The quartz sparkles under me, and Erica tetralix, the heather that
smells so sweet, has become almost transluscent after over three thousand summers.
All are in the same boat on this rock engraving, for an elongated ship has been
carved here, and it is this ship which is to transport sun and
stick humans through days and lands of the dead.
Here the bronze-age kids used to swarm. Their high-pitched cries, in an
Indoeuropean language, flew across the water: ‘flounder, fish, catch’ – so close that I
can almost hear them. The gulls seem to be familiar with their strange-sounding
proper names, have borne them with themselves through the ages, and now
they imitate them, and screech them riotously at each other.
But the fjord glitters in cautioning fashion, and I harden myself against the evening
and the diminishing gull cries. For the string their sounds quiver along, between
wild and controlled, is the same string I sense that I am vibrating together with,
that which produces oscillation upon oscillation, that which causes the ship to
sail, and also the fjord to ruffle and darken now towards the island.
And nothing gladdens me more than this: that we are in the same boat,
that we shall sail under this clear-cut sun for a while
and not thereafter.
When past and future come to blows to form one of these bloody moments,
I clear out of the house before something more fatal can take place.
I run until I reach top speed, and the endomorphins send a clear message:
Do not doubt, this is now, life itself.
I gain new courage, greet the troops as I pass by, an army of living beings
at their station. Run across the square, pass the harbour area with its
sea-going ships, pass the 19th century building that houses
exhibited oil paintings of the coronation in Byzantium, still lifes of crows and
begone scenarios with shepherds and stone pines. I end up as expected in
a cornfield, hold myself camouflaged there for a while, but am recognised by
a red neck-stain and brown top-feathers as I continue to hunt along the
When it begins to ache in my hamstrings and muscles, I fling myself onto
the grass, make a trap out of leaves and earth-coloured material, place it out
in the terrain.
Into it several examples of organic life stray,
along with quantities of unidentified atoms, and
when the catch starts to become immense,
I have to release it,
into the wide expanse of landscape,
into uninhibited time.
Flight towards the 873rd hang-out
When the unsecured frontiers, with forestland, big cities and barrens,
spread heavily out around us, it would be safest to stick to a feather-light
centre, gaze straight ahead, become one with the molecules.
But the distinctive odour we give off, of serum and protein, lets nocturnally
active creatures pick up our scent, and the allegedly feather-light centre
dissipates, as do the unreliable cumulus clouds.
Knees and elbows, stiffened with cartilage and magnesium, rattle and
shake and reveal us further. Teeth chatter, neurons fire off
warning shot after warning shot to no avail, and flight towards yet another
hang-out, perhaps the eight hundred and seventy-third, is inevitable.