Winter Night (Talviyõ, 1905)

NOCTURNE*

In my ears ring the corncrake’s songs,
full moon shines above the rye-ear fields.
The Fortune of the night to me belongs,
smoke from burned clearing the meadows shields.
I am not merry, I’m not sad, sighing;
bring me from the forest the shadow dimmest,
cloudy shading where the sun is drowning,
the shine of the sleeping hill, the finest,
twinflower fragrant and the shade of the lake,
my heart’s melody from them I make.

I sing to you, virgin summer grass,
my greatest solitude, my heart’s silence,
my religion that celebrates a mass.
I will crown your curly head with laurels
I no longer search the will-o-wisp,
my hand holds the gold of happiness;
around me life’s circle keeps on shrinking;
time stands still, the weather-vane is sleeping;
dim is the road ahead, I hardly see,
there a dwelling unknown waits for me.

—————————————-

* From Poetry Salzburg Review, No. 12, p. 69, Autumn 2007

 

WINDY DWELLING

Maiden, glowing red carnation,
herb-garden’s master creation,
in a chamber raised tenderly,
kept warm, cared for lovingly;
you had a windy dwelling
on orphan’s windowsill growing.

Maiden, glowing red carnation,
summer’s dream faces starvation
in the land of snow, blossoms a moment,
starts withering in abandonment
at the window-sill of the poet,
that window is dark and vehement.

Rarely was the sun there shining,
getting there through cracks in the walls;
the warmth was there rarely splashing,
then again the misery calls;
the smiles there only rarely strayed,
but severe pain there always stayed.

 

WHEN WE DEPART

Whenever I remember you,
the nightingales are singing
in the twilight of my evening.

Whenever you remember me,
the redstarts have their summer-fest,
they sit on my head to rest.

Each others we remember;
two lovely ones in summer
in company of the summer flower.

             

 

 

 

 

 

FAULT

We both were in love, I loved you
and you loved me, that is true;
that was not the fault.

Both of us, each others we teased,
I teased you and you teased me;
that was not the fault.

There was a reason for this mishap:
You drifted away, creating a gap,
my faults you recalled.

And another destruction seed:
I drifted away like a weed;
I cried for you, my love.

 

THE VINE*

A hot climber was hugging me tight,
wrapped around me, flower fiery, white
in the fall-night’s gloomy fragrance.

Breathing the thirst of the madness
the brain got drunk, head muddy, wet,
temper tipsy, filled with badness,
open fire on crown of the head,
on back of the head bonfire burned,
eyes burning, hellish fire flamed
the whites of the eyes diminished.

Blood vessels whizzed loud and raved
and the midriff was nearly  bursting,
the heart like a hot fire grate,
like a spark-net blood was boiling.

Chilling clear cold morning arrived;
my journey I wanted to start,
but my reason fell to the ground,
my red heart fell, was never found
from the meadows of Lord’s purple ward,
among the purple march tea of Lord.

——————————–

*From Fire No.s 29/30, p  315, March 2008

 

SUMMER MORNING

Serene Seita Stockingmind
was standing on a sloping clearing,
at early dawn of summer morning.

Sentimental after waking,
after sleeping a few hours,
her slack joints there slowly stretching,
crown adorned with summer-flowers.

The grass was long, her knees it tickled,
the underbrush her tights cuddled,
tips of hop-vine caressed  her waist,
sleepy poppy bosom embraced,
she herself a glowing rose
above all others, in a proud pose.

The beautiful fairy admired
the land and the ocean around her.
The honeybee, man light in flight,
flew to flower’s bosom, inside.

Said Seita Stockingmind:
“Bad boy, stay away from my gown,
don’t touch the petals in my crown,
my nectar is for midsummer night,
this rose for someone who is right!”

The devilish bee kept warbling:
“My darling, let me your nectar gather,
I’m myself of nectar, its best matter,
of sugar well-turned in the lather.
Your midsummer nectar I reap
but the honey for your feast you keep.”

Serene Seita Stockingmind
looked around with a quiet yawn,
dew drops in her curls entwined,
in red-glow of the early dawn.

 

THEY LEAVE, SHOULD I GRIEVE?

Fading like a mirage my dreams fly,
the dreams of my spirit have vanished,
blown away to the backyards of sky,
to the hills of reality banished.

