The scorpion’s heart

Issue 2/1998 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems From Skorpionin sydän (‘The scorpion’s heart’, WSOY, 1997). Introduction by Jyrki Kiiskinen

Earth’s hot womb brought to a boil
the grain ripens

among your golden chaff
and sharp awns
you walk and listen

        The Stranger
here it found a place, 

its dark apartments glittered
 the dead
perfumed, trembled

and now
through the small cremation hatch
you see
see how the coffin thunderously
flares, disappears
in elemental fire


My Child My Almond Eye
                   Do not be afraid

I too am afraid

Everyone in turn steps out
into his yard
eyes pierced for a moment, seeing


Brains, tenderly scooped out into the light

immersed in a mountain of salt,

now guarded by
a clay figure, spear in hand, Time?
(its rotting strength loved only by the fruit,
the tasty pyramid of its secret seeds)

body soul! game of hide and seek, waiting
(noble pile of bones)

Nefertiti ‘s nocturnal gaze


In a room with a number
an unknown
sterilized room

        close to the North Star
my son fights, sleeps
Blind, people’s hands
                 gently touch my heart,
my city has a name,
         it is empty
The swans, I ask, up on the hill
the swans,
with their heavy wing- beat
lighting up our faces for a moment,
the swans,
have they already left

Translated by Anselm Hollo


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