Friday, February 23, 2007

Tomas Ekström; six poems


Just before I fell asleep
I saw a sheet fall,
the country sinking deep
beneath the sea

On an island Jan Wolkers sits
twisting sculptures
out of his aged body,
he keeps prying and scratching
where the words gave out

With his back he holds
the North Sea at bay

On the mainland the roads wind
away lost in the fog
and the sheep steadily sink
into the swampy ground

Jan Wolkers dreams
of a morning long ago,
of the smell of piss from thousands
of crowded cattle

He dreams of the woman
who sat in his sink
and a cold hollands


The dying Ezra Pound
looks back upon his life-work
regrets everything

"A swollen magpie in
unsteady sun"

To see:
the only real
knowledge is
in uncertainty


On the street corner
on a winter sunday
neglected in an unexpected

Only a fool listens
to the alarm clock
on a day like this with
a tired

I look too long
at somebody,
take out a criminal
claim for the snowstorm

When you should be
not a crack
in the wakefulness leading
back to the dream

I lie sleeping, turn
carefully to the left to the right
but not too much
On my back a cat lies putting me
to sleep with claws in my back

One day maybe all this doesn't
mean anything anymore, not even
A dog who was named Fidel
Or a record by Orup
that someone I liked thought was good

I lie sleeping, dreaming of
an autumn in Johanneshov
In the leaf-fog I see someone lose his
blackness, come closer with the dog
on a long string

It's like being a tourist
not knowing where to go
when the souvenir shops are closed
One day maybe all this doesn't
mean anything anymore, not even

Sometimes it is thinned out
and our shadows rattle
through the door

Here in an unfamiliar wakefulness
the world looks neither
kind nor common

Here the sun can hardly burn
away all decayed annual rings

Deep beneath the railroad tracks
the shadows of the trees are taller
than the trees
Winds pass there,
elusively they circle
and turn their faces
to a sun that doesn't

We are below the storms,
the developers
and the ink cartridges
Harvest will be good;
I lift a dampened
to the wind


Roadside, august drought:
the second lets
it's refuse drop

Harvest of clothberries
and mustard heather
Everything here crunches

Lavender burns
by the roadside, I see a
road sign, august drought


Heaven hatches house-sparrows
Children bred to kill and be killed
Nail nails and throw apple-cores
squelch in mud


The air smells of metal


You ask me
where the misery is.

It’s not here.
On the contrary:

the joy of a semicolon
at seven in the morning.

(poems translated by lars palm)