Should I regret, cry that they leave,
if  banished, should I grieve?
Long enough have I watched the painting,
the rainbows of life adoring,
walking deserts where the sand is dry,
keeping my eyes on the blue of the sky.

Come-on, northern wind, come and blow,
My oasis is green and calm.
Winter, cover my path with snow,
I see the sunny top of a palm.
Sing your mass, howl, storm of the Lord,
I hear cuckoo’s harpsichord!

_________________________________________________

Winter Night (Talviyõ, 1905)

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The Frost (Halla, 1908)

  

SINIKKA’S SONG

Two boats flying in full sail
on the bay of love in breezy gale.
A cloud floats across moon.

The boat of Tuoni1, ferry gruesome,
brakes the waves, ferry awesome.
A cloud floats across moon.

The boat of dreams, its keel is frail,
it falters, shatters, will it fail?
A cloud floats across moon.

Is it sadness, am I merry
when I see that gruesome ferry?
A cloud floats across moon.

Does my feeble dream come true,
an evenings there, just me and you.
A cloud floats across moon.

—————–

1In Finnish mythology, Tuoni is the underground

—————–

CONSOLATION OF THE SINGER 

The road will never end
though may not reach the heaven.
Words and songs will ascend
even from the gorge of raven.

In ravine’s deepest bottom
gloomy darkness coming soon.
For smiling woman’s bosom
I traded home, sunshine and tmoon

You never find there love or goodness,
only hatred, all that badness
passion fathomless,
flame of night, the gloom of sadness.

 

THE DECISION

I will drop my load on floor
before Death comes to my door.

Leave the burden of the knowledge,
millstone of the craftsmanship.

To be under heaven’s dome,
in happiness of human home.

In paradise I thought was lost,
away from death, away from frost.

Who am I? When that I know,
to the land of Death I’ll go. 

 

ELEGY*

Days of youth vanish, in life’s swiftly rolling stream’s boom.
Grey is the fabric that life’s golden reed is now weaving.
In vain, ah in vain, I capture short moment’s elation,
company jolly, wine bring no consolation.

My will’s proud moments long ago vanished.
Ecstatic spirit, joys of life banished.
From ravine I climbed, is my road sinking again?
I wish for a moment to be free from this tormenting pain

I know that the solace for me in the soil  is waiting.
On the road of the searcher no resting moment is granted.
North-wind is blowing, the sun in the storm  is now sinking,
red streak remains: feeble longing for beauty, enchanted.

Sank into ocean my blossoming roses and dreams.
The ransom for singing, the poet is left with no means.
Trying my utmost, could keep swinging only a moment.
The gold of my dreams – paid with sorrow and torment.

I am so tired, so heavy for the heart was my load,
the goal was too distant, too heavily loaded  the boat.
Or am I a weakling though my will was so strong?
Victory empty, blamed by the deeds that were wrong.

For nothing, in vain, were those crushing pains endured,
heavy chains broken, boats beloved destroyed and burned.
Now am I falling when my wounds are finally healing?
Now when I’m needed, am I like an icicle freezing?

With forces of heaven, hopeless, in vain, is the fight.
Echoes of kannel, songs fail soothing their child.
Frost-fairy singing, wings broken, bitterly crying.
To the peace of my ravine, like a beast dying I’m crawling.

—————————–

*From Poetry Salzburg Review, p 67, No. 12, Autumn 2007

 

VISITOR TO LAPLAND

Forty below, biting frost – time to go.
High tax of Lapland – bloodstains in snow.

Your take the high road and my road goes low;
my soul follows where-ever you go.

Good bye to soothing rest by your bosom white,
good bye fiery fox in Lapland’s night.

I wish to die without freedom’s gift.
The sky is my father, my mother the snowdrift.

 

__________________________________

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Starry Dome (Tãhtitarha, 1912)

TWO KINDS OF EYES

I once saw eyes that were sinful, tempting,
eyes that were big, dark, and fire-striking,
eyes that demanded all or nothing.
Next to them two other eyes were shining
that were blue like the flowers in the spring,
and demanding from me nothing, nothing
but promised to give to me everything.

And I chose those sinful eyes, they won.
I gave them all I had, everything,
my home, my tribe, my happy work, all gone,
my pride, my peace, conscience, kept nothing,
though in return I got nothing, nothing,
just giving to those eyes felt like a blessing.

