ŘYSTEIN WINGAARD WOLF



Three Poems

 

Salt

White arteries of the sea
boiling towards the sun's heart.

White goats of the coast, licking
wounds the days drag behind

to the doctor in the little village,
a man of years, frying herring and lobster tails,

strewing crystals on the tongue
of his beloved. The light of stars, ebb and flow.

In winter, the braille of the streets mirrors
the processional entry of senile geniuses.

 

The Heart of Europe

In your eyes shine the light of Czech forests,
you pick-up friends on a highway in Bohemia
where Cro-Magnon' shadow
shied away the little girls on their way to Saturday's dance.
Your grandmother was a witch who spoke
with wolves, chipped her teeth and ate garlic that
kept her young until she was eighty.
Your god is dark beer and spas
in Karlova Vary; you pray, with neck and hips,
for button-up boots after the revolution,
Vltavas smooth silken light, a pail with jazz,
Dvorak's melancholy: Oslo is your new world,
you whine like a cat about love,
dream of Raphael and Giotto,
sway like an ear of wheat, afraid of the sickle
in a poet's soul. I will remember your laughter
when you rear your blond ramparts
and walk away from me like an enigma, too heavy
to hold on to or call by an angel's name.
Good cheer finds its own roads, unsought,
a guest no one fails to see in your eyes.

 

Recollection

Can you remember the stillness
we found behind the rubbish lid
on the deserted beaches of Cabo Frio?
We walked close to one another through the darkness
so as not to rip the weaving of stillness,
and we puffed salt and sea and sun rays
while our hearts sparred like ravens.
Can you sense the orchestra of death
that rose in the moonlight to mirror
itself in our foreign eyes, write a
cerement as strong as our friendship?
It is never too late to stop short of
children's games and the earnestness of age.
And I wrote a song about the questions you have,
about the stillness resting
on my lips, your curiousity,
your cross, your maelstrom, your cry
for a brother you could hide behind again.

Translations GSW