An infinite number of days

Issue 1/1997 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems from Molnsommar (‘Cloud summer’, Schildts, 1996). Introduction by Tuva Korsström

Old man

He almost merely slept
and while he slept
his life was accomplished.
Pieces slid out
were examined and fitted together
and while he slept
he was made ready.

The silver day

A gentle trickling outside, twilight
in the green June rooms, in the middle
of the day.
The summer repents in chilly mist
and drops roll down from sated leaves
that don’t want any more, that say no thanks.
And we too have enough of the silver day
that gently murmurs from us
and that’s owned
by someone else, we can dearly hear the flute
from the nearest birch, with low round notes
we don’t count, we’re merely guests.


It is the seventeenth of July.
I am sitting on a blue chair
by a lava-yellow rock
by the sea-holly’s grey greenness.
The ant crawls over my foot in the sand
the sea talks softly behind my back.
My body is no concern of mine
It talks to the sun by itself.
No one disturbs me, not even my book
asleep on my knee
and for a long time it is the seventeenth of


What I long for:
the same old striped blouse
the same old checked blouse
the same writing desk
the same sky outside the window
a piece of reality under the lens
and an infinite number of days.

The bulb’s fear

The bulb won’t leave the pot.
Dear, you’re to be transplanted
that pot is too small for you.
No. The bulb won’t leave the pot.
Pinches with tough roots
adheres with sticky hairs
clings fast
to the brown rim.
Come, before the pot bursts
come, before you choke.
No. The bulb won’t leave the pot.

The interview

And then when you have poked
      in all the comers 
and pulled out all the drawers and looked
      for secrets 
and thrown my old shoes out of the wardrobe
and picked up all my bits of paper
and swept the place clean and think that now
you know everything
you look round for me
but I have gone into the next room
and closed the door.

Translated by David McDuff


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