Again, two kinds of eyes to me shine,
the eyes that are big, dark, full of sorrow,
eyes enlarged by prolonged enduring pain,
and they motion, telling me: “tomorrow
let’s escape far away from here to where
a new life, new and dignified we find there,
we start a new epoch, a new beginning,
rising, and to rise each others helping,
to the highest heights of the milky way,
to the glory of sacred holy day!”

So to me they twinkled, those big dark eyes.
The other eyes too, were captivating,
blue like a crack in newly frozen ice
where the glitter of the sun is dancing:
“Come here, come here, let’s dive in, arm in arm
we are young, rich pleasures are us waiting
or, will you not, I will do no harm,
I shall kiss you as my royal highness,
I will give to you all my love, my charm –
or kill, so the other eyes won’t you caress!”

Times change, I too have changed though not bitter.
The eyes that now are big and sorrowful
are the same as those that then were sinful.
The eyes that now so joyously glitter
and are sinful, belong to her best friend –
Sinful eyes will again win, at the end.  

 

THE INSULTED

Two slaves, together chained,
deep to the heart insulted,
the wrists in shackles strained,
the shoulders heavily loaded!

We can not join together,
we can not separate either,
to make love to each other,
or to stop loving neither.

I was unfair to you, I was offending,
my heart too, was broken and crushed.
You were unfair to me, it was upsetting,
it benumbed my feelings, they died.

So died your sensuous feelings,
it was my fault, that I know.
Gone are our happy spring-evenings,
now eternal winter and snow.

When I see you again these days
tears start flowing from my eyes,
again, hand forsaken waves,
the heart forsaken, again dies.

I see that your soul tries to come near
and tries to reach out towards me,
then your heart’s sobbing I hear
that once dared to hope and plea.

And then you pretend all is fine,
again, hand offered stops waving,
all we have is memories’ shrine,
sorrow and mutual longing.

Two slaves, together chained,
deep to the heart insulted,
in the wrists the shackles of love
the shoulders by wrongful deeds loaded!

 

CLEAREST SPRING

Spring, the clearest,
tell me what to say
if my very dearest
I meet on the way?

-Nothing, you just sigh,
melt away and go,
waste away and die
with the melting snow!

Spring, so sweet and clear
tell me what to say,
if she would me spear,
give me life today?

-Nothing else is right
enchanted you swear
an oath holy, white
like flowers in her hair!
________________________________________

       

AUTUMN LEAVES

Autumn leaves are flying overhead,
sorrow is booming in wanderer’s chest.
Flying leaf, my fate like yours will it be,
the end of my love and my singing I see?

»Stranger, don’t worry, our new-found brother!
Thousands of years or a while, doesn’t matter.

Flying leaf, like you was I left floating free,
detached from my life, from my pleasure-tree?

»Just stay calm! Life is a dream, not to keep.
Your only joy: cry for your dream when you sleep.

Flying leaf, like you can I fly, like a swan,|
fading to dreams of the rising dawn?

»Smarten up, our new-found brother!
New dawn will come, not the sorrow.

The leaves fly over poor wanderer’s head
who still longs for the beauty he once met.

 

AUTUMN LEAVES

Autumn leaves are flying overhead,
sorrow is booming in wanderer’s chest.

My fate, flying leaf, like yours will it be,
the end of my love and my singing I see?

»Stranger, don’t worry, our new-found brother!
Thousands of years or a moment, doesn’t matter.

Flying leaf, like you will I be left floating free,
detached from my life, from my pleasure-tree?

»Just stay calm! Life is a dream, not to keep.
only joy is to cry for your dream when you sleep.

Flying leaf, like you can I fly, like a swan,
fading with dreams of the rising dawn?

»Smarten up, our new-found brother!
The dawn will come but not your sorrow.

The leaves fly over the wanderer’s head
who longs for the beauty he once met. 

 

SUMMER-EVENING’S GENTLE BREEZE

Gentle breeze in evening twilight
on the hillside sighing.
The silver trail in moonshine’s highlight
in its finesse charming.

The backwoods’ pine is swinging slowly,
faraway a cuckoo calling.
The wanderer walks quietly,
sorrows of the mind are sleeping.

 

THE SWELL

In prolonged  gently sloping waves
the storms of my spirit swell,
the lure of adventures, lust for dreams
they stay, like memories they dwell

In very few years I had matured and aged.
How did I learn that to know?
Because fewer and fewer quarrels I waged
and I could take insults without a row.

