Autumn, Finland, Poetry and the Sea Horse's Coordinates

Something is happening to me. The mind, mine, is obedient to the seasons and I’m suddenly very Finnish. Autumn comes like ice to a pond. Last night it was 40 degrees in Syracuse. I slept deeply. 


By day I’ve been reading the poems of Risto Rasa and translating a few. I like the stoic and quirky wisdom of Finland’s poets–this and the economy of Scandinavian poetry. Here are bits:




you touch my hair

saying:  Great Crested Grebe


among reeds

a floating nest





You sew

I study your statistical method

Your formula sheet is a map of stars

I use

the seahorse’s coordinate system





The gardener cherishes a black flower–

sad napkin: it is a Lepidopterist’s poem












brightest reality:

a walking song

before the vast migration

brings back memories





in the open attic

a pregnant woman

hangs laundry


a vision of

this woman

as a child again


I do not take a single step

ahead of her





In the first shadows of autumn these poems feel like refugee graffiti–quick sketches of the heart. 






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