Author: Mirkka Rekola

The best thing

30 September 2004 | Fiction, poetry

Poems from Valekuun reitti (‘The path of the false moon’, WSOY, 2004). Introduction by Herbert Lomas

At first light I put my hand
     in the hollow of a white willow –
once someone's cigarette box
had been left there –
     now a bird flew out
going seaward.
Touch of a wingquill on the back of my hand.
     It flew higher.
          In the evening
I felt its touch on my shoulder blade.


From life to life

Issue 2/1997 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems from Taivas päivystää (‘Sky on duty’, WSOY, 1996). Introduction by Tero Liukkonen

Flitting from dream to dream. Vanishings.
And you can’t even look.
What you looked with has been taken.
Then there’s more you know.
How helpless you are.
Then you know what Bottom meant
awake from his dream and trying to remember
what he’d lost. Then he did wake.
‘Man’s but a patched fool,’ he said,
‘if he’ll offer to say what methought I had.’

                                                                          Everything had gone topsy-turvy
                                                                          but she just went on feeling
                                                                                      she was hanging her head,
                                                                          she just went on feeling she was searching the lawn
                                                                                                   for a four-leaf clover,
                                                                          and the lawn had covered everything up
                                                                          and not a soul was troubling her.  More...

In my memory

Issue 4/1987 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

Poems and aphorisms from four collections. Introduction by Erkka Lehtola

Let the healing epidemics out! There must be some.

The many-headed monster, the market ideology, it can simultaneously read, count and even write at least 666 works. And without the sign of the beast no one can buy or sell.

Those who can read know you only realise you’ve forgotten how
when you can do it again.

What a handsome winter we have here! If it weren’t so dark, we’d see it. We could orientate ourselves on the stars with the beam from a pocket torch. Somewhere in mid-sky, I’d say, they come flying along on long lights.

As a child I said I’ll do what I want. Now I want what I do.

Who’s in the middle when the two sides of your face are side by side, as they are, in the mirror.

The trees that hide the sun are bright inside.

A frosty night when you feel the stars on your skin and discuss what you’re wearing.

Somebody’s walking over there, with an umbrella over his head, taking the rain for a walk.

I’m so delighted to find so much that’s useless.

What a relief there’s no longer enough time to get acquainted.

From Tuoreessa muistissa kevät (‘Springtime fresh in the memory’), 1987 More…


Issue 4/1987 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Maskuja (‘Mickeys’, WSOY, 1987). Introduction by Erkka Lehtola

When I was on a trip with my friend and there was a wide enough bed in the southern night for the two of us to sleep easily side by side, it was a big shock when, even so, I sprang up suddenly at midnight, and my friend did too, and there was a thud as our heads banged together and we saw stars, and in the morning no one could understand why we were so stupefied.

Micky ran to the barber’s. ‘Are you free? Could you do something with my hair?’ He took his cap off. ‘Look, all the hairs are loose at the other end.’

Once, out of sheer absent-mindedness, he was officiously helping someone onto a tram from behind; he grabbed their bottom, got a furious look, and spluttered,’ Sorry, but I thought it was your bag.’ More…

Meetingplace the year

Issue 2/1978 | Archives online, Fiction, poetry

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.