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A PLACE IN THE SUN
 

Poems

  
 

 

 

Renaissance
 

 
In the mellow sun of Florence afternoon
a fat monk laughed at my leannes:
"un po' di pasta, fratello!"
Having walked in the footsteps of Mihelangelo
I listened to a revolutionary freak,
who foamed at Ponte Vecchio
and I saw the city glory fade
in the fiery sermons of Savonarola
when I breathed the tense air of his room
in San Marco’s monastery
I beheld the creation of the world from the Mount Sinai,
renascent





 

 

 

 

I
A PLACE (longing, emptiness, absence)
In the beginning

 

*
To be
in consciousness, in memory,
in passive consciousness,
in things that flow through the mind
Places, people (places first, then people)


*
Thirty years ago, night
Streets of a small town, dark market square
In the whole universe, just that square,
only that square
Across that square in the dark night
Total silence
I kick a loose stone in the centre of the square
It skips, dances and laughs

 

 
 

 

 *


To be
in memories and in the vacuum of the now
Yet to be everywhere
where I have been and left
my figerprints in the consciousness of the universe
disturbing it (ŽDo I dare disturb the universeŽ), yes


*
Empty market-square
Wide as all deserts of the world together
Houses unreachable
You unreachable
I kick the stone in the middle of the square
The stone skips, dances and laughs
It breaks the silence of the universe




  

 

 

*

To exist:
a joy, a burden or
all the states of experience,
of cosciousness in between these
Reality, experienced with different degrees of consciousness
which opens to dazzling vistas,
which threatens to crush
under its weight

*
From beneath the bright surface of the lake,
from the deep green in its depths
the water-lilies rise
like dreams from the depths of the mind
bright as their flowers

*
O childhood,
O consciousness wiuthout flaws or cracks
free form the strain of memories and experience
How totally everything then
was absorbed to me,
became part of me

 

 
  

 

 

*


I lose myself here
in my childhood forest,
it’s happy, mysterious deep green,
in warmth of the sun by the lake,
where from underneath the clear face of the water
stones, pebbles and small fish shimmer
among the waterweeds
My childhood dream has a scent of
summer forest and of joy


*
The sky of my childhood homeyard
The blue shell of a sparrow’s egg
blue of hope
Playground of angels
romping in a child’s thoughts


 

 
  

 

 

*
In the sky. in the heights of deep blue
the walls of the lofty castles of clouds
The red of the pine’s towering trunks glows
from the edge of the forest
as majestic music
Deep peace and joy
as I have risen from the water
I have returned to the joy of my childhood
to it’s unbroken peace


*
Today
many memories float in
the troubled waters of my mind
Lands, places, peolple, scents
Everything in a motley jumble
heap of dissociated pictures
without the glow and wholeness
which the first impressions
of my childhood had

 

 

  

 

A literary paraphrase to Ralph Vaughan Williams' composition Fantasia

 on a theme by Thomas Tallis

1
Morning fog on the sea;
greenish-grey main, rocky islands; solitary forms,
shaped by winds and sea;
stout pines, twisted by storms
rise to the light: branches as in prayer.

2
Wind wakes in the reeds, rushes in the trees;
awesome harmony of light scent sound touch
is suddenly rushing as waves in the air, above the sea
capturing the whole of consciousness.

3
Rocky islands; grey, smoothed by rain and wind,
forms as the deep roar of the contrabasses and cellos;
deep roar or throb, subterranean staccato;
mighty boulders sleeping in an aquamarine dream.


 

 

 

 

4

Then: a man and a woman,
a duet of a cello and a violin;
they sit and and hear a bird singing,
the wind rushing, the hymn of the sea;
they sing in a slow, swaying harmony, gentle.

They hear God's grandeur on the sea,
His mighty breath moving among the rocks and trees,
through the birds' throats in the trees.
From their breast, answering, rises a mighty wave of music;
it sways in the brain as water; it moves from their spirit
to the natural, from the natural to their spirit;
the music writes itself down on a paper.


Their hands rise up in praise as conducting orchestra;
following the free course of the sea-gulls they fly
in the music of their mind to the blue sky.

 

 

 

  
 
On a performance of the same composition, by the London Musicale
in Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki

Before floating into the space of pure, translucent
waves of music
somber rocks constrain the staccato of contrabasses.

The copper ceiling reflects dimly but passionately
the glow of sound, mysterious, as through stained glass;
(Christe qui lux est et dies)
the setting sun of the cellos.

A dim glow, mysterious;
the gray rocks of the coasts of Wales,
where the sea breaks in gigantic waves,
where the wind wails in the cloisters
of a ruined monastery.

Rising and receding I am transported into the Limitless
in the choirs of strings of burning copper;
to the majesty and simplicity of Vaughan Williams' sound,
the glow of the Tallis' spirit.

I feel the smell of the salty seawind, almost as incense
floating on high in the light of a setting sun
as the worship rises higher and higher
on the waves of pure and eternal wings of music.

 

 

  
 

 

 

Notes in hospital after infarctus cordis
 

 
Light is rested here:
no movement, sound or time;
just mere existence in the Light,
still.

*
Let the Light define your existence;
let it define the forms of that which is important,
as well as of which is not.

*
Every site of disaster is declared
nonaccessible to the public;
I am shut off from the mundane hubbub
which seems to demand attention;
no intrusion is allowed to the area
which must be valued totally afresh.



 

 
  

 

 

*

Every important point has to be marked out
with swift accuracy of pen,
as when the police arrives at the scene
of an accident and shuts the site off from the public;
everything is seen only from the point of
the Life in danger.

*
Love surrounds me as Light and joy
as the whisper of the waves breaking to the seashore;
as words which reach the mind and the unconscious
as warm waves.
Continuous and insistent as the sea
God's love whispers to my consciousness;
it's gentle murmur breaks
even the thickest walls.

*
Thank You Father for hugging me through pain
so lovingly; thank You for waking me
to your Light, to your joy and freedom.
Thank You Jesus for your pains on Calvary,
where you embraced us to be your own, forever!


 

  

 

 

*
Without a steady foothold in a situation, a moment
light spills through foliage against the open window;
an aperture to the unknown, to the future perhaps.

Indecision, not knowing;
only seeing the Light, hearing music and the typewriter.
Someone as a silhouette against the Light,
against the aperture to the future, perhaps, gesturing
in indecision, not knowing.

Feeling dislodged in an aperture as a window or a door.
Through the foliage the Light;
music from another world, unreachable,
only seen through faith, occasionally heard unclear
as in a dream.

Someone against the door as a silhouette
not knowing whether to stay or go
whether to say yea yea or no no.

 

 

  

 

To Samuel Becket

 

 
Crawling crawling in a room in darkness
rotting walls shut doors shuttered windows
out sunshine
out the sun blazes gleams

In you dark sun hidden
darkness in you crawling in you crying
Say wind say wind say
wind say sun say
sun say sky say air
(Crawling in dust in mud darkness on the floor)

Say light SAY LIGHT say
wind (Crawling)
Come out to the light come
to the wind come walk come
show your face don't hide show
your spirit soul body show
them to the LIGHT