I lie in the rich grass
a blissful ringing in my head.
Distant voices bring me food
the way ants brought gold
to a king in olden times.
There are two horseflies.
There may even be a snake around here somewhere.
In any case there is an old mill-pond
and downstream are some rapids.
There is a thicket with three big birches across the river.
. . . . . . I lie in the rich grass
. . . . . . a blissful ringing in my head.
. . . . . . Distant voices bring me gold
. . . . . . the way kings brought food
. . . . . . to an ant in olden times.
Evening. Northern Lights. Night
White horses run
White horses runover a blue field.
Light snow falls
Light snow fallsover the harsh winter.
From somewhere bells sound
From somewhere bells soundover a distant hill.
The shadow trembles.
Foxes run in the sky
Foxes run in the skyfire in their brushes.
Tails flash flittingly
Tails flash flittingly to the rhythm of the night.
At the window sits a girl
At the window sits a girlin a dark dress.
The music closes.
Animals sense what is coming
the animals suddenly became agitated
sheep bleated cows mooed chickens clucked
dogs started barking and howling
an hour later the earthquake struck
that was bulgaria in august 1986
on the outskirts the animals went quite mad
even in the city centre the dogs’ barking was ear-splitting
an hour later the massive bombing began
that was tallinn in march 1944
war is a natural phenomenon too
people are a part of nature too
will the dogs of bagdad basra and mosul
start howling this evening
in the early morning of 19 march 2003
These three poems by Andres Ehin have been translated by Ilmar Lehtpere and extracted from Ly Seppel & Andres Ehin, Shortening the Candle’s Wick, published by Little Island Press.
Please click here for three poems by Ly Seppel, also extracted from Shortening the Candle’s Wick.
Part of The Learned Pig’s Wolf Crossing editorial season, spring/summer 2017.
Cover image: Gerhard Richter, Schädel mit Kerze (Skull with Candle), 1983