Because now the sorrow of the spirit
is bigger than my feelings’ fire,
because now I deny from myself
what for us was a common desire.

Lovely, sunny days ahead of me –
perhaps, perhaps a canyon deep,
death,  poverty, misery, perhaps –
or death on a manure heap.

What is important to others
means nothing to me, just boredom,
the riches, love, honor and power,
just my spirit’s eternal freedom. 

 

EVENING SENTIMENT

In faraway backwoods the sunset
golden glow on the lakes creates,
but the glitter is brightest on bulrush,
on the shores of the islands and straits.

Ah, if only my restless chest,
from here would find the peace,
as if hope had never existed,
forgetting the memories!

That gold of the sun, if only
inside one’s heart one could take
and be alone and strange to himself
like the bulrush and glittering lake!

 

ON THE TRAILS IN THE FOREST I WANDER 

On a trail in the forest I wander
in my thoughts in midsummer evening,
my chest swelling with joy I ponder,
and I’m singing, singing and singing.

There, in the grove’s verdant splendor
something marvelous happened to me,
so wonderful, gentle and  tender,
in the fragrance of bird-cherry tree.

I’m the one and the only to know,
someone else it knows, only she
and that ladybird’s mate in the grove,
and that fragrant bird-cherry tree.

 

THOSE EYES

Those eyes, they sparkled happiness and fire
so furious and charming,
those starry eyes bubbled with joy and desire,
so strangely undulating.

Was it your happiness, that sparkle so dire,
a blossom by birth, a flaming flower,
you kept my feelings flaming in fire
you made me weak, you stripped my power.

Or was it all mine, that happiness sparkling,
that through my life I had searched,
that told me to come home, always inviting
then like an echo escaped.

 

AUTUMN MORNING

Frosty long opalescent silver veils
crawl over the fields and shimmer
over the yellowish land like sails,
and on tree branches hover.

The sun has arisen, early morning,
time for me to follow.
I sit quietly, longing, yearning
close by my cabin’s window.

I see the road, the red milestone,
the thicket of long crack willow.
I see the field, the forest zone,
the sunrise, a majestic show.

I see my whole life, its future, its past.
O, it makes me shiver!
Cruel torment, happiness lost,
my heart starts to quiver.

Ah, you opalescent frosty silver veils,
cover my paining core,
cover the love lost that still prevails
don’t let it sneak to my door;

so that the cry of the lonely rover
not only the shadow hears,
so that the pillow of the wanderer
would not be soaked by icy tears.

 

THE GOODNESS 

The Goodness arrives, she makes no noise,
she walks and whispers with silent voice.

Her voice is the voice of the suffering,
she has cried for you, agonizing.

In her eyes she has desperate views,
still they are filled with hope-giving news.

To you, she offers the pearls that she wears,
that is all she has, that is all that she cares.

Take her gift as a divine pleasure,
from heaven’s valleys comes this treasure.

She came to you to sooth your cries,
she wants to look deep into your eyes,

and caress your hand and go away,
whispering: there will be a better day.

 

THE CHILD OF JULY

Life without love is not worth living;
so gentle was my loving mother,
I long for love, warmth tenderly giving,
her love warmed me like no other.

Blown to strange shores by hostile gales
I am trembling here like in fever.
Gloomy hymns are singing their tales,
sorrows in my heart make it shiver.

On the brightest day in July I was born,
when days were warm and always nice.
These mocking mouths, I can’t take their scorn
the glances wry that feel like ice.

I love the song of the trees in the valleys,
not the gusty mountain winds in these the alleys.

 

THE SICKLE OF MOON

Tardy shifting like moon’s sickle
through the night forlorn,
cuts your love my lonely heart,
its lentil and its corn.

Sighing like a wisp of cloud
to northern skies confined,
tightly wrapped, a dream in shroud
sighing sadness on my mind.

To dream of love I have no right,
surely not, for sure I know.
Dim is the jamb to the night
like evening cloud’s faintest glow.

I grew old, my mind got twisted,
turned black like the darkest night,
my thoughts, my views distorted
dressed in horror and in fright.

 

DELUSION

She arrived like sun-rays to me straight,
like the moonshine, bringing my fate,
and her lovely eyes were asking,
though always holy, ice-cold, staring.

Those eyes looked deep into my soul,
like to a gorge, a throat, a hole.
Bad, evil things they perhaps observed,
because, after that, they never returned.

