems from Kohtaamispaikka vuosi (‘Meetingplace the year’, 1977). Introduction by Mirjam Polkunen


I look in from the gateway
                         there are children, there in the yard playing.
They look small from here, remote.
                                              From the years
I have walked past this gateway,
there they are: five, six.
                                              The same number.
They have a ball in the air, they yell at it.
Silly that I still here too
                                              remember you,
I could be the same age now.


It was the end of the year
when I saw an old man on that rock
                         with his yellow windmill.
Snowflakes were falling, the sea was still unfrozen,
                                              it turned slowly,
the surface of the ball divided
                        into four curved wings.
He spoke of the wind's strength,
he wanted it for generators.
                        Its wings, when it turned faster,
as it turned it was like a big flower.


I turn over the large white printed sheets,
more and more snow falls, the paper looks yellow,
silence settles.
Here is a fingerprint, a petal here
the chapter, the twelfth, in which he was lost .


The sky starry. There it still trips about.
Perhaps it looks at its reflection
                                              in the icy black sheeting
head tilted
the little pleiad, the seventh,
a girl changed into a dove on my roof.


I heard the sun's flute,
                                              a blackbird
in that silence, in a leafless tree.
That day I changed towns,
                         now it is another,
the same one I met when it was populated
with all of you.
                         The gateway is so open towards me
that there is no one inside.
I remember the nine gateways
                                              in the old park,
at the old cemetery the keeper went round
closing them.
This town is the months from autumn to autumn,
                         and it does not grow old from it,
its springtime is day to day, night to night,
it is always so different.


When he comes
from the chapel of rest to the park walk
                                              he is a child again,
in his eyes a town,
                         all those people
come from it.


I twist this, I give it meaning,
it is like a bird's leg-ring
fallen from the air into the palm.
It has flown from an island, a three-pointed one.
There is a mountain there like a triangle too.
                                              I bought it there
in front of the old theatre, at the door.
It was on the ground on a deep blue cloth,
a small bright circle,
                                              not quite closed,
of tough metal,
it could not be bent with the fingers.
Its edge is adorned with an uneven line:
                         a mountain range, handwriting, like cardiogram
                         Now it has turned dark,
I do not wear it, I only twist it
When I put it on my finger, into my mouth comes
                                              a strange metallic taste.
There it is. It is hard to get off.
When you wear it a moment, it seems to be there
for days, nights afterwards.

Translated by Keith Bosley


No comments for this entry yet

Leave a comment