Archive for September, 2007
A short story from the collection of short stories Hidas intohimo (‘A slow passion’, Gummerus, 2007)
I don’t want to interfere with it. If something comes of it, then something comes of it. You can’t interfere with time, or fate, or another person. Time ripens things on its own. Fate takes a longer view of things than people do. Like the prophet says, there is a time for every purpose, for my purposes and other people’s.
This garden cottage is a good place to watch everything quietly, a ringside seat for someone who doesn’t want to flail around getting smashed up. The potatoes bloom when it’s time for them to bloom, depending on the length of the summer, the weather, and the time they were planted. Their white and purple flowers are worthy of admiration– potato flowers are flowers, after all. But when the flowers are just opening, it’s not yet time to go digging around among the roots. You have to restrain yourself and wait until the tubers form. You have to wait until they’re finished blooming and the flowers are replaced by plumping green, poisonous berries – though not all potato varieties produce them. But if your fingers are really itching for them, you can poke into the dirt and grope around a little before it’s really time, feel for tubers and remove them carefully, patiently, leaving the plant undisturbed for the smaller ones to grow. If the groping turns up something, you can slip away and savour it, but you still have to wait before you can dig up the whole plant with its rootstock, its beautiful pure tubers heaved up onto the soil, as if Life were offering itself on a silver salver. Then you can have them. They’re ready. But it takes time. Many good things are destroyed by impatience. More…
(Extracts from the epic poem Kaksikymmentä ja yksi, Otava, 1974)
Twenty-one and a sail, days and nights. Nights, they sleep. Days, they row, days and days up the Nevá, they row, stop at night, pull the vessel with ten pairs of oars across the bare water, from the Nevá to the Roiling Waves, from the Roiling Waves up to Novgorod, from Novgorod to the headwaters, and from there across the isthmus, over round logs, running the last log up to the prow, they pull, they row, they descend, they pull, they sail toward Pohja, the Southland.
Twenty-one and a sail, days and nights, nights, they sleep, they row, day and night, up the Nevá. The rower turns into arms, the arms turn into palms, the palms turn into oars, the oars turn into the river, the river runs. Night changes to day, day changes to autumn, autumn to wind, the wind turns into a sail, as one single bird ten pairs of oars pairs of wings fly upriver, across the isthmus, all night without stopping they pull, they float the vessel, they keep going toward the Southland. And South is the name of a slave. …
They stand in the Southland's yard. Bent, Bent, Nightbird, Big Toe, Crow's Son, Cuckoo's Son, Väinö's Son, Dead Man’s Son, Whitefish, Black Dick Man’s Wood, Broom, Lover Boy, Pumpkin, Water Cloak, Fishless, Stocking Foot, Fist, Mast and Fishery. Bent and Bent are twins, their father is also a Bent, Bent the Guardian of the Spears.
The poet Jouni Inkala finds the words-to-be of his slowly forming poems unbribable
My little fingertip, the size of a crocodile brain, and a turpentine-taste on my palate monitor this moment on the unoxygenated planet of weariness.
One will be baptised – spray paint suddenly swishing its message in my brains – as often in my life, with something darker than water freezing in the font, and I'll recall it's actually a donkey's-years-old message from my own stanzas. More...
Kesäillan kevyt käsitteellisyys.
III laulu: Suvisimfonia, omistettu Joel Lehtoselle.
‘A summer evening’s slight conceptualness’.
III song: Summer symfony, dedicated to the author
Joel Lehtonen (1881–1934)
From Eros (WSOY, 2002)
A summer evening’s slight conceptualness
Ah summer evening, and its eveningness,
its prodigious wonders and their bridgefulness
when the nightunited seamlessness
steals into one’s heart with restfulness
O heiferiness and humanness,
ah shivering shimmeringness,
and vastness with its stresslessness –
five or six chicks of a dabchick,
and deep water, lapfulness.
Our blue sky’s mirrored changefulness!
the spruces’ tall topliness, their tips’ sacredness
the yellow-billed black singer’s flutiness.
Nested cosiness, mutual tootiness! More…
Poems from Jouni Inkala’s Minuutin ja sen puolikkaan laajenevassa universumissa. Valitut runot 1992–2007 (‘In a minute and its half’s expanding universe’, WSOY, 2007)
Mice don’t know that in the case of a human being
the death of a dear one may paralyse
a person’s capacity for years and years.
But in two things they’re more experienced than we.
They understand they’re in constant mortal danger.
That the trap is swift and silent.
That poison is a tear of awareness rising from the heart.
They also realise that in a cat’s claws they fly
like jackknives in the hands of a knife thrower.
And that when the audience finally gets round
to wakening up their hand~ in a rising storm of applause,
they won’t be distinguishable from the arena spotlights
or the ringmaster’s tails.
After their full term of service the mice pass out
from this time to the other side, and there see a miracle:
the sun’s heart beating six hundred times a minute.
In Helsinki, recalling the Pinder Circus