Monday 14 September 2015

'Concerning everything that still hovers' - another poem by Lars Gustafsson

Concerning everything that still hovers

As yet my grave is nowhere visible.
And thus I too am hovering:
resting, myself, unknowing,
I too in a sea of air, an atmosphere.
Floating with the floating,
living with the living,
resting with the resting,
and, perhaps also, without knowing it,
dead with the dead.
There is no word for this:
it is a way of hovering.
‘In the Sea of Air’ like the aeronauts of old,
and this sea you are yourself.
Once, in Texas, at six o’clock in the morning,
swimming across the crystal-clear water
of a very deep swimming pool
actually meant for high-divers,
swimming to me suddenly turned to flying.
Gazing down through the goggles’ small windows
to the well-cleaned black and white squares below,
from exactly the height where one no longer survives
in a free fall, I could for an instant vaguely sense:
To constantly be falling, be in one’s fall
and yet to fly, borne by something invisible.
We see through and smile at the old painters
and their childish trick
of placing some birds deep in the picture,
very small, floating like meaningless signs
between earth and air, between light and dark,
between water and land, in short,
the kind of things that exist between the differences,
the twilight things that create the depth
which linear perspective on its own cannot achieve.
So do all mortals float within
their own picture, somewhere in the twilight,
and for this floating there is no name.

So too do signs float over the white sheets of paper,
the rooks over the snow, the good over evil time.
So does everything float. It stands like the angels stand,
in unprecedented motion.
And for the world’s flight there is no name.

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