Or was she a heaven’s delusion,
drowning my road like an illusion.
I tried to follow, I went astray,
is she with me or is she away?

 

A REMEMBRANCE 

1.  The Star

Like that, did you fall, did you stray too far?
My golden treasure, my music, my star.

She left me, she is gone, out of sight.
With her, all beauty gone into the night.

She didn’t  die; she was captured by pleasure.
Dark night  stays here, my only treasure.

Her destiny is mine, nothing can me save.
Hauling wolf pack is circling my grave.

I ask just for this, I beg just for this:
A peaceful rest, my only wish!

To forget you soon I was hoping –
my sorrow keeps your memory sighing.

 

2.  The Ray and the Crystal

My ice-cold mind perhaps exploded
on that flaming pond’s icy surface,
when in ecstasy insane it bombarded
icy waves, in frozen embrace.

The nature’s laws tell: if the spring days,
the fall, and the crystal of ray
take their happiness under the waves,
their fait: slow frozen decay.

The rage of my torment is bitter
a captive of wind and fire,
her golden bubble’s glitter
like death and snow in winter

 

3.  Swan Lake

Perhaps I was on golden sun-rays riding,
perhaps on the waves in summer night gliding.

Can’t recall, was it evening or dawn,
purple hue and a singing swan.

Shadowless light filled my mind with brightness
like the chest of a swan, innocent whiteness.

My midsummer dreams the swans were singing,
of my first love, its sensuous dreaming.

I tried to approach them – away they flew
like the wisp of a cloud with a whitish hue.

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The Sunset (Painuva pãivã, 1914)

(insert poems)
———————————————————–
The Sunset (Painuva pãivã, 1914)

The Sunset (Painuva pãivã)

Autumn leaves (Syyslehtiã)

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The Beauty of Life (Elãmãn koreus, 1915)

SUMMER-EVENING’S GENTLE BREEZE

Gentle breeze in evening twilight
on the hillside sighing.
The silver trail in moonshine’s highlight
in its finesse charming.

The backwoods pine is swinging slowly,
faraway a cuckoo calling.
The wanderer walks quietly,
sorrows of the mind sleeping.

THE SWELL

In prolonged  gently sloping waves the storms of my spirit swell, the lure of adventures, lust for dreams they stay, like memories they dwell.

Many years I aged in a few months. How did I learn that to know? Because I noticed that I had learned to take insults without a row.

Because now the sorrow of the spirit is bigger than my feelings’ fire, because now I deny from myself what for us was a common desire.

Lovely, sunny days ahead of me – perhaps, perhaps a canyon deep, death,  poverty, misery, perhaps – or death on an excrete-heap.

What is important to others means nothing to me, just boredom, the riches, love, honor and power, just my spirit’s eternal freedom.

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Campfires (Leirivalkeat, 1917)

EVENING SENTIMENT

In faraway backwoods the sunset

golden glow on the lakes creates,

but the glitter is brightest on bulrush,

on the shores of the islands and straits.

Ah, if only my restless chest,

from here would find the peace,

as if hopes had never existed,

forgetting the memories!

That gold of the sun, if only

inside one’s heart one could take

and be alone and strange by himself

like the bulrush and glittering lake!

————————————————————–
Evening Sentiment (Iltatunnelma)

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LOVE SONGS (LEMMENLAULUJA, 1919)

On a trail in the Forest I wander

On a trail in the forest I wander

in my thoughts in the midsummer evening,

my chest swelling with joy I ponder,

and I’m singing, singing and singing.

There, in the grove’s verdant splendor

something marvelous happened to me,

so wonderful, gentle and  tender,

in the fragrance of bird-cherry tree.

I’m the one and the only to know,

someone else it knows, and only she,

and that ladybird’s mate in the grove,

and that fragrant bird-cherry tree.

THOSE EYES

Those eyes, they happiness sparkled in fire

so furious and charming,

those starry eyes bubbled with joy and desire,

so strangely undulating.

Was it your happiness, that sparkle so dire,

a blossom by birth, a flaming flower,

you kept my feelings flaming in fire

you made me weak, you stripped my power.

Or was it all mine, that happiness sparkling,

that throughout my life I had searched,

that told to come home, always inviting

then like an echo escaped.

——————————————————————

A Trail in the Forest I Wander (Minã metsãn polkuja kuljen)

Those Eyes (Ne silmãt)

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