TOMAS MIKAEL BÄCK
KJELL WESTÖ (ANDERS HED)
MERJA VIROLAINEN (b. 1962) has published four collections of poems, Hellyyttäsi taitat gardenian (Because of Your Tenderness You Break a Gardenia, 1990), Tervapeili (Tar Mirror, 1995), Pilvet peittävät sisäänsä pilvet (Clouds Encompass Clouds, 2000) and Olen tyttö, ihanaa! (I'm a Girl, Wonderful!, 2004). She has also written a book about shamanism and witchcraft and a play called Täyttymyskomedia (Fulfilment Comedy, 1993). Virolainen has also worked as translator, translating Keats, Shelley, Dickinson and Indian modern poetry among others.
|THE ROUGH FRICTION OF OPPOSITES
There are no neon lights in Helsinki,
not a single car, nor a pizzeria!
I see only impressions on faces, shoulders, in the city,
your eyes where
the shadow of a linden tree on the Esplanade
suddenly emerges, dark
as a cloud above gives way.
Here weeping willow trails its hair
in the waters of Töölö Bay,
reeds rustle at a wave's touch;
the maple blooms along my street
against a clear blue sky.
Here I only see you, always you
as in the forest of friends
a bonfire burns between us
the way even silence in the Central Library is hushed
as we walk a moment, bright
towards each other
like Petrarch and Laura.
Why would I see neon lights, cars, pizzerias?
I don't miss them; I can't see through them.
Poor me! Even the Eiffel-tower to me would
probably be a mere bed post!
Only desire makes things exist for me,
all sense is longing.
Bottles clink, glasses break
What´s the use of prolonging,...
You put out my heart, like a cig...
That pimply-faced Narcissus
Friend, against my will
This parting of ours, how many...
Quietly sighing like sand
I close my eyes and open again
Oh back, shimmery parchment
This time next year
No, he didn't grow yet
Afterwards everyone leaves
Say, my sagacity, goodbye
I am the last poem
There are no neon lights in Hels...
By speaking from close by
Nothing has been
When a curlew cries
Mother's scent is powder
Grandma, your tissue-paper face...
Autumnal night pauses as I pause