Meetingplace the year
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,
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 tracing. Now it has turned dark, I do not wear it, I only twist it absently. 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
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