The sea so open

Issue 3/2008 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems from Delta (Teos, 2008). Introduction by Jukka Koskelainen

Like wave-polished stones
we sit on a seashore rock, shading our eyes
from the sun, each other, the deltoid sails, the water.

You ask nothing more,
you know the sum of the angles of a triangle,
that you have your sides, as I do

sometimes they near each other
as if to penetrate each other, cut
a hole in the landscape.

A seagull settles on a crag,
without a glance aside, you’re up and disappear
from my side.

Sails, other sails.
the sea so open and the sky open.


With the seagulls screaming, what you were waiting for
you’re awaiting again
on the other side of the gate, for someone else.

As you put it one morning, in the way you would,
you’d rush against the wind. which
everyone but you alone would …

Many a person is shorter than the sentences
said to him.
Many sentences are shorter than the person who says them.

Some morning each of us will wake up said differently.
Even with that person you can live.
What if it’s all a dream and the words echoes on the cave walls.


If there’s no god, one must seek god.
If there’s nothing else, one can always try love,
so there’ll be nothing else.

Truth is a word that makes for blindness.
Blindness is a word that makes for truth.
So you can say: sea and sky and birds in the sky.


You’ve put a cheap souvenir icon
on the television, for us to remember our journey,
how I ran down the hill-slope from the monastery
chasing a turtle,
for us to remember that there’s another world
or reality, as you said.

Come nearer, you said,
can you feel it, can you feel it?
Your heartbeat I felt, the moisture from your mouth,
I felt you, but not your world, that.image
in which I ran down the hill,
nor that other reality you see through the icon.

Eternity is just a synonym for death,
for the fact that we’ll finally be one.


At the airport entrance there’s a silver MiG21
It’s been set up on a concrete pedestal
at a takeoff angle of 45 degrees.

Its cylindrical fuselage oozes power,
its pure delta wings
suggest supersonic yearning.

It’s been made to break sonic barriers,
to create shock waves,
the gun in its belly would like to heat up again,
spit a thousand shots a minute.

Now it lies on its cross and looks upwards
at its imaginary flight trajectory.

Sometimes light comes so fast
you don’t notice it, sometimes sound,
sometimes even the years are reckoned incorrectly.

I have memories
that are light as paper aeroplanes.
They fly above my words
just as if they’d like to be hoped for.


On all the beaches, even the ones
we never wandered on, we’ve left our shell,

on all the lights, shadows, sounds,
echoes that, like children, repeat,
the waves that repeat, are repeated,

and the dozing off, cool as wind
heavy as shadow, lighter than sun,

the dream we see, open beaches,
the skin’s saltiness, the mouth’s softness.

Translated by Herbert Lomas

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