Wednesday 13 February 2013

Poem from the cycle 'Laughing Crows' by the Swedish writer Ragnar Thoursie


                                                 Inspection of Granhult’s old church

‘The evil elf bit without warning deep into my heart.’
Then did I flee to the Lord’s sacred sanctuary –
but found here too a place full of Devils painted on wood
in great magnificence, in green and gold, with jowls
run red and venom running down for a hundred years.
What succour came from the Vicar’s words and Dove above his head!
I was tormented by endless singing, from old crones with dragons’
necks and old men like me on the edge of the grave.
Only a deceased field-mouse under the pew kept my heart
awake. Finally the litany was over. We trooped out like
criminals. Though in the parish house the soul felt freer.
– God’s word is great; but its light does not light up our dead bodies
until after talk of this and that and several cups of coffee.

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